Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sally Field - from Gidget to Nora Walker

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Sally Field 

from Gidget to Nora Walker

Sally Margaret Field (born November 6, 1946) is a multi-talented actress, singer, producer, director, and screenwriter. In each decade of her career, she has been known for major roles in American TV and film.

Gidget 1965 - 66

Opening Credits
Gidget was a prime time sitcom about a surfing, boy-crazy teenager called "Gidget" and her widowed father Russ Lawrence, a UCLA professor. Sally Field starred as Frances "Gidget" Lawrence with Don Porter as her father. 
Gidget spends most of her free time at the beach, hanging out with friends and surfing. She also has a knack for getting in and out of trouble. She also speaks to the audience during her journey to adulthood, letting them know exactly what's on her mind and what she's discovered about life. 
The series was first broadcast on ABC from September 15, 1965 through April 21, 1966. Gidget was among the first regularly scheduled color programs on ABC, but did poorly in the Nielsen ratings and was cancelled at the end of its first season. The show gained some popularity in summer reruns but too late to reverse its cancellation.              
Text via Wikipedia
Top 40 song by Johnny Tillotson

The Flying Nun 1967 - 1970

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The Flying Nun was produced by Screen Gems for ABC based on the 1965 book The Fifteenth Pelican, by Tere Rios. Developed by Bernard Slade, the series centered on the adventures of a community of nuns in the Convent San Tanco in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The comic elements of the storyline were provided by the flying ability of a novice nun, Sister Bertrille, played by Sally Field. This was her next sitcom role after the cancellation of GidgetThe series ran from September 7, 1967 to September 18, 1970, producing 83 episodes.                  Text via Wikipedia

The Girl with Something Extra

Image via TV Alenah
1973 - 74
The Girl with Something Extra was a variation on Bewitched in that it derived its comedy from the relationship between a normal man and his wife who happens to have a special power. In this case, the series focused on newly married couple John Burton (played by John Davidson) and Sally Burton (played by Sally Field), and their misadventures after John discovers that Sally has ESP. This ability allowed her to read other people's minds. Co-starring in the series were Teri Garr, Henry Jones and Zohra Lampert. Despite airing right after Sanford and Son on Friday nights, the show was cancelled at the end of the first season due to low ratings. A total of 22 half-hour episodes were produced.                 Text via Wikipedia


In 1976, Field starred in the title role, of Sybil, with Joanne Woodward playing the part of her psychiatristCornelia B. Wilbur. Woodword herself had starred in The Three Faces of Eve, in which she portrayed a woman with 13 personalities, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for the role. Based on the book Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber, the movie dramatizes the life of a shy young graduate student, Sybil Dorsett (in real life, Shirley Ardell Mason), suffering from dissociative identity disorder as a result of the psychological trauma she suffered as a child. With the help of her psychiatrist, Sybil gradually recalls the severe child abuse that led to the development of 13 different personalities. Field's portrayal of Sybil won much critical acclaim, as well as an Emmy Award.           Image and text via Wikipedia

Smokey and the Bandit

Sally Field
A complete change of pace was 1977's Smokey and the Bandit. This over the top highway chase romp starred Field as well as Burt Reynolds. The film was the second highest grossing film of 1977, beaten only by Star Wars and spawned four sequels. However, Field only appeared in first two Smokey and the Bandit films. 

Places in the Heart

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Field won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role on two occasions, Norma Rae (1979) and Places in the Heart (1984). Also in 1979, she won the Best Female Performance Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, for Norma Rae. Other professional achievements also include winning three Emmy Awards: for her role in the TV film Sybil (1976); her guest-starring role on ER in 2000; and for her starring role as Nora Holden Walker on ABC's series Brothers & Sisters in 2007. She has also won two Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress.

