Oscar and Emmy Award-winning actress Sally Field has had an incredible acting career in TV and film that’s spanned more than a half-century. She got her start on television, appearing in comedies like Gidget, The Flying Nun, and The Girl with Something Extra. She made her film debut in 1962s Moon Pilot and later appeared in movies like The Way West, Smokey and the Bandit, Mrs. Doubtfire, Steel Magnolias, and Forrest Gump.
At no point in the last 60+ years has Field showed any signs of slowing down. In the early 2000s, she returned to television with a recurring role in ER. She followed that role up by playing Nora Walker in ABC’s Brothers & Sisters between 2006 and 2011.
More recently, She’s appeared in offerings such as 2012s The Amazing Spider Man and it’s 2014 sequel, as well as 2015s Hello, My Name Is Doris and the 2018 Netflix limited series Manic.
In February 2023, Field’s latest film 80 for Brady will hit theaters worldwide. This Tom Brady-produced sports comedy has sparked a renewed interest in the star, and honestly, the more we reflect on her prolific time in the spotlight, the more we can’t seem to get enough of Ms. Field.
In this video, we’ll be reflecting on Sally Field’s respectable Hollywood career while taking a peak at a few thought-provoking, heart-warming, and revealing photos that cast her in a whole new light.
Facts Verse Presents: Rare Photos of Sally Field Show Another Side of Her
She Had A Rough Upbringing
Sally Field was born on the 6th of November, 1946, in Pasadena, California. Her parents were Margaret Field, an actress best known for her roles in science-fiction films such as 1951s The Man From Planet X and 1952s Captive Women, and Richard Dryden Field, an Army veteran of the Second World War.
Field’s parents divorced in 1950, and afterward her mother got remarried to Hollywood stuntman and actor Jack Mahoney. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, Field claims to have endured psychological, verbal, and sexual abuse by Mahoney.
She found relief from this abuse by getting involved in extracurricular activities, including drama and cheerleading.
While she had done a bit of acting in High School, field’s acting career really got going in 1965 when she was given the title role in the sitcom Gidget. That show saw her portraying a boy-crazy surfer girl and was based upon Federick Kohner’s 1957 novel Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Needs.
The series was not initially considered to be a success and was canceled after airing just a single season. Summer reruns, however, garnered decent ratings making the series a belated success.
ABC, realizing that Field had potential, then got to work searching for a new vehicle for their rising star. The next series that Field appeared in was ABC’s The Flying Nun. She was just 21 years old when she was cast as Sister Bertrille. The show, despite it’s campy set-up was a hit with audiences and aired for three seasons from 1967 to 1970. The Flying Nun has since been labeled as a cult classic.
To anyone Sally’s age, starring in a hit TV show would have been enough, but she craved roles that had more substance. She knew that she was talented and didn’t want her abilities to be squandered on meaningless TV series with questionable premises.
She Fought Against Typecasting
Twice in her lengthy career, Field has made a concerted effort to break free from the shackles of typecasting. Unlike others who have found themselves in similar situations, Field was able to succeed in casting off her repuation by bagging precisely the sort of roles that she sought.
Her acting career has been adorned with a myriad of awards and accolades. In an industry where scoring an Academy Award is considered to be the absolute pinnacle of an actor’s career, Field has won two of them. On top of that, one of those wins was in the highly competitive category of Best Supporting Actress in a Leading Role.
In television, she has garnered respect by giving award-winning performances in series like ER and Brothers & Sisters. Even today, Field continues to captivate viewers by delivering mesmerizing performances. As of 2023, Field is 76 years old, but you’d never guess it, as she seems to be just as youthful, ambitious, and determined as ever.
She’s Been Married Twice
Field and her high school sweetheart Steve Craig got married when she was 21. They tied the knot at a small ceremony in 1968 and remained married for seven years.
Take a look at this photo of the two attending the premiere of the Battle of the Bulge in 1965, three years before they walked down the aisle.
Before Field and Craig exchanged vows, she did briefly date Davy Jones of The Monkees. Just look at this photo of her and Jones taken in 1967. Aren’t they just adorable?
Jones would later tell People magazine that he and Field’s relationship was all about ‘clean living’. They enjoyed holding hands, kissing, and talking with each other late into the night. While their relationship certainly seemed to be quite wholesome, it obviously wasn’t made to last. Reportedly, around that same time, Field also enjoyed romances with stars like Pete Duel and Lee Majors.
