Oral History: Burt Reynold’s Anger with the Press

by Jack Tewksbury July 16, 2020
Actor Burt Reynolds, Golden Globe winner

Burt Reynols, 1979

hfpa archives

For over 40 years the HFPA has recorded famous and celebrated actresses, actors, and filmmakers. The world's largest collection of its kind - over 10,000  items - is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library.  In 1982, future Golden Globe winner Burt Reynolds was the height of his stardom, with three movies in a row - Six Pack, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Best Friends- and a made-for-TV film, Fade In as well. And he was not very happy with the press.

“I’ve never been on a  picture in my life that there wasn’t a Teamster or somebody in that company that was not on the payroll to provide inside information to a newspaper or magazine. The tipster has got to make it a good story to justify his  200 or $300. A  journalist should phone and say, ‘Are you people arguing? Is anybody arguing?’ Nobody does that. They just print it. 90% of the stuff that happens or rumors in magazines and newspapers about me are not true. Liberace won a $1 million lawsuit in London because a newspaper called him a homosexual and they couldn’t prove it. In this country, if somebody says something about you,  you have to prove that they did financial damage to you. And if you made more money the  year after they called you a terrible name or whatever, you can’t win, because this is a capitalist country.”