Sally Field: Setting the Record Straight on Her Relationship with Burt Reynolds

For many fans, the late Burt Reynolds and Sally Field were the epitome of on-screen romance. Their chemistry in the film “Smokey and the Bandit” was undeniable, but according to Field, their real-life relationship was far from perfect. In a recent interview, Field opened up about their complicated history, revealing a side of Reynolds that the public may not have known.

Reynolds famously referred to Field as the love of his life in 2015, expressing his regret for not making their romance work. However, Field’s perspective on their relationship is quite different. She stated, “He was not someone I could be around. He was simply not right for me in any way.”

In her memoir, “In Pieces,” released shortly after Reynolds’ death, Field detailed the complexities of their relationship. She described Reynolds as dominating and abusive, shedding light on his struggles with drug use during the filming of “Smokey and the Bandit.” Far from the picture-perfect romance that some may have envisioned, Field revealed a darker side to their connection.

The Road to Self-Discovery

Field and Reynolds had an on-and-off relationship that spanned five years, during which they collaborated on four films. Looking back, Field realized that her relationship with Reynolds was an attempt to recreate a dynamic she had experienced with her stepfather, Jock Mahoney. In her book, Field candidly shared that Mahoney had sexually assaulted her until she was 14, a traumatic part of her past that she needed to confront.

By writing her memoir, Field was able to exorcise her demons and shed light on her true feelings about her relationship with Reynolds. She explained, “I didn’t worry about writing so openly about our connection because I didn’t think I was going to publish it.” Field’s honesty and courage in sharing her story resonates with those who have faced similar struggles.

A Resilient Journey in Hollywood

Field’s career in Hollywood has spanned decades, with many highs and lows along the way. From her breakout role in “Gidget” to her Emmy-winning performance in “The Flying Nun,” Field has seen it all. Reflecting on her journey, she remarked, “It was a job, and I learned to deal with adversity. It is critical to understand how to survive pleasant and unpleasant situations.”

Despite the challenges she faced, Field’s determination and talent eventually led her to win two Academy Awards, for “Norma Rae” in 1979 and “Places in the Heart” in 1984. Along the way, she encountered sexism and unequal pay, but she never let it deter her. She explained, “I never had the luxury of saying, ‘I’m going to hold out for more money.’ I felt like a deprived child. I’ll take anything you’ve got.”

Misquoted Oscars Speech: What She Really Meant

Field’s iconic Oscars speech for “Places in the Heart” is often misquoted as “You like me. You like me.” In reality, she said, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.” Field expressed her frustration with the misquote, explaining that the context of her words is often overlooked.

In her speech, Field wanted to convey that she had finally achieved a moment of validation. She said, “For this moment in time, I have to allow myself to know and feel that you like me.” Field acknowledged that she could have been more articulate in her delivery but emphasized the importance of understanding the emotional weight behind her words.

Field’s honesty and vulnerability in sharing her experiences as an actress in a male-dominated industry is a testament to her resilience. She has paved the way for future generations and continues to inspire with her unwavering determination. As she aptly put it, “They’re not in the arena. They’re handing out the deodorant in the stands.”