Burt Reynolds has died.
When a celebrity dies, I tend to go looking for a Shakespeare connection. Often I find nothing. Sometimes I find a bio that says they performed in college. If I’m very lucky I’ll find a quote or even some video of a performance.
This is the first time I found evidence of Shakespeare punching the celebrity out.
Look how young he was! Reynolds, not Shakespeare. This turns out to be from an episode of The Twilight Zone called “The Bard“, that aired in 1963.
Does he call him a gleep? What is that?
All kidding aside – this article suggests that we have Shakespeare to thank for discovering Reynolds in the first place:
He began taking English lessons with a view to becoming a parole officer but his teacher, having heard Reynolds reading Shakespeare aloud, cast him in a production of the play Outward Bound, and his performance won him the 1956 Florida State Drama Award.
Later in his career (2008) we find A Bunch of Amateurs, which seems to be at least somewhat related to King Lear:
A sleazy Hollywood agent tricks one of his clients, a faded action star, into playing King Lear in an amateur charity production in England.
Found it! Oh look, Derek Jacobi:
RIP Mr. Reynolds. Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.