Smokey and the Bandit
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1 item from 2008

Entertainment Legend Jerry Reed Dies

2 September 2008 7:01 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Legendary entertainer Jerry Reed has died of complications from emphysema. He was 71.

Reed began his career as a guitarist, before launching into songwriting, singing and later rising to fame as an actor with 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, co-starring Burt Reynolds.

He later starred alongside funnyman Adam Sandler in 1998 comedy The Waterboy.

Reed also enjoyed a string of music hits during the 1970s and 1980s, including the 1971 Grammy Award-winning track When You're Hot, You're Hot - the second of three Grammys for the star.

Reed signed his first recording contract at 17 with Capitol Records, after dropping out of high school to tour with Ernest Tubb and Faron Young.

His perseverance paid off when rock legend Elvis Presley recorded two of his songs, U.S. Male and Guitar Man, in 1968.

Johnny Cash later took note of his talents, recording his hit A Thing Called Love in 1972.

The legend also wrote songs for Brenda Lee, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Reed had quadruple bypass surgery in June 1999.

He is survived by wife Priscilla Mitchell and their two daughters. »

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