It was with sadness that many in the local community learned Thursday of the death of actor Burt Reynolds. He is remembered with particular fondness in Walton County since he called Loganville home at one time, although not many local people got to meet him. One person who did, however, was Loganville realtor and part-time actor Mark Myers. It was during some of his early acting stints that Myers got to meet Reynolds. It was not, however, after the actor purchased his famous home on Tig Knight Road, just off of Georgia 81.
Myers got an early taste for acting when he had a small speaking role in Smokey and the Bandit and that was when he met the famous one-time Loganville resident.
“I also was an extra in Cannonball Run and Smokey Part 2. The times I met Burt were always during filming. I also got to meet Jerry Reed, Jackie Gleason, and director Hal Needham — Hal was considered the greatest stuntman who ever lived,” Myers said. “They were all super friendly and a pleasure to work with.”
This Youtube clip shows the scene where the young Myers had a small speaking role in the famous film that starred Reynolds.
When the movie Smokey and the Bandit was released, Reynolds was asked to throw out the first pitch for the Atlanta Braves opening baseball game, and Myers sang the National Anthem. Myers said it was a privilege for him to have even a small part in “one of the best movies ever made.”
“Somebody shares a quote from the movie almost every day. People always joke about me getting kicked in the butt by Sheriff Buford T Justice,” Myers said. “That was a fun part of my life. Of course, back in the day every guy wanted to be like Burt Reynolds.”
It was later that Reynolds purchased the home that he called “his Tara” on Tig Knight Road, living in it on and off for a couple of years. Reynolds reportedly sold the home in 1982 and the Tara Club Estates subdivision eventually grew up around it. The home was later purchased by the Oasis Church and then became the property of The Cross Church, which now occupies the church and uses the old Reynolds’ house as an office. The house is also rented out as an event location.
Myers, who still participates in acting roles from time to time, said as a realtor he sold many of the homes that were built in Tara Club Estates and still lists re-sales in the subdivision.
Reynolds died in a Florida Hospital on Sept. 6, 2018, reportedly after going into cardiac arrest. He had some health problems, but his death was not expected according to reports.