It's hard to believe there was ever a time when the names Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds weren't known all over the world. The two legendary actors both came up in Hollywood around the same time after signing contracts with Universal Studios in the 1950s. According to an interview with Larry King in 2000, Reynolds explained they were also both fired from the studio the same year.
"I always tell the story that we were fired the same day, but we weren't. We were fired the same year," he explained.
The reasons why were honestly ridiculous for both actors when you think about the things they have both accomplished during their respective careers. We wonder if someone at Universal ended up regretting that decision later on.
"He was fired because his Adam's apple stuck out too far. He talked too slow. And he had a chipped tooth and he wouldn't get it fixed," Reynolds revealed. "And I said, 'Why are you firing me?' The people at the studio replied, 'You can't act.' I said to Clint, you know, you are really screwed because I can learn how to act. You can't get rid of that Adam's apple. And it's held him back. It's held him back," he joked.
Reynolds later told the story again in an interview with Conan but claimed they were fired on the same day and walked off the lot together. Whichever way it happened, it makes for an entertaining story. We're just glad neither star allowed the experience to affect their dreams because it's difficult to imagine a world where these two men didn't regularly appear on our screens for decades.
Reynolds hit it big playing a police lieutenant on the CBS series Dan August before becoming a major movie star after appearing in films like Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights, The Longest Yard, The Cannonball Run and The Cannonball Run II, Deliverance, and more. Let's not forget about his short-lived music career either.
Reynolds was obviously right that Eastwood's career wasn't affected in the slightest. There are so many iconic Clint Eastwood movies it's hard to know where to start. From playing Dirty Harry to becoming an Oscar-winning director with Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, the man has become one of the most prominent filmmakers in all of Hollywood.
The two actors went on to be co-stars in the 1984 film City Heat. The film was excepted to be a major success with the names Eastwood and Reynolds attached but for whatever reason, it had mediocre results at the box office. Set in the 1930s of Kansas City, it followed Eastwood as Lieutenant Speer and Reynolds as Private Eye Mike Murphy as they investigate a crime boss and even find themselves in a love triangle.
Apparently, Reynolds was hit in the face with a metal chair on the first day of filming, which ended up resulting in major joint disfunction.