Oscar nominee Burt Reynolds is in a deservedly good mood these days. So good, in fact, he's feeling strong enough to broach the subject of the "M" word.

Burned twice by doings at the altar, the 62-year-old actor will formally announce his engagement to the would-be Mrs. Reynolds No. 3 on tonight's Entertainment Tonight.

Tabloid aficionados will recognize the bride-to-be. She's Pam Seals, the former cocktail-lounge manager, more than 20 years Reynolds' junior, who was the Other Woman in Burt's scorched-earth breakup with WKRP in Cincinnati star Loni Anderson in 1993.

Burt introduced his fans to Pam, via the tabs--supplying them with the exclusive story of their courtship, not to mention color photos of the happy couple hot-tubbing and hanging with the likes of Charles Nelson Reilly.

Proving she was no fly-by-night fling, Seals accompanied Reynolds to last month's Golden Globes--the night of his comeback win as Best Supporting Actor for his turn as a porno producer in Boogie Nights.

The role, the Golden Globe and, now, the Oscar nomination have capped Reynolds' long climb back from his post-Loni downward spiral.

In the months following Reynolds' abrupt decision to split from Anderson: Hollywood's onetime chief sex symbol lost two commercial endorsement deals; watched his TV sitcom (Evening Shade) go down the drain; and turned up on a prime-time newsmagazine in a bright purple suit to challenge Loni to a truth-serum test. Then stuff got really bad: In 1996, the faded box-office draw filed for bankruptcy protection.

Reynolds has since worked out the money matters and settled things of a sort with Loni. (They have a son, Quinton, whom they adopted in 1988.)

Burt was previously married (briefly) to comedian Judy Carne of Laugh-In in the 1960s. His union with Loni lasted about five years. He met Seals, oft-described as a (younger) Loni look-alike, in the twilight months of that marriage.

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