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Sally Field is an American actress best known TV and film roles such as Gidget, The Flying Nun, Smokey and the Bandit, Sybil and Places in the Heart.
Sandra Dee - Child Star (1:56)
Sally Field overcame her childhood insecurities when she starred as "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun." She transitioned to the big screen, winning Best Actress Oscars for "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart."
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Sally Field is an American actress born on November 6, 1946 in Pasadena, California. Her big break came when she played the lead role in the TV sitcom Gidget (1965). Field next appeared in the hit TV series' The Flying Nun (1967) and Smokey and the Bandit (1977). Field won Emmy Awards for her performances in Sybil (1976), Beautiful (2000) and Saturday Evening Post (2007),
and she won Academy Awards for Norma Rae (1979) and Places in the Heart (1984). In the 1990s and '00s, Field also worked behind the scenes as a director and writer.
Actress, director and writer Sally Margaret Field was born on November 6, 1946, in Pasadena, California. Sally Field, the youngest of two children born to actress Margaret Field, grew up in show business. After Sally's parents divorced, her mother married actor and stuntman Jock Mahoney. Field's stepfather was a strict disciplinarian who expected faithful obedience from Field, her older brother, and half-sister Princess. Mahoney also fought frequently with Sally's mother, and the couple's increasingly rocky relationship weighted heavily on the children. Sally found solace from her difficult home life by focusing on her extracurricular activities at school. "I'd landed in the drama department, and it just kind of saved me," she later explained to Good Housekeeping magazine.
After finishing up at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California, Field attended an acting workshop at Columbia Studios, which helped launch her film and television career. She landed the leading role in the television series Gidget, which was based on the popular 1959 Sandra Dee film by the same name. Field was only 18 years old when the series debuted in the fall of 1965. Petite and perky, she played a teenager on a quest to find fun with her best friend Larue (played by Lynette Winter). The show was canceled after one season, but Field became popular with television audiences—so popular, in fact, that the network created another series for her. The Flying Nun starred Field as Sister Bertrille, a nun so light that she could take flight. Field didn't want to take the part, but her stepfather insisted, telling her, "If you turn down this part, you may never work again."
The Flying Nun premiered in September 1967, and soon became a huge hit. Viewers seemed to enjoy following the misadventures of quirky, aerodynamic Sister Bertrille. Behind the scenes, however, Field was miserable. She struggled with the feeling that she would never be considered a serious actress, and the show only magnified that fear. In 1968, she married her high school sweetheart, Steven Craig, and soon became pregnant. Her pregnancy was hidden on the series using creative shots and the folds of her billowy nun's habit. Field wouldn't have to hide for long, though; the show was canceled in 1970, after three seasons on the air.
After giving birth to a second child in 1972, Field returned to acting in 1973 with the short-lived sitcom The Girl with Something Extra.
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