LOGANVILLE, Ga. — Burt Reynolds, who was perhaps Walton County’s most famous taxpayer, has died.
Reynolds died Thursday in a Florida hospital at age 82.
His breakout role was alongside Ned Beatty and Jon Voight as Lewis Murdock in “Deliverance,” a movie filmed primarily in northeast Georgia.
Another Georgia-made film, “Smokey and the Bandit,” lives in heavily edited basic cable perpetuity.
While filming “The Cannonball Run” in Lawrenceville and Covington in 1980, Reynolds and others connected with the movie stayed in retired tobacco wholesaler Carl Newton’s house south of Loganville at 3275 Tig Knight Road, off Georgia 81.
Reynolds bought the home effective July 25, 1980. He paid $500,000 for it.
Loganville real estate agent Neal Byrd handled the transaction, The Walton Tribune reported at the time.
Newton said he planned to continue living in the home despite being overrun by visitors when news got out of the home’s famous new owner.
“I hardly know Burt. I know him well enough to speak to him,” Newton told The Tribune for an article on Aug. 5, 1980.
“He was a perfect gentleman when he rented the house in June, and he kept it in real good condition.”
Reynolds listed the home for sale in 1982 at an asking price of $1.25 million. A wire story at the time noted Reynolds referred to the home as “my Tara,” a reference to the mansion of “Gone With the Wind” fame.
It’s now used as an office by The Cross Loganville church.
Walton County tax records show the 6,730-square-foot house was built in 1974.
Reynolds is honored in the Walk of Stars, the downtown Covington attraction that honors celebrities who have contributed to the city’s illustrious movie and television past.