The Vero Beach community is mourning the loss of iconic actor and Florida resident Burt Reynolds, who made previous appearances at the Vero Beach Wine & Film Festival.
The 82-year-old actor experienced health-related issues and passed away Thursday at a Florida hospital, according to media outlets.
“It seems like yesterday we were presenting him with our lifetime achievement award and now he’s gone from us,” said Doris Kwek, Frosch Travel agent who escorted Burt Reynolds during his visit to Vero Beach. “I’m lucky to have those memories.”
Reynolds starred in television shows like “Gunsmoke” and movies such as “Deliverance,” “Smokey and the Bandit” and “The Cannonball Run.”
The Vero Beach Wine & Film Festival presented Reynolds with the VBWFF Life Worth Living Legend Award in June 2017 at the Riverside Theatre, according to officials.
At the event, Reynolds and film critic Jeffrey Lyons spoke during a Q & A session, which was followed by a screening of his last movie, “The Last Movie Star.” The movie is about an aging, former movie star who faces the reality that his glory days are behind him.
“Burt Reynolds had an uncommon life filled with many moments worth living. And I’m grateful that on one special summer night he chose to share his life with us,” said Jerusha Stewart, Founder and Executive Director of the Vero Beach Wine & Film Festival.