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Reynolds' remains returned to Hollywood

by ANDREW DALTON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | February 19, 2021 at 1:50 a.m.
Flowers are placed in front of a temporary headstone for the late actor Burt Reynolds in the Garden of Legends section of Hollywood Forever cemetery on Feb. 11 in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LOS ANGELES -- Burt Reynolds finally reached his final resting place Feb. 11 at a storied Hollywood cemetery.

A small, private ceremony, with relatives taking part remotely via Zoom, was held that morning at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where Reynolds' cremated remains were placed in a grave next to a lake nearly 2 ½ years after his death.

A temporary headstone simply reading "Burt Reynolds" now marks the site, but a bronze or stone bust of him is being commissioned, with hopes that it can be unveiled and opened to the public in September on the third anniversary of his death, Hollywood Forever president and co-owner Tyler Cassity told The Associated Press.

After the ceremony that Thursday, a wreath and flowers draped the grave, and a lone fan appeared with a tiny Trans Am, the car that became synonymous with Reynolds through the "Smokey and the Bandit" films, and placed it on the grave.

A college football standout at Florida State, Reynolds became an actor then became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the 1970s and '80s, known for his mustache, his cocky laugh and his maverick swagger. He starred in films including "Deliverance," "Starting Over," "White Lightning," "The Longest Yard," "Semi-Tough," "Breaking In," "The End," and "Boogie Nights," for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Reynolds died at age 82 on Sept. 6, 2018, at a hospital in Jupiter, Fla. He was cremated a few days later. A memorial with a small group of family and friends was held in Florida two weeks after.

It is not clear why it took 2 ½ years for the gravesite to be established, and Reynolds' surviving relatives, seeking privacy after his death, have not been public about the process.

His niece Nancy Hess is the overseer of his estate, the legal and financial affairs of which were settled and closed in December.

Reynolds is near the grave of actor Tyrone Power at the cemetery that is also home to the graves and mausoleums of Judy Garland, Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks. Reynolds' grave is across the lake from rockers Johnny Ramone and Chris Cornell.

The cemetery, founded in 1899 and located near the Paramount Pictures lot, has become a historical landmark and a cultural hub in Los Angeles.

Burt Reynolds fan Dan Redmond, of Calamesa, Calif., places a model of the Trans Am from the 1977 film "Smokey and the Bandit" on a temporary headstone for the late actor at Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Burt Reynolds fan Dan Redmond, of Calamesa, Calif., places a model of the Trans Am from the 1977 film "Smokey and the Bandit" on a temporary headstone for the late actor at Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
A temporary headstone for the late actor Burt Reynolds is pictured in the Garden of Legends section of Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
A temporary headstone for the late actor Burt Reynolds is pictured in the Garden of Legends section of Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Francisco Ventura, an employee at Hollywood Forever cemetery, places flowers around a temporary headstone for the late actor Burt Reynolds in the Garden of Legends section of the cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Francisco Ventura, an employee at Hollywood Forever cemetery, places flowers around a temporary headstone for the late actor Burt Reynolds in the Garden of Legends section of the cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Burt Reynolds fan Dan Redmond, of Calamesa, Calif., places a model of the Trans Am from the 1977 film "Smokey and the Bandit" on a temporary headstone for the late actor at Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Burt Reynolds fan Dan Redmond, of Calamesa, Calif., places a model of the Trans Am from the 1977 film "Smokey and the Bandit" on a temporary headstone for the late actor at Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
A temporary headstone for the late actor Burt Reynolds is pictured in the Garden of Legends section of Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
A temporary headstone for the late actor Burt Reynolds is pictured in the Garden of Legends section of Hollywood Forever cemetery, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. Reynolds' cremated remains were moved from Florida to Hollywood Forever, where a small ceremony was held Thursday. A permanent gravesite will be put up for Reynolds in a few months. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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