This is why Dolly Parton called Burt Reynolds an ”old, dreadful, unsexy thing”


After sharing the screen with the ruggedly handsome Burt Reynolds, the tiny-framed and huge-hearted Dolly Parton called him an “old, dreadful, unsexy thing.”

As a guest on a 1983 episode of Wogan, the British TV talk show, Parton was asked by presenter Terry Wogan, “Would you make another movie with Burt Reynolds, or couldn’t you stand the sight of him?”

Actor Burt Reynolds attends an event wearing a Dodgers jacket in December 1981 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Eisenberg/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

She replied, “Aw, that old, dreadful, unsexy thing? Actually, he’s really a wonderful person, and he takes his work very seriously.”

Parton, who co-starred with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the 1980 blockbuster hit 9 to 5, then described the difference between working with Fonda and Reynolds.


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“Somebody said, ‘What was it like working with Burt Reynolds in comparison to working with Jane Fonda?’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t dream of Jane Fonda at night!’”

Parton, the 5-foot big-haired firecracker who’s now 77, said that Reynolds was “the sexiest man in Hollywood.”

Starring in the musical comedy, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), Parton, plays the much-loved madam of a Texas brothel, who is in a relationship with the kind Sheriff Earl Dodd, played by the late Burt Reynolds.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton 1977 during Dolly Parton File Photos in London, California. (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)

The film–directed by Colin Higgins, who also directed 9 to 5–and its actors received nods from both the Academy and Golden Globes, specifically Parton, whose portrayal of Miss Mona Stangley, the operator of the “Chicken House,” earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical).

Parton and Reynolds played onscreen lovers and were so convincing in their sizzling hot scenes that fans believed their chemistry also lived off screen.

There was a lot of love between the two, which Parton, one month after Reynolds’ death, explained to the Daily Mirror was “like brother and sister.”

And like siblings, they bickered. “Burt and I had our little arguments and little spats. But we were so honest with each other… We held no secrets from each other, we couldn’t fool each other,” she said. “Burt and I were a good ol’ boy and girl, and I was very sad when he passed away–we were really very much alike.”

In 2018, Reynolds, 82, had a heart attack and died. A sex symbol of the 1970’s, he was a brawny, handsome actor, whose smile–that flashed beneath his famed moustache–made fans go wild.

His rugged good looks combined with his exceptional talents complemented many of his leading roles. After first appearing on the TV western Gunsmoke (1962 to 1965), Reynolds then played a machismo character who’s hunted by mountain men in the 1972 film Deliverance, a bootlegging truck driver in Smokey and the Bandit (1977), and as J.D. ‘Boss’ Hogg in the Dukes of Hazzard (2005)

The actor is also known for his award-winning performances in the TV sitcom Evening Shade (1990 to 1994) and the film Boogie Nights (1997).

Reynolds was married twice, his last wife the blonde bombshell from WKRP in Cincinnati, actor Loni Anderson (1963-1965), and he was in relationships with singer-actor Dinah Shore and actor Sally Field.

But he never had a romantic relationship with Parton, the buxom blonde who’s been married to fellow Tennessean Carl Dean since 1966. Parton addressed the rumours circulating about her alleged fling with the legendary Reynolds.

“I couldn’t wait to jump into bed with Burt ­Reynolds,” Parton said playfully. She added, “In the movie, not in real life.”

In a career spanning five decades, Parton, a singer, songwriter and actor, has more than 100 million records sold worldwide, which makes her one of the best-selling female artists of all time. She is also the Godmother of pop star Miley Cyrus.

Dolly Parton
Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

The country music legend is one of less than 100 people who have received nominations for all four major American art awards, an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Tony.

Her music crosses over into genres and reaches an audience outside of country music. Everyone knows at least some of the words to her massive hit songs like “9 to 5,” “Jolene,” “Here You Come Again,” and “Islands in the Stream,” where she lends her voice to a duet with the smooth, hypnotic voice of the late Kenny Rogers, who died in 2020.

In The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Parton and Reynolds perform the song “Sneakin’ Around.”


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Parton’s light and bright soprano voice is extraordinary, and Reynold’s voice leans more on the side of ordinary.

Explaining that Reynolds idolized Dean Martin, Parton quipped, “His big idol was Dean and he was always singing that style of music. He could sound just like him.”

Then referencing the 1984 film Rhinestone where she starred with Sylvester Stallone, she added, “He could sing as good as Sylvester ­Stallone, put it that way.”

Even though Reynolds couldn’t hold a tune, the movie would not be the same without him.

The post This is why Dolly Parton called Burt Reynolds an ”old, dreadful, unsexy thing” appeared first on Happy Santa.


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