Sally Field, who Burt Reynolds once called the “love of my life” in a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, revealed in a memoir some intimate details about their relationship. This included how she used to give Burt plenty of pain meds, which Reynolds later attributed to a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ). Sally described the situation, according to Radar Online.
“It was my job to dispense the only method he had of dealing with the agony, and whenever he’d signal with a nod of his head or a raise of his eyebrow, I’d hand him a Valium, then another and another, offset by an occasional Percodan or two.”
Field also disclosed how she felt like she was a nurse, not just a partner.
“I was part guardian, part mother and part spouse, spending the night in his room, sleeping on a chair-like futon in the corner.”
Perhaps her devotion to him during their relationship in the late 70s and early 80s is what Burt remembered clearly during the 2017 interview. Unfortunately for Reynolds, the pill popping led to an addiction to the painkillers. While the actor reportedly tried to quit cold turkey, he had to enter treatment as recent as 2009. According to Healthline, Valium is one of the most addictive prescription pills available. It’s a benzodiazepine, which helps to sedate people who may be anxious or panicky.
Reynolds obviously had fond feelings for Sally, even decades after they had been together. The two met on the set of Smokey and the Bandit, starred in four movies together and then broke up just five years later, according to Yahoo News. This is what Burt said about his regrets about their relationship.
“I miss her terribly… Even now, it’s hard on me. I don’t know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up.”
But even Sally’s mom suspected the relationship would not last long, asking Burt that “I know you’re going to break her heart, but please be gentle.” The actor recalled that he told her mom that he wasn’t going to break her daughter’s heart, but unfortunately, that ended up happening anyway.
Sally Field said a touching tribute to her late ex-boyfriend Burt Reynolds. The pair dated for nearly 5 years after meeting on the set of the 1977 film “Smokey and the Bandit.” https://t.co/SgvcUYTjB4 pic.twitter.com/Y6LuT2mkMl— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 7, 2018
Reynolds also showered Sally with other compliments, saying that she was “one of the most underrated actresses” and that “she was the best actress I ever worked with.”
And the memories appear to be strong in Sally’s mind too, as she released a statement following Burt’s death.
“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later.”
Even so, Sally did move on and eventually married Alan Greisman, whom she divorced in 1993.