Two-time Oscar winner Sally Field garnered rave reviews for her brilliant performances in the films “Norma Rae” (1979) and “Places In the Heart” (1984). She also starred in such films as "The Way West" (1967), "Stay Hungry" (1976), "Smokey and the Bandit" (1977), "Back Roads" (1981), "Absence of Malice" (1981), "Kiss Me Goodbye" (1982), "Murphy's Romance" (1985), "Punchline" (1988), "Steel Magnolias" (1989), "Not Without My Daughter" (1991), "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993), "Forrest Gump" (1994), "Say It Isn't So" (2001), "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde" (2003), and "Two Weeks" (2006). Field is rumored to be starring opposite Liam Neeson in the upcoming biopic about the sixteenth President of the United States, "Lincoln," which is being directed by Steven Spielberg.
On the small screen, the three-time Emmy Award winner and two-time Golden Globe Award winner was first noticed while playing the title role in the ABC sitcom “Gidget” (1965-1966), and then as the novice nun Sister Bertrille in the ABC sitcom “The Flying Nun” (1967-1970). She also starred in the TV series "The Girl with Something Extra" (1973-1974; as Sally Burton), "ER" (as Maggie Wyczenski; 2000-2006), and now plays Nora Walker, the mother of five adult children, on ABC's dramatic television series "Brothers & Sisters." Her TV movies and miniseries include "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" (1971), "Sybil" (1976), "A Woman of Independent Means" (1995), "From the Earth to the Moon" (1998), and "A Cooler Climate" (1999).
This 5' 2½ Hollywood veteran has been married twice and has four sons. She was also romantically linked to actor Burt Reynolds during the late 1970s to early 1980s.
“My country is still so repressed. Our idea of what is sexual is blonde hair, long legs, 22 years old. It has nothing to do with humor, intelligence, warmth, everything to do with teeth and cleavage.” Sally Field
Childhood and Family:
“When I was born, the doctor looked at my mother and said, 'Congratulations, you have an actor!'“ Sally Field
The daughter of actress Margaret Field (born on May 10, 1923) and Richard Dryden Field (died April 30, 1993 of complications from a stroke), a former U.S. Army Captain and salesman, Sally Margaret Field was born on November 6, 1946, in Pasadena, California. She has an older brother, Richard Dryden Field Jr. (born April 14, 1944), who is a physicist, and two younger half-sisters, Elizabeth Jane Field and Shirley Field.
In 1950, when she was 5 years old, Sally's parents divorced and her mother subsequently married actor and stuntman Jock Mahoney (born on February 7, 1919; died on December 14, 1989). The marriage gave her a half sister, Princess O'Mahoney (born on August 20, 1952), a television and film assistant director.
“I was raised to sense what someone wanted me to be and be that kind of person. It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes.” Sally Field
Raised in California's San Fernando Valley, Sally attended Portola Middle School and Birmingham High School, where she was a cheerleader. Among her classmates were famed financier Michael Milken, fellow actress Cindy Williams (of “Laverne and Shirley” fame) and Michael Ovitz of CAA and Walt Disney Studios fame, who would later became her agent. A member of the class of 1964, Sally was voted "Class Clown" by her peers. She also attended the Lee Strasberg Institute.
On September 16, 1968, Sally married Steven Craig and they have two sons, novelist Peter Craig (born November 10, 1969) and actor/director Eli Craig (born May 25, 1972). Sally and Steven divorced on August 1, 1975.
In 1976, Sally began a live-in relationship with Major Daniel M. Yoder, but their relationship ended in 1978. She then began dating actor Burt Reynolds and they acted together in the films “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977), “The End” (1978), “Hooper” (1978) and “Smokey and the Bandit II” (1980). She refused his numerous proposals and they eventually broke up.
On December 15, 1984, Sally married her second husband, producer Alan Greisman, and they have one son together, Samuel Greisman (born December 2, 1987). This marriage also ended in divorce on December 20, 1993.
