Sally Field

Actress / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour Archive interview, Sally Field discusses her early career in acting. She recalls starring in Gidget and The Flying Nun for producer Harry Ackerman. She describes her struggle to get out of sitcoms to play more serious roles, aided by Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio. She recounts her breakthrough in the classic made-for-television movie Sybil costarring Joanne Woodward for which she received her first Emmy Award. Field details breaking into feature films with the cult classic "Stay Hungry" and her Oscar-winning role in the Martin Ritt directed "Norma Rae." She also recounts her Emmy winning guest-star role on ER and other roles on television and in film, as well as her struggles with sexism and ageism in the industry. Darby Maloney conducted the interview on March 22, 2004 in Los Angeles, CA.

"So much of what's changed for women that my generation has done, the fights that we've been bloodied over, has changed a lot. I see so many young women coming in as actresses that don't know what the struggle was, and don't know how much better it is. When I first produced films, I wouldn't put my name on it, because it changed how people saw the film... It's a real triumph that there are so many now who are behind the camera, who are writing, actresses who are taking their power and developing it. It didn't used to be that way."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Sally Field on the premise of Gidget and the character of "Gidget", and on working with Don Porter who played her father
Sally Field on how she approached playing "Sybil" in Sybil, and on working with Joanne Woodward as "Dr. Cornelia Wilbur"
Sally Field on her Emmy-winning guest performance on ER
Sally Field on becoming a mother, and on working with Lee Strasberg
Sally Field on starring in the feature film "Norma Rae", directed by Martin Ritt for which she won an Academy Award
Sally Field on her dislike of tributes, and how she would like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her mother, actress Margaret Field; on her family influencing her to get into acting
On attending the Columbia Pictures Actors Workshop, which led to her being cast in Gidget by Eddie Foy III; on the premise of Gidget and on the character of "Gidget", and on working with Don Porter who played her father; on the end of Gidget
On appearing in "The Way West," Hollywood Squares, and The Dating Game; on her recurring role on Hey Landlord! written by Garry Marshall, and on film acting versus television acting
On her early career ambitions, and on playing "Sister Bertrille" on The Flying Nun for producer Harry Ackerman; on her The Flying Nun character "Sister Bertrille"; on the cancellation of The Flying Nun, and on studying acting under Lee Strasberg

Chapter 2

On studying at The Actors Studio; on attempting to move on from sitcoms, and on starring in The Girl with Something Extra; on starring in Bob Rafelson's "Stay Hungry", and on her struggle to be considered a serious actress
On being cast in Sybil; on how she played "Sybil" in Sybil and on working with Joanne Woodward as "Dr. Cornelia Wilbur"; on how Sybil impacted her life, and on winning an Emmy Award for the role
On starring in several comedic feature films in the late 1970s; on starring in the feature film "Norma Rae", directed by Martin Ritt for which she won an Academy Award; on starting her own production company
On starring in the feature "Soapdish", and on starring in A Woman of Independent Means; on directing The Christmas Tree starring Julie Harris; on directing a segment of From the Earth to the Moon for producer Tom Hanks
On her Emmy-winning guest performance on ER, and on starring on the series The Court; on ageism against women in the industry, and how things were changing at that time
On then-current projects; on advice to an aspiring actress; on her dislike of tributes, and how she would like to be remembered
Shows

Bracken's World

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Sally Field on guest-starring on Bracken's World

Court, The

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Sally Field on starring in the short-lived series The Court and her disappointment in ABC's cancellation of the series

ER

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Sally Field on her Emmy-winning guest performance on ER

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Sally Field on how playing "Sybil" in Sybil impacted her life, and on winning an Emmy for the role

Flying Nun, The

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Sally Field on her early career ambitions, and on playing "Sister Bertrille" on The Flying Nun for producer Harry Ackerman
Sally Field on her The Flying Nun character "Sister Bertrille"
Sally Field on the cancellation of The Flying Nun

From the Earth to the Moon

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Sally Field on directing a segment of From the Earth to the Moon for producer Tom Hanks

Gidget

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Sally Field on attending the Columbia Pictures Actors Workshop, which led to her being cast in Gidget by Eddie Foy III
Sally Field on the premise of Gidget, and on the character of "Gidget" and working with Don Porter who played her father
Sally Field on the end of Gidget

Girl With Something Extra, The

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Sally Field on attempting to move on from sitcoms, and on starring on The Girl With Something Extra

Hey Landlord!

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Sally Field on appearing on "The Way West", Hollywood Squares, and The Dating Game
Sally Field on her recurring role on Hey Landlord! written by Garry Marshall

Sybil

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Sally Field on being cast in Sybil
Sally Field on how she approached playing "Sybil" in Sybil, and on working with Joanne Woodward as "Dr. Cornelia Wilbur"
Sally Field on how playing "Sybil" in Sybil impacted her life, and on winning an Emmy Award for the role
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Sally Field on the premise of Gidget and on the character of "Gidget"
Sally Field on her The Flying Nun character "Sister Bertrille"

Diversity in Television

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Sally Field on starting her own production company
Sally Field on ageism against women in the industry, and how things were changing at the time

Emmy Awards

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Sally Field on how playing "Sybil" in Sybil impacted her life, and on winning an Emmy for the role

Historic Events and Social Change

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Sally Field on starting her own production company
Sally Field on ageism against women in the industry, and how things were changing at the time

Pop Culture

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Sally Field on the premise of Gidget and on the character of "Gidget"
Sally Field on her The Flying Nun character "Sister Bertrille"

Television Industry

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Sally Field on ageism against women in the industry, and how things were changing at the time

Women

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Sally Field on starting her own production company
Sally Field on ageism against women in the industry, and how things were changing in the then-present
Professions

Actress

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Sally Field on film acting versus television acting
Sally Field on becoming a mother, and on studying under Lee Strasberg
Sally Field on studying under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio
Sally Field on advice to an aspiring actress

Performers

View Profession
Sally Field on film acting versus television acting
Sally Field on becoming a mother, and on studying under Lee Strasberg
Sally Field on studying under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio
Sally Field on advice to an aspiring actress
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Sally Field on starring on Gidget
Sally Field on her recurring role on Hey Landlord!
Sally Field on playing "Sister Bertrille" on The Flying Nun
Sally Field on starring on The Girl with Something Extra

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Sally Field on starring in the feature "Soapdish", which was about the making of a soap opera

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Sally Field on starring in and executive producing A Woman of Independent Means
Sally Field on directing The Christmas Tree starring Julie Harris
Sally Field on starring in Sybil
People

Harry Ackerman

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Sally Field on her early career ambitions, and on playing "Sister Bertrille" on The Flying Nun for producer Harry Ackerman

Eddie Foy III

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Sally Field on attending the Columbia Pictures Actors Workshop, which led to her being cast in Gidget by Eddie Foy III

Garry Marshall

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Sally Field on her recurring role on Hey Landlord! written by Garry Marshall

Lee Strasberg

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Sally Field on becoming a mother, and on studying under Lee Strasberg
Sally Field on studying under Lee Strasberg at The Actors Studio

Joanne Woodward

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Sally Field on how she approached playing "Sybil" in Sybil, and on working with Joanne Woodward as "Dr. Cornelia Wilbur"

All Interviews

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