Sally Field biography
Date of Birth: November 6, 1946
Born in Pasadena, California, Sally Field was the daughter of another actress, Margaret Field,
who is perhaps best known to film buffs as the leading lady of the sci-fi The Man From
Planet X (1951). Sally's stepfather was an actor/stuntman, who, despite a certain degree
of alienation between himself and his stepdaughter, was the principal influence in her
pursual of an acting career. Active in high-school dramatics, Sally bypassed college to
enroll in a summer acting workshop at Columbia studios. Her energy and determination enabled
her to win, over hundreds of other aspiring actresses, the coveted starring role on the
1965 TV series Gidget. Gidget lasted only one season, but Sally had become
popular with teen fans and in 1967, was given a second crack at a sitcom with The Flying Nun;
this one lasted three seasons and is still flying around in reruns.
Sally made her film debut in The Way West (1967), but was more or less ignored by
moviegoers over the age of 21. Juggling sporadic work on stage and TV with a well-publicized
first marriage, Sally set about shedding her "perky" image in order to get more substantial
parts. Good as she was as a reformed junkie in the 1970 TV movie Maybe I'll Come Home in the
Spring, by 1972 Sally was mired again in the world of sitcoms with the short-lived weekly The Girl
With Something Extra.
Freshly divorced and with a new agent (she fired her previous agent on the spot when he told her she wasn't good enough for movies), she tried to radically alter her persona with a nude
scene in the 1975 film Stay Hungry, resulting in little more than embarrassment for all
concerned. Finally in 1976, Sally proved her mettle as an actress in the TV movie Sybil,
winning an Emmy for her virtuoso performance as a woman suffering from multiple personalities
stemming from childhood abuse.
Following this triumph, Sally entered into a long romance with Burt Reynolds, working with
the actor in numerous films that were short on prestige but long on box office appeal.
By 1979, Sally found herself in another career crisis: now she had to rid herself of the "Burt Reynolds' girlfriend" image. She did so with her powerful portrayal of a
small-town union organizer in Norma Rae (1979), for which she earned her first Academy
Award. At last taken completely seriously by fans and industry figures, Sally spent the next four years in films of fluctuating merit (she also ended her relationship with
Reynolds and married again), rounding out 1984 with her second Oscar for Places in the Heart.
It was at the 1985 Academy Awards ceremony that Sally earned a permanent place in the lexicon of comedy writers, talk show hosts and impressionists everywhere by reacting
to her Oscar with a tearful "You LIKE me! You REALLY LIKE me!"
Few liked her in such subsequent missteps as Surrender (1987) and Soapdish
(1991), but Field was able to intersperse them with winners such as the 1989 weepie
Steel Magnolias and the Robin Williams drag extravaganza Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).
Sally found further triumph as the doggedly determined mother of Tom Hanks in the 1994
box-office bonanza Forrest Gump, which, in addition to mining box office gold, also
mangaged to pull in a host of Oscars and various other awards.
Following Gump, Sally turned her energies to ultimately less successful projects, such as
1995's Eye for an Eye with Kiefer Sutherland and Homeward Bound II: Lost in San
Francisco (1996). She also did some TV work, most notably in Tom Hanks' acclaimed From
the Earth to the Moon miniseries (1998), then returned to the big screen for a supporting role in the box office flop Where The Heart Is(2000), then took on a role in the dreadful Say It Isn't So (2001), which was lambasted by critics. When Sally took on a recurring role in the ABC TV series The Court, her return to series television was much heralded, but the show lasted only one season. She once again returned to the big screen with a starring role in the sequel to the hit film Legally Blonde, opposite Reese Witherspoon.
Sally has continued to enjoy a successful acting career both on television and in feature films. She had recurring roles on the series ER (2000 to 2006) and Brothers & Sisters (2006 to 2011). She was seen as Aunt May in the reboot blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). For her role as First Lady Mary Todd in the biographical drama Lincoln (2012), Sally received her third Academy Award nomination. She returned to play Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). More recently she starred as a woman in her sixties who falls for a much younger man in the charming comedy/drama Hello, My Name Is Doris (2016).
Twice divorced, Sally has two sons, Peter and Eli, from her first marriage and one son, Samuel, from her second.
Sally Field Filmography