Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds hooked up with an insane number of female celebrities over the course of his life. But one of the romances that ended up being most special to the star was the one he shared with recording artist and talk-show host Dinah Shore. Although Dinah was nearly two decades Burt’s senior; the two shared a several-year-long romance that nearly ended in the two tying the knot. Before his death, Burt had a lot of regrets about leaving Dinah many years before. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Dinah Shore and Burt Reynolds left each other in heartbreak.
Every February from the mid-1990s until his death in September of 2018. Burt Reynolds would make a point to visit Forest Lawns Cemetery in Palm Springs, California. And lay a bouquet of flowers on the grave of legendary Hollywood entertainer Dinah Shore. Dinah passed away in 1994 at the age of 77. Two decades previously, her and Burt Reynolds had shared a romance that would go on to become one of the most meaningful of both legendary stars’ lives.
When Burt Reynolds and Dinah Shore met in 1970; Burt was 35 years old and was just starting to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Dinah Shore was nearly two decades the Hollywood leading man’s senior at 53. Dinah had been working in the entertainment industry for many decades. Having risen to prominence during the 1940s as one of the decade’s defining recording artists. By the 1970s, Dinah better known to the public as a talk-show host. It was in this role that Dinah first met Burt.
Burt Reynolds had been a successful college football player before journeying to California and trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood. His good looks and innate charm helped him make a name for himself in the industry fairly quickly. And they also helped him catch the attention of many of the industry’s prominent starlets. Besides Dinah Shore, there are a number of other women that Burt Reynolds rumored to have involved with during his early career; including Raquel Welch. At the time that Burt first met Dinah Shore, he was living with a Japanese actress by the name of Miko Mayama. There even some gossip amongst the tabloids that Burt and Miko planning on getting married. However, Burt’s first meeting with Dinah changed all that.
Burt’s first meeting with Dinah occurred when he was a guest on her talk show. Instantly, Burt found himself so smitten with the beloved female entertainer that he ended up inviting her to come stay with him for the weekend in Palm Springs. Dinah declined this initial invitation; but Burt Reynolds didn’t let up and continued pestering the talk-show host about accompanying him on a date. Eventually, Burt was able to secure his date with Dinah Shore, and this date would lead into a several-year-long romance.
Burt Reynolds was aware of the massive age gap between him and Dinah Shore, but he didn’t care. According to Burt, he had never met anyone like Dinah and she seemed much more youthful than he was mentally and spiritually. Burt paid no mind to the fact that Dinah was nearly 20 years older than he was. But it’s undeniable that the age gap affected Dinah severely and arguably contributed to her not committing to the relationship as much as she could have.
According to the late Burt Reynolds, his relationship with Dinah Shore opened up a great many doors for him in the entertainment industry. While he was dating Dinah, Burt got to meet such entertainment-industry luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, Groucho Marx, and Orson Welles. All of these figures were celebrities that Dinah had close and personal relationships with dating back to her earlier years in Hollywood. In addition to Dinah hooking Burt up with all of these Hollywood luminaries; Dinah herself was also an experienced entertainer who had a lot to teach Burt.
During the several years that they romantically involved, Burt and Dinah were inseparable. However, it gradually became apparent to both of the celebrity figures that they might not have the future together that either of them had been hoping for. The two dreamed of moving to Hawaii together and building a house. But this dream sadly never panned out for the celebrity couple. One of the big reasons that the relationship between Burt and Dinah didn’t work out is because Dinah didn’t want to have children with Burt. Burt was looking for a wife that he could have kids with. But he was so in love with Dinah that he didn’t consider her lack of interest in having children with him a deal-breaker.
When it became apparent that Dinah Shore wasn’t interested in having any biological children with him. Burt Reynolds suggested that they could adopt kids instead. However, the pair’s Hollywood relationship still ended up falling apart after only four years. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Even though Burt Reynolds was adamant that he didn’t care if Dinah Shore didn’t want to have kids. The beloved talk-show host still refused to marry him for one reason or another. Once it became apparent that Dinah was never going to tie the knot with him like he desired. Burt made the incredibly difficult decision to end the relationship.
