Sally Field and Burt Reynolds fell in love in the set of their iconic action-comedy film, Smokey and the Bandit, which was popular at the box office in 1977. Their relationship lasted for five years, but the couple never married. During an in-depth interview with journalist Diane Sawyer that aired in part on Good Morning America, the 71-year-old Forrest Gump star reminisced about the immediate connection she shared with Reynolds, who passed away on September 6, due to cardiac arrest at the age of 82.
“We’d known each other about three days, four days when we filmed Smokey and the Bandit. It was instantaneous and four days felt like four years. You can see it in our faces. We were sort of, you know, deeply entangled,” she told Sawyer. “The nature of it wasn’t just, ‘Oh this is a love affair.’ There was some ingredient between us having to do with my care-taking and him needing to be taken care of.”
Reynolds never concealed his affection for Field, whom he often referred to as the “love of my life.”
“I was always flattered when he said that,” Field said, according to ET Online. “But he was a complicated man.”
Field is opening up about Reynolds as she promotes her new memoir, In Pieces. Reynolds published his own autobiography, But Enough About Me in 2015.
The actress described she and Reynolds’ relationship as “confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.”
She said of the memoir in an interview with the New York Times, “This would hurt him.”
Fields went on to say that she “felt glad” that he wasn’t going to be able to read it and he “wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have.”
The New York Times article states that Field characterizes Reynolds as “swaggering and charismatic, and their connection as immediate and intense.” But, she writes in her book, that he could be controlling of her and was only able to accept aspects of her life and personality that he liked.
In Pieces is not a traditional showbiz tell-all, though it does cover some Field’s famous roles and relationships with celebrity co-stars, and how she raised three sons through two marriages that ended in divorce.
In Pieces has already made it to #1 on the Amazon.com Bestsellers list.
Fans can watch part more of Sawyer’s interview with Field when it airs during World News Tonight With David Muir and Nightline and on the GMA website.