Sally Field is a Hollywood legend, having worked in the industry since the early 1960s. With a career spanning close to six full decades, it’s no surprise that Field has been honored and recognized for her incredible work and talent over the years. She has been a knockout star in films and television series and has also shown her strengths as a director. On top of that, Field has a beautiful heart of gold and has dedicated time to being an activist.
Field was born on Nov. 8, 1946, in Pasadena, California. Her father served in the military during World War II, and his relationship with Field’s mom, actress Margaret Field, didn’t last.
Margaret later married actor and stuntman Jock Mahoney. As someone surrounded by fame, it’s no surprise that Field went on to establish herself as an outstanding actress. She first starred in television series, including “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun.”
Afterward, she received critical acclaim for her role in “Sybil” and went on to star in a plethora of films. Some of Field’s finest include “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Norma Rae,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “Forrest Gump.” Field later returned to television to find even more fame and recognition as she continued her long-lasting wave of success.
Field has withstood the test of time. The revered actress graciously accepted her Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award last Feb. 26, 2023, where she gave an impassioned anecdote of her thrilling career in film and television.
The 76-year-old actress looked timeless as her acting roles, proving that despite her age, her humility and wisdom continue to accentuate the beauty and elegance that many had loved her for.
Read on to learn more about Field’s thoughts on beauty and her incredible career in acting.
Sally Field (1979), (Allan Tannenbaum/IMAGES/Getty Images)
Field’s career kicked off right after school when she starred as the titular character in the TV show “Gidget,” where she played a boy-crazy surfer girl. Although the show wasn’t initially successful and only ran for one season, reruns helped it become a belated success. Field went on to star in “The Flying Nun” and later “Sybil,” which earned her an Emmy Award before she made the jump to movies.
By the end of the 1970s, her movie career had picked up steam, and she was known for “Smokey and the Bandit,” as well as her Award-winning Academy turn in “Norma Rae.” She continued gracing the screen with roles in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Forrest Gump,” and later returned to television in “ER” and “Brothers & Sisters.”
To date, Field is the recipient of two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Film Award nominations, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, including her most recent Life Achievement Award, and a Tony nomination.
When she received her SAG Lifetime Achievement Award from her “The Amazing Spider-Man” co-actor, Andrew Garfield, Field was nothing but humble and grateful.
“Offstage I felt shy and careful and hidden. But onstage I never knew what I would say or do. I would surprise myself. I wasn’t looking for the applause, or attention, even though that’s nice,” she confessed. “Acting, to me, has always been about finding those few, precious moments when I feel totally, utterly, sometimes dangerously alive. The task has always been to find a way to get to that.”
Field’s speech was a testament to her beauty, both inside and outside. The latter was highlighted in her appearance at the ceremony, where she confidently rocked her graying hair with her intricately-designed black gown.
Fans said she was “ageless.”
Field also mentioned in her speech that her hard work has been instrumental in achieving the success she has today.
“They opened and revealed parts of myself I would not have known otherwise. I’ve worked my whole life. In all of these almost 60 years, there is not a day that I don’t feel quietly thrilled to call myself an actor,” she explained.
In 2016, Field played Doris Miller, an eccentric 60-year-old woman. Critics have praised her for her “brave” performance as she perfectly conveyed the “cruel ambivalence of an ageist society.”
Speaking to NPR about her character and how she relates to it, Field revealed that a part of Doris was already ingrained in her.
“I’m an old woman, 70 is old, and that’s OK,” Field said at the time. “I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I’ve deserved them, I have a right to have them. And I don’t like my neck, I don’t like a lot of things but it’s OK.”
Field’s vanity comes second when it comes to her passion for the craft. Field’s presence at the 2023 SAG Awards proved that she has stayed true to her previous stance on artificially altering your appearance to appear younger.
Field expressed to Good Housekeeping in 2009 her reluctance to go under the knife:
“I see myself on TV and I say, ‘Oh, I wish that weren’t happening to my neck. And your face is falling down, and your eyes are so puffy.’ But then I see some of the women (who have had plastic surgery) who I thought when they were younger were so beautiful. Now I think, Oh, dear, don’t do that! And it seems to be terribly disrespectful to who they are now.”