SAG Awards 2023: Sally Field Wins for Lifetime Achievement

Sally Field received the lifetime achievement award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

Andrew Garfield presented Field with her award. He called Field “one of the greatest actors to have ever lived.”

Garfield praised Field calling her a “North star” and urged “people under 30” to watch Field’s first television series, Gidget. He commended her for playing complex women early in her career during a time when female characters were often one-dimensional.

He also praised Field for her humility. “You never drink the Kool-Aid of your own brilliance,” Garfield said. “You never get high on your own supply. But tonight we’re going to try to make you.”

Garfield went on to highlight Field’s work off-screen celebrating her as a fighter for women’s rights, women in media and an ally to the LGBTQ community. And, he added, “She’s won a lot of s–t. She’s won so much s–t.”

The award show celebrated Field’s nearly six-decade career with a montage highlighting a “small slice, that is the genius” of her greatest hits. The presentation included clips depicting moving moments from ER, Steel Magnolias, Norma Rae, Forrest Gump and more.

While accepting the award, Field recounted the first lines she ever recited on camera for Gidget. “All of a sudden I was the star of a television series,” and she joined the Screen Actors Guild.

Growing up, Field said, she felt shy, careful and hidden, but on stage she could be freely herself. Though she clarified, acting was never about a need to hide herself behind her characters, but saw the craft as an opportunity to feel “totally, utterly, sometimes dangerously, alive.”

“There is not a day that I don’t feel quietly thrilled to call myself an actor,” Field said.

The actress most recently starred in the comedy 80 For Brady and has won two Oscars during her career. She got her start in the 1965 television series Gidget. Fields played the titular character, a 15-year-old California girl on her journey to adulthood. The one-season comedy followed Gidget as she got into trouble and received advice from her widowed father, played by Don Porter.

In 1967, Field starred as Sister Bertrille in another TV comedy, The Flying Nun. Sister Bertrille was a novice at her Puerto Rico convent when she discovered her large headdress could make her fly in a stiff breeze. The series aired for three seasons.

That same year, Field starred in her first film, The Way West, opposite Kirk Douglas. She went on to appear in numerous TV series and films before winning her first Oscar in 1979 for playing the title character in Norma Rae, a film based on the real story of a woman who worked in a textile mill and rallied her coworkers to unionize for better conditions.

Field won her second Academy Award in 1984 for playing Edna Spalding, a woman who fights to keep her family and her home after her husband is killed in an accident during the Great Depression, in Places of the Heart.

She has appeared in other films including Steel Magnolias, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump and Spoiler Alert, among others.

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