The veteran actor, who was born in Georgia, was in line to take over the coveted role of 007 from George Lazenby in 1970, after the Australian star decided to step down following 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and now Reynolds has opened up about his career miss.

"I think I could have done it well," he tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. "This is what I said in my stupidity, I said, 'An American can't play James Bond, it has to be an Englishman - Bond, James Bond. Nah, I can't do it.' Oops. Yeah, I could have done it."

Sean Connery ended up returning for one more run as 007 for 1971's Diamonds Are Forever.

Bond wasn't the only iconic movie character Burt, 79, turned down - he also passed on Jack Nicholson's films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment, and Star Wars' Han Solo, a role which eventually went to Harrison Ford.

"I was busy," Burt says of turning down the part, "but I wasn't so busy I couldn't have done it."

And he almost missed out on his critically-acclaimed role in filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights: "That was another thing, I turned him down 10 times."

Burt isn't the only actor to pass up the chance to play Bond - Northern Irish star Liam Neeson also revealed last year (14) that he walked away from discussions about taking over from Timothy Dalton during the mid-1990s after receiving an ultimatum from his then-fiancee, late British actress Natasha Richardson, who he wed in 1994.

"I was heavily courted, let's put it that way, and I'm sure some other actors were too," he told HullDailyMail.co.uk. "It was about 18 or 19 years ago and my wife-to-be said, 'If you play James Bond we're not getting married!' And I had to take that on board, because I did want to marry her."

Ralph Fiennes also auditioned for the job, but lost out to Pierce Brosnan.