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Manager: Burt Reynolds treated for drug abuse

The Associated Press, Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 2:26pm (PDT)

MIAMI (AP) -- Actor Burt Reynolds has been released from a drug rehabilitation center where he was being treated for an addiction to painkillers, his manager said Wednesday.

The star of "Smokey and the Bandit," "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights" began struggling after recent back surgery and "realized that he was in the prison of prescription pain pills," his manager Erik Kritzer said in a statement.

Kritzer said in a later e-mail message he did not know when Reynolds entered or left the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach. The facility's management declined comment, citing patient confidentiality.

Kritzer said Reynolds, 73, hopes his story will help others in similar situations and that they won't try to solve the problem by themselves. The actor lives in Hobe Sound, a wealthy beachside community north of Palm Beach County.

In the 1980s, Reynolds' career was nearly destroyed when an injury and prescription drug abuse led to false rumors that he was infected with the AIDS virus. He hurt his jaw making the 1984 comedy "City Heat" with Clint Eastwood. Barely able to eat, he lost 50 pounds and looked ill and emaciated.

"For two years I couldn't get a job," Reynolds told the AP in 1990. "I had to take five physicals to get a job. I had to take the pictures that were offered to me. I did action pictures because I was trying to prove that I was well."

He was diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder, which affects the area that connects the jaw to the skull and can result in significant pain. Reynolds then confessed to a reliance on the sleeping aid Halcion.

He eventually regained his health and his career, first in the TV series "Evening Shade" and then as the porn movie impresario Jack Horner in the 1997 hit movie "Boogie Nights." He was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for best supporting actor.

More on Wonderwall:

Why was Burt Reynolds' Playgirl appearance disappointing?

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