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Burt Reynolds Died Reading Movie Script, Close Pal Tells Mourners At Funeral

Sep. 19 2018, Updated 9:34 p.m. ET

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Burt Reynolds was reading a script for an upcoming film when he died, a friend told shocked mourners at the film icon's private funeral on Wednesday, RadarOnline.com can exclusively report.

During a heartwarming speech titled "A Recollection of Burt's Life," Reynolds' childhood friend Mo Mustaine said "his heart gave out" while going through the script for a film that was scheduled to begin shooting in October.

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The audience members "gasped," a mourner told Radar.

Another source said, "No one expected his death. He wasn’t ill. He was at home reading a script.

"They woke up one morning and he was gone."

According to the source, mostly old friends of Reynolds attended the memorial.

Oddly, the late actor's ex-wife, Loni Anderson, and his niece Nancy, who is in charge of his estate, set up the memorial "but didn’t show up," the source noted.

"Burt’s brother Jimmy was there and it was very emotional for him. He could hardly get through the funeral because he was crying so hard.

"The memorial was beautiful and happy at the same time. A film collage of photos was shown," the insider confided.

"The service was filmed and the photo from Reynolds' 2015 memoir stayed up on the screen.

"All his old high school buddies from the 1950s were given a group photo of themselves as boys as a memory."

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As Radar first reported, Reynolds succumbed to cardiac arrest on September 6 at his home in Florida. He was 82 years old.

Nearly two weeks later on September 19, his family, friends and even ex-lover Sally Field celebrated the star's life with a service in a West Palm Beach church.

Loved ones were greeted for an oil painting of Reynolds holding a dog while riding a horse.

Todd Vittum, who worked with Reynolds on one of his final films The Last Movie Star, delivered a eulogy, while actress Avery Sommers performed "Amazing Grace."

As Radar reported, Reynolds' family plans to scatter his ashes in the ocean.

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