Norma Rae 2nd Oscar win (1984)

Steel Magnolias (1989)

This comedy/drama revolves around a group of unforgettable Southern women and the beloved Truvy's Beauty Parlor. The action centres on the expected wedding of the beautiful young Shelby. A diabetic, Shelby's disease is documented as potentially threatening to her upcoming marriage. Still, the wedding passes, and all of the women grow closer and closer, bantering, celebrating, fighting, and laughing their way through life. When Shelby decides to have a baby, however, her doctor and husband advise her of the precarious dangers involved. Still, Shelby is resolved to have a child, and the result of her decision leads to an unforgettable ending that is as memorable as it is touching.
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SOAPDISH Sally Field

Soapdish (1991)

Chaos reigns supreme on the set of a popular TV soap opera. When long reigning queen of soaps, Celeste Talbert, comes into competition with upcoming soap beauty, Montana Morrehead, the latter teams up with show's producer to try and write her out of the series. But when Celeste's old flame re-appears onscreen, things get interesting since, it was Celeste's idea to fire him 20 years earlier, and, since, Montana is desperately awaiting for Celeste's celebrity status to fade away to nothing more than a blip on a map.                                              Text via Home

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

When Daniels Hillard finally finds himself unemployed and struggling to keep his personal life in order, his wife asks for a divorce. At the hearing, Daniel is heartbroken when he discovers the judge denies him custody of the kids. In an attempt to stay close to his kids, however, Daniels pulls off one of the most memorable gags in twentietch century comedy, dressing up as the beloved nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire. As Daniel tends for his children under the guise of an old lady, both the children, and Daniel's ex-wife, grow to love the gregarious housekeeper, leading to inevitable complications as Daniel struggles to keep his act undisclosed.
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Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is quite possibly the most adorable mentally handicapped man America was privileged to know. Beginning with a bus stop and a feather, Gump takes us through his life story, which coincidentally crosses paths with most of America's most hallmark historic moments. As we weave our way through Elvis, 'Nam, and more, we follow Gump's trials and tribulations en route to winning the heart of his one true love, Jenny.

Brothers & Sisters (2006 - 2011)

Nora is the matriarch of the Walker family. She has five children: Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin, and Justin. She has a brother, Saul. She had a difficult relationship with her mother, Ida (Season 1 Episode 13). She has two sons-in-law Robert McCallister and Scotty Wandell. Nora also has seven grandchildren: Sarah's children Paige and Cooper, Tommy's twins William (deceased) and Elizabeth, Kitty's adopted son Evan and Kevin's adopted daughter Olivia and Kevin's son Daniel. More here.
Image via TV Fanatic

Personal life

Field married Steven Craig in 1968. The couple had two sons, Peter Craig, a novelist, and Eli Craig, an actor and director. They divorced in 1975. 
Sally Field was romantically involved with Burt Reynolds for many years, during which time they co-starred in several movies, including Smokey and the Bandit, Smokey and the Bandit II, and The End
In 1984, she married film producer Alan Greisman. They had one son, Sam. They  divorced in 1993. 
Field suffers from osteoporosis, and has appeared in commercials promoting prescription medication designed to prevent and/or alleviate the effects of this disease.

Text via Wikipedia
Sally Field
Sally Field

Sally Field Interview
Two Oscars for Best Actress
July 4, 2008
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Long before your Oscar-winning roles in Norma Rae and Places in the Heart, you were a teenage star in sitcoms like Gidget and The Flying Nun. We understand that your mom was also an actress. 
You kind of grew up in show business. What was that like?

Sally Field: I come from a real working-class acting family. It's not a glamorous life. My stepfather, who I grew up with was a stuntman-slash-actor, but basically a stuntman. My mother, interesting, she was a working-class actor that would one week go to work on Bonanza, and then not work for a few weeks, and then get a job on Perry Mason, and then not work for a while, and then get another job on another television series. So it was really the typical, dangerous working-class actress life, in that you never knew if you were going to have an income.

Most actors live that way, don't they?

Sally Field: They do. It's very difficult.

Life is so incredibly insecure. And when I grew up, part of the really important ingredients to my becoming in the industry is that twice we had all our things in our house repossessed, and it was extremely influential to me to live in a house one day and then not the next, and have to move to a littler sort of tract house thing, understanding that kind of real insecure existence.

Wow! Did your mother dissuade you from acting?

Sally Field: No. My mother certainly didn't.

