Which really led to Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson’s divorce

Burt Reynolds was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s and 1980s, but it wasn’t just his Hollywood films that made headlines. In the pre-internet era, the actor made newspapers for almost everything he did on and off screen. His infamous 1972 nude centerfold for Cosmopolitan — complete with a bearskin accessory — made him a superstar and even inspired the launch of Playgirl, per the BBC. And his high-profile romantic relationships with famous women often landed Reynolds in the tabloids. At the height of his career in the ’70s, Reynolds was in long-term relationships with Dinah Shore and then Sally Field.

But the 1980s was all about Loni Anderson. The actor dated the “WKRP in Cincinnati” beauty for six years before tying the knot in April 1988 at their Florida ranch. Reynolds was so excited to marry Anderson that he handled all the wedding details, according to Entertainment Weekly. But the power couple’s “happily ever after” was short-lived. In 1993, the marriage imploded and the two had one of the ugliest divorces in Hollywood. But what led to their dramatic split?

Burt Reynolds admitted he should never have married a fellow actor

Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson were not long in coming to start a family. In September 1988, the newly married couple adopted a newborn boy, whom they named Quinton Anderson Reynolds, according to The Palm Beach Post. But it didn’t take long for Reynolds to realize that marrying Anderson was a huge mistake. In a 2015 interview with People, the actor called the marriage a “really dumb move,” admitting that he should have known better than to “marry an actress.” In addition to complaining about Anderson’s overspending, Reynolds said they had a sexless marriage. He also claimed that Anderson was having an affair. “I caught her cheating on me,” he claimed. “And so I just … I made the decision to cancel it.”

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Anderson told a different story. In 1995, the sitcom star told SFGate that Reynolds exhibited “unexpected behavior” during their marriage, and she accused her ex of physically abusing her while she was on prescription drugs. “I always blamed the physical abuse on the drugs,” she said, adding that Reynolds once told her to “do everyone a favor” and shoot herself.

Loni Anderson has no regrets about her marriage to Burt Reynolds

It’s no surprise that Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson’s divorce was ugly — and all over the tabloids. Reynolds publicly accused his ex of adultery and slammed her parenthood, per Closer Weekly. Anderson then accused the actor of being a dead father and told SFGate that he would sometimes go “months” without paying his court-appointed $15,000 in alimony.

But despite the rocky breakup, Anderson once said she has no regrets about the marriage. “I was with Burt [Reynolds] for 12 years and we have our lovely son Quinton. I don’t regret any of mine [three] Marriages because my husbands have all brought beautiful things into my life,” she told Ability.

As for Reynolds, despite his claims that he should never have married a fellow actor, he long held one torch for another. In an interview with Variety (via People), he described Sally Field, his girlfriend of five years from the 1970s, as “the love of my life,” which is pretty much at odds with his happier years with Anderson. “I miss her terribly,” Reynolds said of Field in 2015.