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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Burt Reynolds Plays TCM Guest Programmer

Sex symbol of the ages, Reynolds will, for one night only, join Turner Classic Movies’ host Robert Osborne on December 12 at 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST) to screen four of his most-loved films.

Twelve times a year, TCM invites a noted celebrity to be their Guest Programmer of the Month, giving the individual an opportunity to pick four of their favorites to screen and also chat about with cinema aficionado Robert Osborne. The monthly movie showcase allows an opportunity for those within the world of celebrity to step back and be an avid (sometimes gushing) fan, to present their favorites to the viewing audience, and to share their personal reasons why their choices are so near and dear to them.

Past guest programmers have included a variety of notables from many arenas, including actress Mia Farrow; humorist/actor/author Bill Cosby; famed lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim; Playboy founder Hugh Hefner; fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi; actor Michael McKean; writer/comedian/actor Buck Henry; and voice-actor Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants). Whoever the individual may be, they always have a fascinating perspective to offer to the program. I personally prefer those who have actually worked within the Hollywood community, and I am very excited about the December guest host, Burt Reynolds.

As the December Guest Programmer of the month, Burt will introduce and discuss four movies from four of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors, including Gregory Peck in the beloved family drama The Yearling, which Reynolds “defies anybody to watch and not be touched by”. Another choice is James Stewart in the classic western Winchester ’73, which Reynolds describes as “a Stewart we hadn’t seen before”. The other two Reynolds favorites are White Heat, a crime drama with James Cagney, and Cary Grant’s romantic comedy His Girl Friday. Some truly prime choices from the golden age of cinema.

Besides having a notable film career (Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, Citizen Ruth) Reynolds is known for his wit and sly personae, having been a frequent guest on all the big talk shows, including The Dinah Shore Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffin Show, and of course, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Always charming, affable and entertaining (and known to be one hell of a storyteller) it will be interesting to see what Reynolds brings to the conversation with one of the most well versed and informed men of cinematic history. Some how I feel certain that it will be a very sexy and entertaining evening.

Be sure to keep an eye open for future guest programmers. In the coming new year the TCM Guest Programmers will include comedian/actor Chevy Chase and The Sopranos star Lorraine Bracco.

NOTE: Expanding TCM’s role as a curator of movie history, the network recently launched TCMdb, one of the Internet’s most media-rich interactive movie databases. For more information, please visit

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