Burt Reynolds plays a small-town Arkansas football coach in his "Evening Shade" sitcom, and in real life he will be going to Evening Shade, Ark., population 400, in May to speak at the high school's commencement.

Shalynn Arnold, a graduating senior, invited Reynolds even though many people were skeptical about her chances of getting him to town."Just because you're from a small unknown town doesn't mean you can't be a big success," she said in her invitation to Reynolds.

In addition to agreeing to speak, Reynolds invited Shalynn to Los Angeles for a bit part in his show.

"Mom usually doesn't even send me to Batesville, and that's only 30 miles away," she told People magazine.