My mother was under contract to Paramount. She was in the days when they had contract players. She was spotted in the Pasadena Playhouse because she was incredibly beautiful. And then she studied with Charles Laughton. She always had a great, deep love of the 'craft' of acting because she sat in a small classroom with Charles Laughton and watched him perform all the time. He was a phenomenal actor. So I grew up with her loving the classics, reading Chekhov and Shakespeare and loving the real art of what acting is -- and acting is story-telling. So we had this kind of secret language between the two of us -- from the time I was little -- of acting. And when I finally found an acting class -- and thank God they had them. I underline that. They don't have them now. But I went to public school in the San Fernando Valley in California and they had acting classes. And in junior high even, I found the stage for the first time, and she and I would work on things together. I would work on scenes, with my little Romeo and Juliet soliloquies and the improvisations I was supposed to bring in. So it was a real communication that she and I had together, and she always supported that love that I had of it.

You said you were on stage in junior high. What was your first performance on stage?

Sally Field: My first performance on stage was some scenes from Romeo and Juliet when I was 13. And I was truly...I must have been dreadful. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was so seminal, so incredibly important because -- I wanted to speak about it today but I left it out. I had this magical thing happen to me. I had no idea where I was going and I didn't know how it arrived, but I had this glorious out-of-body experience. I was on stage, saying words that I really didn't quite understand. I had no idea of what a technique was or anything, and I simply floated away. I didn't exist. There was no Sally -- little 13-year-old Sally -- on stage. There were hands and feet and a mouth, working and saying things, but they weren't mine. And it is this blissful glorious high that I had early on in my life, and it is what has taught me and guided me forever, because when I lost sight of what on God's green earth was I doing here, why was I doing this, why was I beating myself up, I remembered that moment. And my whole life has been trying to understand how to get back there, trying to own that gift, that ability that human beings have to float away to some creative place that is simply God-like.

Actors get to be more than one person.

Sally Field: Well, yes and no. It is a very interesting profession, or craft, or art, or whatever you call it.

When you learn to do it, if you study and you have a lot of techniques, you learn to step in someone else's shoes. Part of those shoes are created by history. You do research on who this person, if they existed or not, might have been. You use the text of the writer who has written it. You use the text itself, and all of the information that the writer has given you. But you really instill it with your own life. You find parts of yourself that actually link with that human being, even though there may be so...on the page... you could... I mean, how am I going to do this? There's no way I can relate to this person. And it transforms you as a person to stand in those shoes, because you realize how you are linked to everyone, profoundly, deeply, emotionally linked. And I have been changed by the strong roles I've gotten to play, of Norma Rae or Sybil and others, and I go away not the same. And it has made me wonder, "Was John Wayne John Wayne before he played those roles?" Or did Red River change John Wayne and help him to develop to be the person that he became as a human being? I think it has to go hand-in-hand.

That's an incredible description of the art of acting. You said you also found drama in high school. What kinds of things did you do in high school?

Sally Field: I kind of lived in the drama department, very much lived in the drama department. And I was so lucky, again, that I had the drama department, but that I had these wonderful teachers. Mr. Culp was one of them, a remarkable fellow who was dedicated to the arts and theater arts, and taught us all about theater in high school. We performed scenes, and we also performed a term play. But I got so hungry and aggressive with it that sometimes he would call me to his office and tell me I had to be nicer to the other students because I just was hungry to do the roles. I just was hungry to work. And I would pick for my scenes the people who I thought, "Hmm, who will take this most seriously?" It was a terribly important time to me, because I went right from that "Who knew?"-- right from that into the big bad world. I really clung to this image of myself that I had created in high school of being strong enough to pull it off, when really I was just a little kid.

Did you like to read?
Sally Field: No.

I was a bad reader. I was uneducated basically. Completely and utterly and totally uneducated. I barely went to classes. I only went to the drama classes. I wasn't really encouraged in my home, as a female growing up in the 50s, to be educated. It was a real lock. My mother did a lot of great things but she wasn't educated so she didn't know how to support that. And my brother, who became an elemental particle physicist -- one of the finest physicists in the world -- and I never went to college. And it really is, in a lot of ways, indicative of what our society was then. I survived and I taught myself, but deeply, as a 61-year-old woman -- and my sons would be here in the room going, "Here she goes" -- I have been possessed with this longing to have an education, a formal, "Sit in the classroom, write-the-paper, turn it in, get a B, wish for an A" kind of education.

Sally Field Interview, continued on pages: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Interview via The Academy of Achievement
  Spooky Reading

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What lies beneath...

Sally Field: Sexpot

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