Jackie Gleason, Burt Reynolds and other bygone stars who made their home in South Florida

Before Tiger Woods, Gloria Estefan, Pitbull or Ariana Grande, other celebrities called South Florida home.

They became icons in places like Margate and Lauderhill, Pompano Beach and Jupiter. Some helped developers attract snowbirds from up north, while others grew up here or chose South Florida for a quiet retirement.

Here’s a look at some of those bygone stars and their South Florida connections.

Hello Margate

Kaye Stevens wasn’t an A-list star, but she was a popular actress and singer in the 1960s and ’70s who hung around with Hollywood’s Rat Pack, toured with comedian Bob Hope and was a five-year cast member of the “Days of Our Lives” TV soap opera. She regularly appeared on TV game shows such as “Match Game,” “Password,” “Hollywood Squares” and “To Tell the Truth.”

He made a name for himself on the big screen in “The Longest Yard,” “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Semi-Tough.” He was the No. 1 box office draw between 1978 and 1982.

But he always returned to South Florida, where he turned his name into an institution with the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter, the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre in North Palm Beach and Burt & Jack’s Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.

He died in 2018 in Jupiter.

lbarszewski@SunSentinel.com, 954-356-4556 or Twitter @lbarszewski

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