The Time Burt Reynolds Was on the Cover of a Very 1970s Issue of Los Angeles

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UPDATE: Movie legend Burt Reynolds passed away on September 6, 2018, at 82 years old. In this 2011 piece, Chris Nichols looks back at our August 1979 issue, which featured Reynolds on the cover. That same year, Reynolds starred in Starting Over with Candice Bergen and Jill Clayburgh.


We here at Los Angeles magazine recently celebrated our 50th anniversary in a big way. We’re very proud of our wonderful publication and as much as we are always looking forward to the next issue, sometimes we want to shine the spotlight on our illustrious past. Our predecessors here created some damn cool stuff, and with six hundred bound issues at my fingertips, this is a good time to dig out my favorites and share them with you. And just like that, your new favorite lamag.com feature is born: Vintage Cover of the Week!

I just love this August ’79 cover. Yeah, that’s right, not 1979, just “Seventy Nine.” The Seventies called and asked me to lighten up a little. Stuck in that era between terrifying Jello-based food photography and just as that glitzy slickness of the ‘80s was creeping around the corner, this cover celebrates neither; it’s just Burt and beer. Burt Reynolds with half a six-pack of crushed Michelob and a pat on the waitress’ behind. The rose and the tux are a nice touch.

This issue is nearly 300 pages and could easily crush a waterbug. The issue is full of ads for tennis camps, “ranch schools,” and a three-bedroom in Santa Monica for $169,500. There’s a pretty good piece about the ER at Cedars Sinai, a hard hitting expose on that hot button ‘70s issue: busing, and a decent “Los Angeles I.Q. Test.” My favorite question: “If the macho TV repairman showed more interest in your set’s tube than the set in your tube top, would you consider enrolling in the Mark Eden Method?” Eww.


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