Burt Reynolds and Dinah Shore’s relationship came to an end after a confrontation in 1975. During which it became apparent that the two Hollywood celebrities didn’t have much of a future together. Although they both agreed that separating was the best option for both of them at the time, both stars allegedly had an incredibly tough time with the breakup. According to Burt, every time he picked up the phone after the breakup he had to actively keep himself from dialing Dinah’s number. Many years later, Burt Reynolds finally had a child. The mother ended up being Burt’s second wife, Loni Anderson, whom he married in 1988.
Although Loni Anderson managed to give Burt Reynolds what Dinah Shore never could, their relationship sadly didn’t end up matching much longer than Burt and Dinah’s had. After marrying in 1988, Burt and Loni went on to divorce in 1994. 1994 also happened to be the same year that Dinah Shore passed away. While going through the process of divorcing Loni, Burt made an effort to try and rekindle his romance with Dinah. It was at this moment that Burt learned that Dinah was suffering from cancer. In fact, it revealed that the true reason that Dinah had refused to marry the actor so many years before because she had been suffering from cancer all the way back then.
As we’ve already established, Dinah Shore was in her 50s when she first met and subsequently became romantically involved with 35-year-old Burt Reynolds. Dinah had already been married and divorced twice before the start of their romance. And she arguably wasn’t looking for another serious long-term partner. As soon as the tabloids found out about the romance between Burt and Dinah, they had a field day. Both figures were major celebrities, and the giant age gap only made the relationship that much more tantalizing.
Burt and Dinah didn’t much mind the fodder that the tabloids made of their relationship. However, Dinah would claim during the relationship that most of the things that the tabloids speculated about their romance were false. The two spouses that Dinah Shore had over the course of her lifetime were George Montgomery and Maurice F. Smith. Dinah had married George in 1943, and they remained together until 1963. Over the course of their marriage, the pair had two children. These were the only two kids that Dinah had over the course of her lifetime. And she wasn’t especially anxious to have more by the time that she met Burt Reynolds.
After Dinah and George divorced in 1963, Dinah married Maurice F. Smith the same year. Within only a year, Dinah divorced from her second husband. It would be less than a decade later that Dinah would meet Burt Reynolds while interviewing him on her talk show. Although Dinah was once again initially hesitant to become romantically involved with the much younger Hollywood actor. The two eventually formed a romance that ended up lasting for four years.
After breaking up with Dinah Shore because she refused to marry him. Burt Reynolds would regret the course of action he took in the relationship for the rest of his life. This is part of why the actor left flowers on Dinah’s grave every February in the years leading up to his own death in 2018. Burt Reynolds never remarried after divorcing Loni Anderson, but he had been married once previously. Prior to meeting Dinah Shore on her talk show in 1970. Burt had been married to British actress Judy Carne from 1963 until 1965. After breaking up with Dinah and before marrying Loni; Burt would become romantically involved with actress Sally Fields while filming the 1977 motion picture Smokey and the Bandit.
While Burt Reynolds passed away with sour feelings about how his relationship with Dinah Shore had ended. It was Sally Fields that the actor claimed was the true love of his life. Sally disagreed with the late actor’s deathbed sentiments, and refused to attend his funeral.
Although Burt Reynolds passed away with strong regrets about how he had handled his relationship with talk-show host Dinah Shore during the 1970s. It was Smokey and the Bandit costar Sally Fields whom Burt claimed was the love of his life. Now it’s time to hear from you; did you know that Burt Reynolds was romantically involved with a woman twenty years his senior during his early career. And that he went to his deathbed claiming that his Smokey and the Bandit costar Sally Fields had been the love of his life? As always, like this video to show your support. And subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way.