Don’t weep for Burt Reynolds. To hear him tell it, there’s nothing sad about the fact he’s auctioning off hundreds of items from his home — paintings, furniture, cherished mementos from his movie career, like the TransAm he drove in “Smoky and the Bandit” and the helmet he wore in the original version of “The Longest Yard.”
“I want everyone to know that contrary to what all the news outlets are saying, I am not broke,” he told ET. “I have been dealing with a business dispute for many years as well as a divorce settlement. I am simply selling some of my memorabilia that I have enjoyed for so many years but do not have use nor room for.”
The divorce settlement has been going on so long, it’s starting to look like “Bleak House.” Reynolds and Loni Anderson were married for only five years. They’ve now been arguing over money for 21 years, so long it’s cited in one legal blog as a case study: “An experienced divorce attorney will know exactly what actions to take in order to limit the chances of a divorce dragging on for years and years, so that the average ex-spouses can avoid a situation like the 80s power couple Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson have had to experience.”
Their dispute is mostly over Reynolds’s alleged failure to pay the full amount of alimony due Anderson. As the years rolled by, the cumulative interest on the $97,000 he is said to owe her thanks to his delay in paying brought his total reported debt to $159,000.
By all rights, Reynolds, 78, should be very rich. His string of hits includes “Boogie Nights,” “Deliverance,” “The Longest Yard” and “Smokey and the Bandit.” But he’s also dabbled in real estate, and that’s not gone so well. He was forced to declare bankruptcy in the 199os. He lost the “Burt Reynolds Ranch,” where scenes from “Smokey” were filmed. In 2011, his big house in Florida was foreclosed, and is now being turned into a development near West Palm Beach.
He showered Anderson with diamonds, which she got in the divorce. But the actress who played a blonde bombshell on “WKRP in Cincinnati,” is having her own auction. She’s selling off the diamond ruby ring Reynolds gave her, the wedding gown she wore when they were married in 1988 and a painting of her posing naked, which Reynolds commissioned and named “Loni in the Sky With Diamonds.”
She too treated the occasion like any old flea-market sale: nothing to weep over. She said she and Reynolds had dinner with their son one night and with Jon Voight. “And we were all talking about all the stuff that you accumulate over the years. We’d been thinking about scaling back: ‘What are we gonna do with all this stuff? Do you have a museum for yourself? No.’ And so what are you gonna do with it? Share it.”
So what is Reynolds selling? You can see the list here, though the bidding is closed on most items. There’s the personally inscribed photo of former heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano, the personally autographed Muhammad Ali boxing glove, a huge collection of autographed baseball memorabilia signed by stars, a Thomas Kinkade painting valued between $6,000 and $8,000, the alligator cowboy boots, the sunglasses, the black stetson, the red stetson, the “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” cowboy boots, and all sorts of movie memories.
But some things are much harder for a man to part with than others — and the saddest items on the list are from before he was famous: his 1950s football trophies from Palm Beach High School, surely worth more to him than the $200 to $300 at which they’re valued.