Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Inspirational woman: Sally Margaret Field

6-Nov-1946
Pasadena, CA

Sally Field's mother and stepfather were both actors, and she was usually the star of her school plays. After high school she was invited to an actors' workshop at Columbia Studios, where she was promptly signed to star as Gidget in a sitcom based on the hit movies of the late 1950s and '60s, with Field taking Sandra Dee's role as the beach babe and Don Porter as her bookish father. Her second sitcom, The Flying Nun, offered Field as a novice nun whose winged headdress provided just the right aerodynamics to lift her off the ground when she tilted her head just so. The show was lighter than air but Field was adorable, and it featured a teenaged Shelley Morrison as a Puerto Rican nun. Field's third sitcom was the mid-1970s dud The Girl with Something Extra, a rip-off of Bewitched where Field could read minds, but kept her talent a secret from her husband (John Davidson) until their wedding night.



The sitcoms left Field with an image as ditzy and innocent, but she yearned to be taken seriously, and almost immediately tried to shake that perky "good girl" image. In her first movie, made between Gidget's end and The Flying Nun's debut, she played a slutty cowgirl with her legs spread apart in her first scene, in The Way West with Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum. In the 1971 TV movie Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring, she played a hippie girl who leaves her alcoholic parents and crystal meth-addicted kid sister to follow long-haired counterculture freak David Carradine, and in Sybil she gave a virtuoso performance as a schizophrenic and won an Emmy.

She starred in Smokey and the Bandit and three other movies with boyfriend Burt Reynolds, and won an Oscar as Norma Rae, organizing union workers in a textile mill. She won another Oscar as the stubborn Depression-era mom of Places in the Heart with John Malkovich and Danny Glover, and gave a gushing, heartfelt, but profoundly silly acceptance speech -- "You like me, right now, you like me!" -- that is still parodied. In some of Field's other roles, she played the eager but naïve reporter in Absence of Malice with Paul Newman, a horse breeder who falls for James Garner in Murphy's Romance, Julia Roberts's mother raging against God in Steel Magnolias, Robin Williams's ex-wife in Mrs Doubtfire, and Tom Hanks's homily-spouting mother in Forest Gump.

There is little call in movies for aging actresses, even with Oscars, so in recent years Field has returned to television. She played Nurse/Doctor Maura Tierney's manic mother on ER, a Supreme Court judge on the politically-charged The Court, and the widowed matriarch of Brothers & Sisters with Calista Flockhart.

Her mother, Margaret Field, was also an actress. Under contract at Paramount Pictures in the 1940s, she had small roles in such classics as The Big Clock with Ray Milland, the original Carrie with Laurence Olivier, and The Paleface with Bob Hope. When she quit Paramount she finally got the chance to be a leading lady, albeit in low-prestige efforts like Frigid Wife with Reed Hadley and the big-headed monster classic The Man from Planet X.

Her stepfather, Jock Mahoney, was a respected Hollywood stuntman and actor who worked in such films as Yellow Sky with Gregory Peck, A Time to Love and a Time to Die with John Gavin, and Adventures of Don Juan with Errol Flynn. He also played Tarzan in two early '60s movies, and had supporting roles in several Three Stooges shorts. On TV, he starred in the kids' cowboy series Range Rider in the early 1950s with Dickie Jones as his sidekick, and later starred as post-Civil War card-shark and adventurer Yancy Derringer with Julie Adams in the late 1950s.

Field's second husband, Alan Greisman, is a film producer whose credits include 'Night, Mother with Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft, Three O'Clock High with Casey Siemaszko, and Fletch with Chevy Chase. Her eldest son, Peter Craig, is a novelist, best known for The Martini Shot. Her younger son, Eli Craig, has worked occasionally as an actor and producer.

Father: Richard Dryden Field (US Army officer, div. 1950, d. 30-Apr-1993 stroke)
Mother: Margaret Morlan (actress, b. 10-May-1923)
Brother: Richard Dryden Field Jr. (physicist, b. 13-Apr-1944)
Father: Jock Mahoney (stepfather, actor-stuntman, b. 7-Feb-1919, d. 14-Dec-1989 stroke)
Sister: Princess O'Mahoney (stepsister, backstage TV worker, b. 20-Aug-1952)
Sister: Elizabeth Jane Field (stepsister)
Sister: Shirley Field (stepsister)
Husband: Steven Craig (construction contractor, m. 16-Sep-1968, div. 1975, two sons)
Son: Peter Craig (novelist, b. 10-Nov-1969 with Craig)
Son: Elijah Craig (actor-producer, b. 25-May-1972 with Craig)
Boyfriend: Burt Reynolds (dated 1977-82, refused marriage)
Husband: Alan Greisman (film producer, m. 15-Dec-1984, div. 1993, one son)
Son: Samuel Greisman (b. 2-Dec-1987 with Greisman)


High School: Birmingham High School, Van Nuys, CA (1964)

Endorsement of GlaxoSmithKline Boniva (2006)
Caribou Club
Hillary Clinton for President
Hillary Rodham Clinton for US Senate Committee
Obama for America
Oscar for Best Actress 1980 for Norma Rae
Oscar for Best Actress 1985 for Places in the Heart
Golden Globe 1980 for Norma Rae
Golden Globe 1985 for Places in the Heart
Emmy 1977 for Sybil (Lead actress in a drama or comedy)
Emmy 2001 for ER (Outstanding TV Guest Appearance)
Risk Factors: Bulimia

TELEVISION
Brothers & Sisters Nora Walker (2006-)
The Court Justice Kate Nolan (2002)
The Flying Nun Sister Bertrille (1967-70)
Gidget Gidget (1965-66)

FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Beautiful (11-Sep-2000)
From the Earth to the Moon (5-Apr-1998)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (26-Aug-2008) [VOICE]
Two Weeks (20-Oct-2006)
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2-Jul-2003)
America: A Tribute to Heroes (21-Sep-2001) Herself
Say It Isn't So (12-Mar-2001)
David Copperfield (10-Dec-2000)
Where the Heart Is (28-Apr-2000)
A Cooler Climate (22-Aug-1999)
From the Earth to the Moon (5-Apr-1998)
Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (8-Mar-1996) [VOICE]
Eye for an Eye (12-Jan-1996)
Forrest Gump (23-Jun-1994)
Mrs. Doubtfire (24-Nov-1993)
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (3-Feb-1993) [VOICE]
Soapdish (31-May-1991)
Not Without My Daughter (11-Jan-1991)
Steel Magnolias (15-Nov-1989)
Punchline (7-Oct-1988)
Surrender (9-Oct-1987)
Murphy's Romance (25-Dec-1985)
Live Aid (13-Jul-1985) Herself
Places in the Heart (11-Sep-1984)
Kiss Me Goodbye (22-Dec-1982)
Absence of Malice (19-Nov-1981)
Back Roads (13-Mar-1981)
Smokey and the Bandit II (15-Aug-1980)
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (18-May-1979)
Norma Rae (2-Mar-1979)
Hooper (28-Jul-1978)
The End (10-May-1978)
Heroes (4-Nov-1977)
Smokey and the Bandit (27-Mar-1977)
Sybil (14-Nov-1976)
Stay Hungry (23-Apr-1976)
Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring (16-Feb-1971)
The Way West (24-May-1967)
You can read more from the source here

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