Jerry Reed, a singer who turned good ol' boy actor and sidekick buddy in car chase movies like Smokey and the Bandit, has died of complications from emphysema at 71, the Associated Press reports.
"He's one of the greatest entertainers in the world. That's the way I feel about him," his longtime booking agent Carrie Moore-Reed (no relation) told AP.
Reed was an icon in country music, working with other greats such as Chet Atkins and with a catalog of country chart hits, from 1967 through 1983. Reed’s string of hits included "Amos Moses," "When You're Hot, You're Hot," "East Bound and Down," "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)" and "The Bird." Ah, some classic tunes right there.
In the mid-1970s, he began acting in movies such as Smokey and the Bandit with Burt Reynolds, and the two became lifelong friends. Reynolds gave him a shiny black 1980 Trans Am like the one they used in Bandit.
One of Reed’s last performances was as the rival coach in 1998's The Waterboy, starring Adam Sandler.
In a 1998 interview with The Tennessean, however, he admitted that his acting ability was questionable. "I used to watch people like Richard Burton and Mel Gibson and think, `I could never do that.' When people ask me what my motivation is, I have a simple answer: Money."
Nothing wrong with that.