FRIDAYS ARE FOR FRANK: Cannonball Run II (feat. Burt Reynolds)
TRIVIA QUESTION: What was the last movie Frank Sinatra ever made?
ANSWER: Cannonball Run II
In the 1984 sequel to the seminal 1981 hit film, Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. got Frank to come on board for what would be his final credit as a film actor.
For a film with an ensemble cast, Burt Reynolds clearly owned the role of the star. Reynolds had become friendly with Frank, Dean and Sammy during his relationship with Dinah Shore.
“We were shooting in the desert near Las Vegas and Frank flew in on his personal jet, at his own expense, and was the first on set,” said Reynolds, in his 2015 memoir But Enough About Me.
“He was in a good mood, joking with everybody, not least because his old Rat Pack mates, Sammy and Dean Martin [another cast member] were there, making him laugh,”
Sammy was one of the most versatile and talented entertainers of the 20th century. I first met him in New York, when he was playing clubs, and we became firm friends. He’d come to my parties and always sing a song or two, but we only got to work together when I was casting The Cannonball Run – Sammy was the first person I wanted.
During filming, he was always pushing Frank and Dean over the edge and cracking them up during a take. And he always cooked on set. He took his pots and pans everywhere.
I first met Frank when I took my then girlfriend, Dinah Shore, out to dinner on Sunset Boulevard in LA. After that I saw him a lot – always with Dinah.
Those two went way back, to the radio days in the early 1940s when they were both starting out. Frank had an amazing capacity for booze, but no matter how many bourbons he had he never showed it.
He was always a perfect gentleman around Dinah. And he would say, in a kind of threatening tone, ‘I assume you know what a great woman you have there.’
He was also a caring and loyal friend, and a gracious host. He had so many house guests that people began calling him ‘the innkeeper’. When he gave a party, he would constantly refill your drink or pile food on your plate.”
Celebrated actor and icon in his own right, Burt Reynolds passed away Thursday at the age of 82—the same age as Frank…