Sally became the grandmother of Isabel Craig in 1998, Sophie Craig in 2001, and Noah Craig in 2006. She is the mother-in-law of actress Sasha Craig.
In 1988, Sally and her family survived a crash in her private airplane, which lost power on takeoff. After being diagnosed with osteoporosis, she created the Rally With Sally For Bone Health campaign and has been in TV commercials and print advertisements for GlaxoSmithKline's Boniva osteoporosis treatment.
“Last year I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I was over 50, Caucasian, thin, small-framed, and I have it in my genetic history. It was almost a slam-dunk.” Sally Field
Sally is good friends with Goldie Hawn and a longtime friend of Pat Mitchell. She said about Hawn, “Goldie does something that none of the other actresses can do. She has a whimsy and a comedic ability that no one else has. We can all imitate her, but we can't get near it. I don't think that Goldie has yet branched out as much as she would like to dramatically because she's such big box office doing what she does.”
Places In the Heart
“My agent said, 'You aren't good enough for movies.' I said, 'You're fired.’” Sally Field
Born to an actress mother, Sally Field made her TV debut in 1965 with a starring role as the boy-crazy surfer girl Frances Elizabeth 'Gidget' Lawrence in the ABC sitcom “Gidget.” The series was first broadcasted on ABC from September 15, 1965, through April 21, 1966.
“The big issue in 'Gidget' was my bellybutton. I could never show it. All the other girls bounced around in skimpy bikinis. Gidget's bathing suit always had to cover her bellybutton. Gidget was only half a person; all fantasy and no kissing. It was a reflection of the destructive morality of the 50s and 60s, which is when I was brought up. Everybody thought that men were out to get you, especially if you showed your bellybutton. And men, in turn, thought they had to get you. When young people get married thinking like that, and so many did, it has to mean trouble.” Sally Field
Afterward, she portrayed Sister Bertrille, the comic novice nun, in the ABC sitcom “The Flying Nun” (1967-1970). It would win her a TV Land Award for Favorite Airborne Character(s) in 2005.
In 1967, Field made her feature film debut in the epic western based on the novel by A. B. Guthrie, Jr., “The Way West,” with Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark. She also recorded an album in 1968 at RCA Victor's Music Center Of The World titled "Sally Field - Star of The Flying Nun," which consists of the songs “Who Needs Wings To Fly?” (“The Flying Nun” theme), “Felicidad,” “Count To Ten,” “Turn On The Sunshine,” “The Louder I Sing (The Braver I Get),” “Follow The Star,” “Darkest Before Dawn,” “Optimize,” “I'm On My Way,” “Paint Me A Picture,” “Find Yourself A Rainbow,” and “I'm So Glad I Can Fly.”
Following the demise of “The Flying Nun,” Field had a recurring role as Clementine Hale (1971-1972) on the ABC western comedy starring Pete Duel and Ben Murphy, “Alias Smith and Jones,” and starred as Denise 'Dennie' Miller, a runaway hippie who returns to her superficial, image-conscious suburban family, in the ABC TV-movie “Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring” (1971; aka "Deadly Desire"). She was also cast opposite John Davidson in the NBC fantasy-based sitcom “The Girl with Something Extra” (1973-1974).
1976 saw Field starring in Bob Rafelson's film “Stay Hungry,” playing Jeff Bridges' receptionist girlfriend Mary Tate Farnsworth. That same year, she starred as a young woman afflicted with multiple personality disorder in the NBC made-for-television miniseries based on the book of the same name by Flora Rheta Schreiber, “Sybil” (1976). Her brilliant performance in the true story-based, awe-inspiring brutal drama won her an Emmy Award in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama or Comedy Special and nominated her for a TV Land Award in 2006 for Blockbuster Movie of the Week.
