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The world lost a great actor and personality when Burt Reynolds died on Thursday at age 82. But for Lee Corso of ESPN’s “College GameDay,” the loss was personal. He and Reynolds had been friends for 64 years, and they were roommates at Florida State.
During Saturday’s “College GameDay” broadcast, Corso reflected on his friendship with Reynolds, which spanned more than a half-century and followed Reynolds from his abbreviated college football career to his start as an actor and far beyond.
Lee Corso takes a minute to remember the life of Burt Reynolds, his close friend of 64 years. pic.twitter.com/HoRmOUF2Ir
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 8, 2018
Here’s what Corso said about his friend.
“Burt and I were close friends for 64 years. It started when we were teammates at Florida State. He was a good football player and he got hurt. He hurt his knee and had to leave school. And while he was away from school, he took acting lessons, and he really liked it. And he came back to me and he said, ‘Cors, I’m going to Hollywood, and I’m going to be a movie star. And I said, ‘Pahah! Yeah yeah.’
“Well he went, and he did. He was the world’s biggest movie star for years, but he never forgot his old teammates at Florida State. I’m gonna miss Burt. He was a close friend of mine in good and bad times — and bad times especially. I’ll miss you.”
Corso was emotional talking about Reynolds. The two were close up until his death, as Corso detailed in the statement he released through ESPN on Thursday.
Coach Corso and Burt Reynolds were college roommates and teammates at Florida State. They became life-long friends.
Corso on the passing of "Buddy": pic.twitter.com/4dOoENMkkj
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 6, 2018
As a tribute to Reynolds, who remained a Florida State fan until his death, the Seminoles will wear a special decal on their helmets this year — the license plate from the car Reynolds drove in the film “Smokey and the Bandit.”
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