Ryan Reynolds pays tribute to late Burt Reynolds with iconic photos

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The death of actor Burt Reynolds has sent a ripple of nostalgia and condolences from fans and fellow performers alike. The 82-year-old Reynolds died of a heart attack in Florida Thursday.

Among the tributes being shared on social media is this tweet from Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds. The two–unrelated–not only share a last name, but also photos done in one iconic pose.

Ryan Reynolds posed as Deadpool for some sexy promo photos in 2015, including one of him lounging on his side on a bearskin rug. The image, of course, was meant to remind us of a photo that came many, many years before: Burt Reynolds, naked, on a bearskin rug.

The Burt Reynolds photo was certainly an eye-opener in its time, not just for its subject, who was the target of many’s affections.

Volleying a feminist response to the wildly popular Playboy magazine female nude centerfolds, the elder Reynolds was asked in 1972 by Cosmopolitan’s groundbreaking editor Helen Gurley Brown to be the publication’s first (nearly) nude male centerfold.

“It was a landmark sex-positive moment for women and a rare mainstream acknowledgment of the female gaze,” notes the Daily Beast.

“He did it first. And best. And naked,” captioned Ryan Reynolds in his tweet Thursday.

As it so happens, Burt Reynolds wasn’t fond of that image and the experience of shooting it and living through the aftermath, which he said undermined his acting career. Still, the photo instantly became an oft-imitated pop culture landmark, and one that continues to at least arouse smiles from many–including Ryan Reynolds.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where SHE (look no typo!) earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com