Sally Field, born on November 6, 1946, began her acting career on television, playing the lead in the comedies “Gidget,” “The Flying Nun,” and “The Girl with Something Extra.” She won numerous awards for her body of work in television and movies. These include the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for the television film “Sybil,” the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the T.V. show “Brothers and Sisters,” and the Academy Award for Best Actress for the movies “Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart.” She also earned an Academy Award nomination for the film “Lincoln.”
Sally Field was born in Pasadena, California on November 6, 1946. Her father was an Army commander, while her mother was an actress. Richard Field is her brother. She attended Portola Middle School in Van Nuys and subsequently Birmingham High School, where she participated in extracurricular activities such as drama and cheerleading.
Field attended an acting workshop at Columbia Studios, where she was invited to audition for the lead part in the 1965 television series “Gidget.” Although the series only lasted one season, Field became a fan favorite with viewers — particularly teens — that when the show was re-aired, it garnered unusually high ratings. Her first major film, “The Way West,” was released in 1967, and she began performing in a new T.V. series called “The Flying Nun,” which was a tremendous hit with the audience. She acted in a couple of television movies between 1970 and 1974, one of which was the suspense thriller “Home for the Holidays.”
She resolved to remake herself by studying acting with Lee Strasberg, a well-known acting coach. She discovered how to be a more diverse artist throughout her training. Her enhanced acting abilities helped her get the lead part in “Sybil,” a 1976 television film, and win an Emmy Award for the role. The part also helped her distinguish herself as an actress capable of venturing into other genres aside from sitcoms. In 1977, she acted in the film “Smokey and the Bandit,” which became one of the year’s highest-grossing movies. She demonstrated her dramatic acting skills once more in the 1979 film “Norma Rae” and earned the Cannes Film Festival’s Best Female Performance Prize. She also won an Academy Award for Best Actress for the role by the following year.
Field only starred in films from 1981 to 1990, and she proceeded to experiment with other types of characters, earning a slew of honors and awards in the process. In 1984, she was nominated for a second Academy Award for her performance in “Places in the Heart.” She made her directorial debut in 1996 through the television feature “The Christmas Tree.” In 1998, she directed an episode of the T.V. miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon,” and her first film, “Beautiful” in 2000. She was praised for her powerful portrayal of a bipolar mother in the T.V. drama “E.R.” and her portrayal of a matriarch in the drama “Brothers and Sisters.”
From 1968, Field was married to Steven Craig, but the couple divorced in 1973. The couple has two children, Peter Craig and Eli Craig. In 1984, Field married Alan Greisman, her second spouse. Sam, their son, was born in 1987. Field and Greisman, however, split up in 1994.
Sally Field lands the role of Frances Elizabeth Gidget Lawrence in "Gidget.”
Her first major picture, "The Way West," is released.
Field gets the title role in the 1976 television film "Sybil," for which she wins a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
She stars in the real-life inspired drama film "Norma Rae."
For her portrayal of “Norma Rae,” Field bags her first Academy Award in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role.
She wins her second Academy Award for her performance in "Places in the Heart."
Why We Love Sally Field
She advocates bone health
Field was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2005. Her diagnosis prompted her to launch the "Rally with Sally for Bone Health" campaign in support of a bisphosphonate osteoporosis medication. Field's campaign promoted the use of technology such as bone density scan to aid in the early detection of such illnesses. As a result, she was honored with the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement, in recognition of her achievements in the arts as well as her commitment as a social campaigner.
She believes in women empowerment
Field is a strong supporter of women's rights. She has been on the board of directors of the international women's N.G.O. Vital Voices Global Partnership and has co-hosted the Global Leadership Awards six times. Field, a Democrat, backed Hillary Clinton in her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
She is devoted to her work
Her commitment to her work has earned her numerous awards and acclaim from the audience. She did not hesitate to work extremely hard to depict her character as realistically as possible, as evidenced by her work in a textile mill in preparation for "Norma Rae."
5 Surprising Facts
She worked with Tom Hanks twice
This well-known American actress was romantically linked to the actor in the film "Punchline" in 1988 and six years later, she portrayed Hanks' mother in "Forrest Gump."
She broke an actor’s rib
This actress shattered a rib of one of the actors impersonating a police officer during the filming of her award-winning film "Norma Rae."
Jury at the Cannes Film Festival
In 1989, she served on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
She advocates for gay rights
In 2012, Field received the Human Rights Campaign's Ally for Equality Award for his efforts on gay rights.
Field has a production company
She launched Fogwood Films in 1984.
Sally Field FAQs
What does Sally Field suffer from?
Field has publicly shared her struggle with depression in the past. While starring in the classic 1960s sitcom “The Flying Nun” at the age of 19, the actress admitted in an interview that she struggled with mental health concerns.
Was Sally Field married to Burt Reynolds?
Reynolds and Field had one of Hollywood’s most famous romances even though they were never married. In reality, their five-year relationship is remembered as one of the most intense and tumultuous in show business history.
Did Sally Field sing in “The Flying Nun?”
Yes, she did! Field not only sang but also composed the sitcom’s soundtrack, ‘Who Needs Wings to Fly?’
Sally Field’s birthday dates