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Burt Reynolds ‘feeling better’ but still in ICU

By Carolyn Sung and Greg Botelho, CNN

(CNN) — Having fended off sheriffs, car racers, backwoods locals and more during his long career on the silver screen, actor Burt Reynolds is successfully fighting flu symptoms in a Florida hospital, his representative said Saturday.

Reynolds was dehydrated and suffering from flu symptoms when he went to the hospital, then was transferred to its intensive care unit, his representative Erik Kritzer said Friday.

By the next day, Reynolds’ fever had gone down as his overall condition improved, the representative said. Still, he remained in the ICU on Saturday evening.

“He is feeling better,” Kritzer said, predicting that Reynolds would be released Monday from the hospital.

The representative has declined to divulge what hospital the actor was in, saying Reynolds wanted to keep that information private.

Born in southern Georgia, Reynolds and his family moved to Michigan and eventually to southeastern Florida, according to his profile on the website of the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, in which he was inducted in 1993. At Palm Beach High School, he first made a name for himself as a football star and earned an athletic scholarship to Florida State University.

When injuries derailed his promising athletic career, Reynolds turned to acting. He scored small parts in the late 1950s, then broke through a few years later in the role of Quint on the TV series “Gunsmoke.”

His career took another leap with the 1972 release of “Deliverance,” in which he played an Atlanta businessman exploring the remote north Georgia wilderness with friends. “The Longest Yard” came out two years later, starring Reynolds as an ex-football player who lands in prison.

His charismatic notoriety soared through the late 1970s and into the 1980s, during which he spearheaded the “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Cannonball Run” movie franchises.

While his popularity waned relatively, Reynolds continued to score movie and TV roles into the 1990s. That included on “Evening Shade,” where he earned an Emmy in 1991 playing Wood Newton — once again, a former football player.

His lone Oscar nomination came in 1998, in the best supporting actor category, for his portrayal of pornographic film producer Jack Horner in the film “Boogie Nights.”

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