Omaha native, Grammy winning song writer, singer and actor Paul Williams is remembering his time on the set of Smokey and the Bandit. That movie starred Burt Reynolds who died yesterday at age 82. Williams played the role of Little Enos and remembers Reynolds fondly.
Williams says, “He had the best laugh. People ask what was it like working with him. There is a line in Smokey and the Bandit, and I love the line. I don’t remember the exact set-up but where Burt tells Frog, Sally Fields, she says what are you good at? He said showing off. That always felt like Burt talking about his stardom. I think he was laughing at his success and maybe coming to terms he never got the recognition as an actor that he really deserved.”
Williams remembers being on the Tonight Show with Reynolds and Pat McCormick and that is where the concept of the film started. Williams played the role in all three movies in the franchise.
Williams says he was a bit star-struck working with Reynolds, Jerry Reed and Jackie Gleason. He says whenever Burt was around you got out of the way of people who were rushing to greet him. Williams calls Reynolds the “ultimate movie star”.