Ten Connections between Burt Reynolds and Australia

October 7, 2018
Still processing the death of Burt Reynolds, Stephen Vagg decided to come up with a second article on the great man – some random connections with Australia and Burt.

Skullduggery (1970)

Reynolds turned down the Tom Skerritt role in MASH to star in this really odd combination of jungle film and anthropology about the discovery of the missing link. It’s set in the then-Australian colony of Papua New Guinea, and includes Chips Rafferty as a missionary and a cricket game, but was, distractingly, shot in Jamaica with Jamaicans playing New Guineans.

Posing nude (1972)

Reynolds did it the same year as Australia’s Jack Thompson. Neither actor ever lived it down – articles on Reynolds continued to mention it until he died, and they will for Jack Thompson. Seriously, people cannot get over it.

Shamus (1973)

Burt plays a private eye in a film with no Aussies. But there was a pilot for a proposed TV series based on this which didn’t sell – A Matter of Wife and Death (1975), starring Australia’s own Rod Taylor in the Reynolds role.

Sharky’s Machine (1981)

Reynolds stars in and directs this action film where the female lead was played by Rachel Ward, soon to meet and marry Bryan Brown on the set of The Thorn Birds and become an Aussie.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)

It’s ironic that more film buffs seem to remember Reynolds was in a flop musical – Peter Bogdanovich’s At Long Last Love (1975) – than this one, which was a hit. Not making that up, it was a hit! Written and directed by kind-of Aussie Colin Higgins.

The Player (1992)

Reynolds has a cameo in this film starring Australia’s Greta Scacchi, although they don’t share a scene together.

Mystery Alaska (1999)

Reynolds was into the supporting actor phase of his career by this stage (although he remained a leading man in lesser budgeted films until his death) popping up in this sports film starring Australian-when-it-suits-us Russell Crowe. The co-writer, Sean O’Byrne, married Australian Kym Wilson.

Tempted (2001)

Reynolds pops up in the second American film from Australian writer-director Bill Bennett, which is surprisingly little known.

Miss Lettie and Me (2002)

TV movie with Reynolds and Mary Tyler Moore directed by Australia’s Ian (The Chain Reaction) Barry.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The latest Quentin Tarantino opus, which Reynolds was scheduled to appear in when he died, starring Australian Margot Robbie.



  1. Phil Avalon

    For those who can remember, Burt had a great comedic talent & often stepped in as host of the Johnny Carson tonight show (with Carsons blessing) and in ‘Deliverance’, Burt showed he had the acting chops when given a good script.

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