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Watch: Burt Reynolds’ Funny (and Bizarre) ‘Today Show’ Interview

Burt Reynolds in Gator (1976)
Levy-Gardner-Laven

Screen legend Burt Reynolds appeared on Thursday morning’s Today Show to promote The Last Movie Star, his latest film. Things got a little strange when the 82-year-old talked about falling in love with actress Sally Field when she was seven and then complimented interview Hoda Kotb “for not having your lips larger.”

When Kotb asked who the love of his life was, the twice-married (actresses Judy Carne and Loni Anderson) and divorced Oscar nominee said,  “You’re naughty, you really are. I’m dead in the water no matter what I say. Well, she was 7 when I fell in love with her. She stayed 7 for about 11 years. I would say Sally.”

Kotb didn’t ask what Reynolds meant when he said he fell in love with Field when she was seven. The two stars began a relationship in the late 1970s that lasted until the early 80s. They made four films together, Smokey and the Bandit I and II, The End and Hooper. She was in her 30s at the time. He is ten years her senior.

The clueless Kotb did ask if by “Sally,” he meant “Sally Field?”

Reynolds replied with good-natured sarcasm, ‘No, Sally Wolfergosh. Yes, Sally Field,” which cracked up everyone in the studio.

He then said that the producers did not want her to co-star with him in Smokey and the Bandit, arguing she was not sexy enough.

“I said you don’t get it, talent is sexy,” Reynolds replied.

Of course his choice was the correct one. Field is plenty sexy and the movie went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, a bona fide classic that has not aged a day.

Just as the interview was about to wrap up, Reynolds told Kotb, “I am so proud of you for not having your lips larger.”

She laughed and said, “OK, all right, Burt.”

Reynolds is obviously showing his age, but the rakish raconteur who was a favorite on talk shows even before he became the biggest movie star in the world in 1977, is still there.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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