September 06, 2018 05:39 PM

Princess Diana was grateful to Burt Reynolds for taking the attention off of her following his explosive split from second wife Loni Anderson.

In his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me, the late actor — who died Thursday at the age of 82 — wrote that after “we announced the separation, the press went into high gear.”

Continuing, he added that “Princess Diana sent me a thank you note for keeping her off the cover of PEOPLE Magazine.”

RELATED: Burt Reynolds, Screen Legend and Sex Symbol, Dies at 82

Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic; Tim Graham/Getty

In his memoir, he went on to explain that Anderson “bought everything in triplicate, from every day dresses to jewelry to china and linens” and that she maxed out a “platinum American Express card with a $45,000 credit limit” in an hour and a half.  

“‘I never wear a dress after it has been photographed,’ she said. ‘I have to dress like a star,’ ” he added.

Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson
Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

RELATED: Burt Reynolds, Screen Legend and Sex Symbol, Dies at 82

Speaking with PEOPLE in 2015, Reynolds went on to say that the couple’s marriage had been a mistake.

“I should have known that you don’t marry an actress,” the star explained. “That was a really dumb move on my part.”

Reynolds and the TV star, 73, were married for five years, before bitterly splitting up in 1993. The two had one son together, 30-year-old Quinton Anderson Reynolds.

Reynolds was previously married to Judy Carne.

RELATED VIDEO: Sally Field on Burt Reynolds Calling Her the One Who Got Away: “Well, yeah”

Although the pair never married, in a revealing interview given to Vanity Fair in November 2015, the screen legend called his former Smokey and the Bandit costar Sally Fieldthe love of my life.

Burt Reynolds and Sally Field
Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

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After meeting on set of the 1997 film, the pair went on to date for nearly five years — and star in four films together — before calling it quits.

“I miss her terribly,” Reynolds told Vanity Fair at the time. “Even now, it’s hard on me. I don’t know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up.”

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