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"But meeting Dinah Shore, as a guest on her TV chat-show, changed all that. "I had never met her before but out of the blue I asked her to come to Palm Springs for the weekend. She said no, but I knew it was the beginning of the most special relationship of my life. "I'd never met anyone like her. I realised there was a big age gap between us but it didn't make the slightest difference. I was already in love with her." Returning home, he told Miko what had happened. He offered her a beach apartment, a Cadillac convertible and $500 a week for two years. She accepted and moved out that afternoon. When the news that Dinah Shore had taken a toy-boy made the headlines, Dinah and Burt were holidaying in Palm Springs. On returning they moved into Dinah's Beverly Hills mansion. "Being with Dinah opened every Hollywood door," Reynolds said. "I got to know Sinatra, Jack Benny, Edward G. Robinson, Groucho Marx, Peggy Lee, Orson Welles. Everyone knew Dinah and they all loved her." After four years together, the happiness and closeness of Burt Reynolds and Dinah Shore had become Hollywood legend. "We dreamed of building a house in Hawaii. We couldn't have been more in love. But there was a snag. Dinah wouldn't marry me. "She said it was because she couldn't give me children and it's true I wanted them badly. But we could have adopted. I knew it was more than that. "Even so, Dinah had everything I ever wanted in a woman. And when I told her: 'I want to be with you for the rest of my life,' I really meant it. And yet a year later he was telling friends: "Breaking up with Dinah is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I knew it was time to get married or move on, and she refused to marry me." During a tearful confrontation in 1975, Reynolds told Dinah Shore: "I will love you all my life.
The hardest part is that I'm falling deeper in love with you every moment." Then he turned and walked away. Reynolds cried for days afterwards. "A piece of me was lost. I missed the closeness and the friendship and to be truthful I've never stopped missing it ever since. Every time I picked up the phone I wanted to call her". Burt Reynolds' desire for children made him marry glamorous Loni Anderson. They had a son, Quinton, but the marriage was soon in trouble and ended in a $10 million divorce. Alone again, Burt Reynolds rang Dinah Shore hoping to get together again. But she refused to see him despite his pleading. Finally, from a friend, he discovered her tragic secret — the reason why she had refused to marry him and why she now had broken off the relationship for good. Dinah Shore had terminal cancer.""