It’s rare to see a celebrity today who has not had work done, especially because of the amount of pressure often placed on famous women. It’s hard to be a woman in Hollywood, but – even at 76 – Sally Field has defied most of the “rules” put in place.
We love Sally Field’s work in films like Forrest Gump and Steel Magnolias. Some of our favorite work from her, though, is not on the screen but instead in her personal approach to working against ageism in her career.
Born in 1946 in Pasadena, California, Sally Field rose to fame first in television series such as Gidget and The Flying Nun.
The now 76-year-old star developed into an impressive actress and activist, moving into the film not long after her television career.
She starred in a plethora of iconic films, including Smokey and the Bandit, Norma Rae, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Forrest Gump.
The actress recently received the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in February of 2023, where she gave a gracious acceptance speech that spoke to her impressive and storied career.
The field had already been awarded a list of awards in her career: two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Film Award nominations, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, including her most recent Life Achievement Award, and a Tony nomination.
A vocal activist, Field has often been described as ageless and talented. Her SAG Achievement Award speech was humble and helped to describe her complicated acting history.
“Offstage I felt shy and careful and hidden. But onstage I never knew what I would say or do. I would surprise myself. I wasn’t looking for the applause, or attention, even though that’s nice,” she confessed. “Acting, to me, has always been about finding those few, precious moments when I feel totally, utterly, sometimes dangerously alive. The task has always been to find a way to get to that.”
Styled in a beautiful black dress with her naturally gray hair, Field looked every inch at a picture of beauty and grace.
“They opened and revealed parts of myself I would not have known otherwise. I’ve worked my whole life. In all of these almost 60 years, there is not a day that I don’t feel quietly thrilled to call myself an actor,” she explained.
When Field played Doris Miller in 2016, she spoke to NPR about her character–an aging, eccentric woman:
“I’m an old woman, 70 is old, and that’s okay. I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I’ve deserved them, and I have a right to have them. And I don’t like my neck, I don’t like a lot of things but it’s okay.”
This is not the first time Field has discussed the idea of aging naturally in an interview. Speaking with Good Housekeeping in 2009, she explained how she resisted the urge to get work done throughout her career:
“I see myself on TV and I say, ‘Oh, I wish that weren’t happening to my neck. And your face is falling down, and your eyes are so puffy.’ But then I see some of the women (who have had plastic surgery) who I thought when they were younger were so beautiful. Now I think, Oh, dear, don’t do that! And it seems to be terribly disrespectful to who they are now.”
We think Sally Field is beautiful at any age, especially because she has stayed true to herself! What do you think about her choice to stay natural?