WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - For Burt Reynolds, the event was more than a ribbon cutting, more than a road being named in his honor, and, he says, more meaningful than any Golden Globe, Emmy or Academy Award nomination Hollywood he's ever gotten.
"It's the best moment of my life. I really appreciate it," said Reynolds in front of a crowd of 200.
Standing in the shadow of Dreyfoos School of the Arts, the same building that used to house his alma matter the former Palm Beach High School, Reynolds spoke from the heart.
He was honored Wednesday with the dedication of the road which stretches through the heart of Ccmpus between Gardenia and Iris Streets in downtown West Palm Beach.
"To me, it's still Palm Beach High. It's always been special to me because this is where I met some lifelong friends," said Reynolds.
Among those long-time friends, Jimmy Williams and Mo Mustaine who he graduated with back in 1954.
"Reynolds is known for his football prowess, but Mo's the one that tackled him," said Williams.
There's a black and white picture with the whole football team featured including Mo and "Bud", Reynolds' nickname back when he was a high school jock.
The group has been tight friends ever since.
"The way he spoke today [Wednesday] is the way he was 60 years ago. This is Burt Reynolds up there, not the actor. It's just him," said Mustaine.
"When he said that about being the best moment in his life, I got a tear in my heart because I recognized the genuineness of the moment," added Williams.
He's built his iconic career in Hollywood, but Reynolds always kept a home in Palm Beach County. He also runs The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre located at his own museum in Jupiter where he teaches aspiring local actors the ropes.