In loving memory. Burt Reynolds’ family and friends gathered for the late actor’s private funeral at Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, September 19.
The service started with an opening prayer followed by a performance of “Forward to the Moon” from local singer-songwriter Cooper Getschal, who had been a student in the Gunsmoke star’s master acting class at the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre.
Reynolds’ longtime friend Mo Mustaine took the stage to share a recollection of the Oscar nominee’s life. His Last Movie Star costar Todd Vittum also delivered a eulogy between pianist Copeland Davis’ exodus and Broadway star Avery Sommers’ rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
The funeral also included a scripture reading and a “Message of Hope” read aloud by pastor Jimmy Scroggins. It ended with a prayer from the actor’s Smokey and the Bandit II costar Patrick Moody.
Us Weekly broke the news that Reynolds died at the age of 82 on September 6 after suffering a heart attack at a Florida hospital.
“He has had health issues, however, this was totally unexpected,” niece Nancy Lee Hess said in a statement to Us on behalf of the family. “I want to thank all of his amazing fans who have always supported and cheered him on, through all of the hills and valleys of his life and career. My family and I appreciate the outpouring of love for my uncle.”
The movie star’s Smokey and the Bandit costar and ex-girlfriend, Sally Field, also released a statement after his death: “There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even 40 years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”
Reynolds is survived by his 30-year-old son, Quinton.
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