Burt Reynolds Named First Recipient of Film Florida Legends Tourism Ambassador Award

Filed under: Business,Florida Events,Florida News |

2015 Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism, Tampa, Florida - 31 August to 2 September 2015  (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

Oscar nominated actor and one of Florida’s favorite sons, Burt Reynolds (pictured above), was presented with the Film Florida Legends Tourism Ambassador Award at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Tampa this evening. Looking fragile but dapper in an elegant black on black ensemble, Reynolds expressed his love for his adopted state and how privileged he felt to be the first ever recipient of this honor.

“I love Florida,” Reynolds told the audience of approximately 1100 fans and friends. “Film making in Florida is a postcard to the world. It goes on for many years. It is a clean industry. When people re-visit a film years later, it all happens again. I’ve made a number of pictures in Florida and I’ve always wanted to make more.”

Reynolds added, “Whenever I return from a trip, especially from California, I can immediately feel my blood pressure drop ten points. Name any star and you probably have no clue where they are from but everybody knows I’m from Jupiter, and it’s important that they do. Tourism benefits everyone just as film making benefits tourism. I have always done my best to promote the making of films in Florida. It’s such a beautiful state.”

2015 Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism, Tampa, Florida - 31 August to 2 September 2015  (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

Reynolds reminisced about the many films and television shows that have been filmed locally. “We used Tampa’s Skyway Bridge in Smokey and the Bandit Part Two. I shot Cop & 1/2 here. The Crew was filmed in Miami and BL Stryker was filmed in Palm Beach. There were other films as well and I plan to continue making movies here at home.”

Having made nearly 200 movies in his more than 50 years in the entertainment industry, Burt Reynolds has been recognized as America’s Favorite All Around Motion Picture Actor (People’s Choice Award) a record six consecutive years. The National Association of Theatre Owners presented him with Star of the Year recognition and named him the Most Popular Star for five years running. He was also named the #1 Box Office Star for five years in a row-still an unmatched record. Reynolds was honored with the 2007 Taurus World Stunt Award for Lifetime Achievement for an Action Movie Star and will be inducted into the Stuntman Hall of Fame in September 2015. Despite the many accolades he has received, it was obvious from his words and demeanor that the love and admiration of his fans and friends at home in Florida held a special place in his heart as he humbly accepted his latest honor.

2015 Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism, Tampa, Florida - 31 August to 2 September 2015  (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

Reynolds was presented the Film Florida Legend award by Visit Florida President and CEO Will Seccombe (pictured above right) and Film Florida President Michelle Hillery (pictured above center) at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. The Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism is the premier annual educational conference for the Florida tourism industry and is designed and coordinated by Visit Florida, the Official Tourism Marketing Corporation for the State of Florida.

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