In the time that they were together, Field and Craig had two children, sons Peter and Eli. Both boys grew up to follow in their mother’s footsteps by pursuing Hollywood careers of their own. Peter is an actor, screenwriter, and novelist, while Eli is a director, screenwriter, and actor best known for directing and writing the cult horror comedy flick Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
After divorcing Craig, Field casually dated around for a while, focusing primarily on her acting career. In 1976, however, she struck up a relationship with actor Burt Reynolds. Ultimately the two stars would remain an item for the next four years. In that time, she and Reynolds co-starred in four films together, Smokey and the Bandit, Smokey and the Bandit II, Hooper, and The End. Even after breaking up in 1980, Field and Reynolds would continue to date each other on-and-off before splitting for good in 1982.
Field married her second husband, Alan Greisman, in 1984. Together, the couple welcomed the birth of their son, Sam, in 1987. After ten years of marriage, Field and Greisman got divorced in 1994.
Her Time As The Flying Nun Wasn’t As It Seemed
As we’ve already established, the Flying Nun was a series that had a pretty far-fetched premise, but even so, it was known for being a lighthearted comedy with an all-around family-friendly message. Despite her success as an actress, not all was well with the young star.
Years later, Field admitted that during the show’s production, her mental state took a drastic nosedive. The pressures of Hollywood are hard enough for adults to keep up with, so it makes sense that she struggled to contend with Tinsel Town’s high expectations as she was just a teenager while working on the show. While trying her best to keep up with her squeaky-clean image, Field struggled with depression and an eating disorder while portraying Sister Bertrille.
She’s A Perfectionist
Sally Field has always held herself to exceptionally high standards. Her perfectionism quite possibly is what led to her struggles with mental health, but it also earned her a great deal of respect from her critics and peers.
In 1977 she was nominated for – and won – her first Emmy for her performance in the title role of the 1976 miniseries Sybil.
Burt Reynolds, who was her boyfriend at the time, told People that Field was enraged when she hadn’t been nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in Sybil, and skipped attending the ceremony in protest. Apparently, an Emmy award wasn’t enough for her.
The following year, however, she scored her first Golden Globe nod for her work in Smokey and the Bandit.
She Pretended To Be Mentally Ill To Dump A Guy
The year after being honored with her first Golden Globe nomination, Field appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. During the early 80s, Field and Carson briefly dated, but reportedly she broke up with him by feigning a mental illness.
In 2016 while appearing on Watch What Happens Life, Field revealed that she told Carson that she was having a breakdown and was being sent away to receive psychiatric treatment. She now knows that that probably wasn’t the best way to handle the situation, but at the time, she just couldn’t bring herself to tell the television personality her true feelings. Instead of just getting honest and telling Carson that she couldn’t keep dating him, she resorted to lies and deception. Was it her finest moment? Well, clearly not, but you got admit, it worked!
The Awards Kept Flooding In
In 1980, Field won her first Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Norma Rae in the film’s titular role. Five years later, she won her second Oscar for her fabulous performance in Places in the Heart. At the 1985 Academy Awards ceremony, she famously declared on the podium, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me”.
This quote has since been misremembered by many as “You like me. You really like me”. But regardless of what words she actually spoke, the sentiment is still the same. Audiences watching the ceremony will forever remember Field for being incredibly endearing and genuine in that touching moment.
Between her wins, Sally received two more Golden Globe nominations for her roles in 1982s in Absence of Malice and 1983s Kiss Me Goodbye.
Sally’s Directorial Debut
Though she’s best known for her work on-screen, Field has also done a bit of work behind the camera as well. In 1996, she made her directorial debut with the made-for-TV holiday film The Christmas Tree. Not only did she serve as that movie’s director, but she also wrote and executive produced it.
Several years later, Field returned to television with her guest-starring role on ER. That performance netted her an Emmy at the 53rd Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards. A year prior, she had earned another nominatiuon for her performance on the Showtime original film A Cooler Climate. In 2003, Field earned another Emmy nod for her performance on ER, which she appeared in several times between 2000 and 2006.
Field earned another Emmy in 2007 for her portrayal of Nora Walker on the ABC family drama Brothers & Sisters. By the series’ end in 2011, she had scored an additional two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nods.
We’ve only been able to just barely scratch the surface of Sally Field’s incredible acting career, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed taking a closer look at a few of her most significant highlights.
We’re looking forward to seeing Field on the big screen once again in her upcoming film 80 for Brady. Who knows, maybe that performance will score her another Academy Award nomination or two.
Before we wrap things up, we’d like to pass the mic over to you to let your voice be heard. Did you know that Sally Field dated Burt Reynolds for several years and that at 76, she’s still very active in Hollywood with no signs of slowing down? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for watching!