In the aftermath of veteran screen actor Burt Reynolds’ death, speculation surrounding his love affair with co-star Sally Field has reached heights that have not been seen since the pair were dating for a five-year stint in the 1970s and ’80s.
Field, who served as co-star to Reynolds in the seminal comedic car chase movie Smokey and the Bandit, did not mince words when speaking about the reaction she reckons Reynolds would have had to her newest memoir, In Pieces.
“This would hurt him… I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it, he wasn’t going to be asked about it, and he wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further.”
According to Sentinel & Enterprise, Field’s interpretation of their torrid and brief romance takes a very different turn than that remembered by Reynolds, who she described as controlling of her.
“[The relationship was] confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.”
Her upcoming memoir apparently delves into great detail about their relationship — and Burt Reynolds’ personal problems — that began in the late 1970s. Field’s book claims that Reynolds was abusing barbiturates, Percodan, and Valium. The memoir also makes the claim that Reynolds was receiving regular, and ultimately mysterious, injections to his chest during this period of time.
Despite her best efforts to enroll him into therapy or counseling for his seeming anxiety and stress, Reynolds resisted Fields on the subject, preferring self-medication of his own design.
Reynolds would, years later, undergo a quintuple heart bypass surgery after entering rehab to battle an addiction to prescription painkillers.
Field explained some of the tangled emotional web behind her earlier fling with Reynolds, offering up the bizarre explanation that it was birthed out of an abusive situation that had befallen her as a young child. Claiming that she had been abused by her stepfather — stuntman Jock Mahoney — and implying that her relationship with Reynolds was an attempt to recreate and exorcise those demons from her youth, Field nonetheless made it clear that she would miss her ex-lover terribly.
“I was somehow exorcising something that needed to be exorcised… I was trying to make it work this time.”
Field would issue a statement immediately after Reynold’s death, according to Entertainment Tonight. The passage is bittersweet but respectful, coinciding with the gentle distance that Field had placed between the pair for so long following their parting of ways so many years ago.
“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later… My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”
For his part, Reynolds almost always reminisced about his relationship with the spritely Sally Field with affection — and regret for his own bull-headedness and overall behavior. As reported by the Inquisitr, Reynolds described Sally Field as “the love of his life” and spoke out on the mistakes that he felt he had made in dealing with her in the past.
“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.”
Burt Reynolds passed away on September 6, 2018, at the age of 82.