Burt Reynolds Craving Painkillers After Major Heart Surgery

Mar. 3 2010, Published 1:20 p.m. ET

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Actor Burt Reynolds is craving painkillers after he underwent life-saving quintuple bypass surgery last week.

Reynolds, 74, was operated on at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida, after he fell ill with chest pains at his Hobe Sound mansion, the National Enquirer was first to report. obtained an early look at The Enquirer’s exclusive report.

“Doctors warned Burt that if he didn’t have open-heart surgery, he would die," an insider told the Enquirer.

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Reynolds has since been discharged from the hospital -- but not without some drama.

After the surgery, a pained Reynolds -- who finished a drug and alcohol rehab program in West Palm Beach, Florida late last year for his alcohol and painkiller problems -- snapped at hospital staffers after they refused his request for more pain pills, the insider said.

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“He was told as nicely as possible that the medication he was getting was adequate for the open-heart surgery,” the insider said. “He was very angry. Burt is so used to taking pain pills, that what is OK for a normal person isn’t enough for him -- no one wants him to get hooked again."

The Smokey and the Bandit star did little to hide his misery from friends and family that visited him while he was recovering.

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“Burt told some of his hospital visitors, ‘Look, I need more pain medication and they won’t give it to me!'" according to the insider.

Reynolds, 74, is currently recuperating at his home under round-the-clock nursing care.

The Enquirer is releasing more details in its issue that goes on sale later this week.


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