Field made the first of four films with Burt Reynolds, “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977), playing the female lead role of Carrie, a professional dancer and a hitchhiking bride-to-be who left her groom at the altar. Her work in the film earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical/Comedy, and Field subsequently began an off-screen romantic relationship with Reynolds.
In 1979, Field played the title role of a textile worker in “Norma Rae,” which was based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton. Her solid performance in the film won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress – Drama. She also took home the Best Actress Award from the American Movie Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and the National Board of Review, to name a few. Her Oscar-winning performance as Norma Rae Webster in the film was ranked #15 on the American Film Institute's Heroes list of “The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains” and is ranked #73 on Premiere Magazine's “100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.”
“'Norma Rae' (1979) is inspirational because it's the type of film where one person can be heard.” Sally Field
In the early 1980s, Field auditioned for the role of Alice in “Friday The 13th” (1980), but lost to Adrienne King. She then formed a production company, Fogwood Films, and went on to play a prostitute, opposite Tommy Lee Jones, in the Martin Ritt's comedy “Back Roads” (1981). She then portrayed a reporter, opposite Paul Newman, in “Absence of Malice” (1981), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress – Drama.
Field subsequently co-starred with James Caan and Jeff Bridges in the romantic comedy, “Kiss Me Goodbye” (1982), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical. Two years later, she won a second Academy Award for her turn as a Texas woman struggling to save her farm in Robert Benton's semi-autobiographical film, “Places in the Heart” (1984). She also took home Golden Globe's Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama award.
Upon accepting her second Oscar, Sally said, "This means so much more to me this time. I don't know why. I think the first time I hardly felt it because it was all too new. But I want to say ‘Thank you’ to you. I haven't had an orthodox career and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it but this time I feel it. And I can't deny the fact that you like me . . . right now . . . you like me. Thank you.”
In 1985, Field starred in Martin Ritt's romantic comedy “Murphy's Romance,” opposite James Garner. Her work in the film earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical.
Three years later, Field starred with Tom Hanks in “Punchline” (1988). She followed it up portraying Julia Roberts' mother in Herbert Ross' film adaptation of the 1987 off-Broadway play, “Steel Magnolias” (1989), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. Meanwhile, Field was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989.
Entering the new decade, Field delivered a terrific turn as a vain aging soap opera actress in the comedy “Soapdish” (1991), with Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr., Elisabeth Shue, Cathy Moriarty, Whoopi Goldberg, Garry Marshall, Teri Hatcher, Kathy Najimy, and Carrie Fisher. She also made her first film as a producer with Joel Schumacher's film version of Marti Leimbach's novel, “Dying Young” (1991; starring Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott), and starred as an American citizen who escaped with her daughter from her husband in Iran in “Not Without My Daughter” (1991), which was based on the book of the same title by Betty Mahmoody.
Field then played the interior decorator wife of Robin Williams and the love interest of Pierce Brosnan in Chris Columbus's critically-acclaimed comedy film based on the novel "Madame Doubtfire" by Anne Fine, “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993), and was given a special thanks at the end of the TV film “The Myth, The Magic, The Man” (1993). She also teamed up again with Tom Hanks in the Academy Award winning film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, “Forrest Gump” (1994), which earned her a BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, a Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.
“'Forrest Gump' (1994) is filled full of moments where your heart just cheers.” Sally Field
Returning to the small screen, Field starred in the NBC miniseries inspired by Elizabeth Forsythe-Hailey's book, “A Woman of Independent Means” (1995), which she also produced. She earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Miniseries (as producer), as well as a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a SAG nomination for Lead Actress. She also made her directorial debut in the ABC TV-movie “The Christmas Tree” (1996), which she also scripted and produced.
Field spent the rest of the 1990s directing “The Original Wives Club” segment of the award-winning, twelve-part HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” (1998), which was executive-produced by Tom Hanks, and made a cameo appearance in an episode of the CBS sitcom “Murphy Brown.” She also portrayed a one-time housewife, who is forced to work as a housekeeper for a wealthy woman (played by Judy Davis), in Showtime's drama based on Zena Collier's novel, “A Cooler Climate” (1999), for which she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.
