She went down in Hollywood history for her cringeworthy Oscar speech for Places In The Heart, but has scored hits with films like Steel Magnolias and Dying Young with Julia Roberts.
The daughter of actress Margaret Field, of ‘The Man From Planet X’ fame, and stuntman Jack Mahoney, Sally Field was encouraged from an early age to pursue her acting dreams.
After success in high-school drama, Field decided against college in order to enrol in Columbia studios’ acting workshop. Winning a starring role on the 1965 TV show ‘Gidget’, she became a hit with the teen market, and scored again with ‘The Flying Nun’, in 1967.
Field made her film debut in ‘The Way West’ the same year, but it was her TV work that made her name, with the edgy ‘Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring’ (1970) helping to shake her ‘perky’ image.
After time in the sitcom ‘The Girl With Something Extra’, she risked a nude scene in 1975’s ‘Stay Hungry’, to little effect.
Her chance to prove herself arrived with the TV movie ‘Sybill’ in 1976, with a role as an abused schizophrenic, for which she won an Emmy. Around this time, she also began a romance with Burt Reynolds, with whom she collaborated on several films.
Now typecast as ‘Burt Reynold’s Girlfriend’, she redefined herself in ‘Norma Rae’ in 1979, as a small-town union leader, winning her first Best Actress Oscar.
Ending her relationship with Reynolds, she won a second Oscar for her performance in ‘Places in The Heart’. At the award ceremony, she gave an excruciatingly tearful “You LIKE me! You REALLY LIKE ME!” speech.
However, with such bombs as ‘Surrender’ in 1987, and ‘Soapdish’ in 1991, the goodwill was limited. She found popular parts in ‘Steel Magnolias’ (1989), ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ (1993) and as Tom Hanks’ mother in ‘Forest Gump’ (1994).
Field has appeared in such varied recent projects as the ignored Kiefer Sutherland film ‘Eye for An Eye’ (1995), the derided Minnie Driver vehicle ‘Beautiful’ and the well-received Tom Hanks’ TV miniseries ‘From The Earth to the Moon’ (1998). Her latest notable role was that of Aunt May in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' (2012) and its sequel in 2014.