Hitting the new millennium, Field had a recurring role on the hit NBC medical drama series “ER” as Dr. Abby Lockhart's (played by Maura Tierney) mother who is struggling with bipolar disorder. She returned to the role in 2003 and 2006 and earned an Emmy nomination in 2003.
During her “ER” stint, Field made her feature directorial debut with the dramatic comedy “Beautiful” (2000; starring Minnie Driver and Kathleen Turner). She also appeared in a TV commercial for Charles Schwab Investing (2000), had a supporting role as Heather Graham's mother in the romantic comedy “Say It Isn't So” (2001), and replaced Mercedes Ruehl in the Broadway play "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia," (2002), which was written by Edward Albee. Additionally, she played Congresswoman Victoria Rudd, opposite Reese Witherspoon, in “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde” (2003), the sequel to 2001's "Legally Blonde."
In 2006, Field began playing Nora Walker, the mother of five adult children (played by Rachel Griffiths, Dave Annable, Calista Flockhart, Balthazar Getty, and Matthew Rhys), on ABC's television series “Brothers & Sisters.” Her work in the show won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007 and a Prism Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline in 2008. She was also nominated for an Emmy in 2008 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, a Golden Globe in 2008 and 2009 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama, a Satellite Award in 2007 for Best Actress in a Series, Drama, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2008 and 2009 for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
Meanwhile, Field also played the sick mother of four in the bittersweet “Two Weeks” (2006) and starred in TV commercials and print ads for GlaxoSmithKline's Boniva osteoporosis treatment (2006-2008).
Field is rumored to be starring opposite Liam Neeson in the upcoming biopic about the sixteenth President of the United States, "Lincoln," helmed by Steven Spielberg.
“I can't even imagine the pressure these young people are under. I thought it was rough juggling a high-profile career with raising a family, but now you look at someone like Britney Spears and think, ‘Wow, we had it easy.’ When I started out, there were a few fan magazines, but there was no ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and certainly not the 24-hour media force that the Internet has become. Entire industries have been created to make money on Britney Spears, and that's grisly. I can't imagine what it's like for her children to be caught up in that gossip.” Sally Field: (about today's young stars)
Prism: Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline, “Brothers & Sisters,” 2008
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, “Brothers & Sisters,” 2007
TV Land: Favorite Airborne Character(s), “The Flying Nun,” 2005
TV Land: Little Screen/Big Screen Star, 2005
Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, “ER,” 2001
American Society of Cinematographers: Board of the Governors Award, 2001
Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Ruby Award, 1999
Berlin International Film Festival: Berlinale Camera, 1996
Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Woman of the Year, 1986
Women in Film Crystal Awards: Crystal Award, 1986
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama, “Places in the Heart,” 1985
Academy Award: Best Actress in a Leading Role, “Places in the Heart,” 1985
Golden Apple: Golden Apple Female Star of the Year, 1984
People's Choice: Favorite Motion Picture Actress, 1982 (tied with Jane Fonda)
American Movie Award: Marquee Best Actress 1980, “Norma Rae,” 1982
American Movie Award: Marquee Favorite Star – Female, 1982
Golden Globe: Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama, “Norma Rae,” 1980
Kansas City Film Critics Circle: Best Actress, “Norma Rae,” 1980
National Society of Film Critics: Best Actress, “Norma Rae,” 1980
Academy Award: Best Actress in a Leading Role, “Norma Rae,” 1980
Cannes Film Festival: Best Actress, “Norma Rae,” 1979
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Best Actress, “Norma Rae,” 1979
National Board of Review: Best Actress, “Norma Rae,” 1979
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actress, “Norma Rae,” 1979
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama or Comedy Special, “Sybil,” 1977