“Acting to me has always been about finding those few precious moments when I feel totally, utterly, sometimes dangerously alive,” Field, 76, said while accepting the accolade during the Sunday, February 26, ceremony at the Fairmount Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
Reflecting on her struggle to be taken seriously as an actor after being typecast for her sitcom roles in the 1960s and ’70s, the California native stated, “Easy is overrated.” Her Amazing Spider-Man costar Andrew Garfield presented her with the award, thanking her for living a “life devoted to art, love and service.”
The California native is the 58th recipient of the accolade, joining the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Betty White, Morgan Freeman, Julie Andrews and last year’s honoree, Helen Mirren. The distinction is reserved for individuals who have exhibited “outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession,” per the organization’s website.
Field has eight previous SAG award nominations, including her 2008 win for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Brothers & Sisters. The In Pieces author got her start on comedic sitcoms in the 1960s, playing the titular roles in Gidget (1965 to 1966) and The Flying Nun (1967 to 1970). She went on to receive critical acclaim in both film and television, earning two Oscars and two Emmys over the years.
Fran Drescher, who is the president of SAG-AFTRA, sang Field’s praises last month after the Lincoln actress was named the recipient of this year’s prize.
“Sally is an amazing actor with an enormous range and an uncanny ability to embody any character,” the Nanny alum said in a statement. “I joyfully watched her early career when she portrayed Gidget and the Flying Nun and then, in ever more challenging roles, as Sybil and Norma Rae.”
Drescher continued: “She has an enduring career because she is authentic in her performance and always projects likability and humanity – she just connects. That’s part of why she has sustained her massive fandom and incredibly rich and layered career. Sally is a massive star with a working actor’s ethos – just keep doing the work, being as good as you can.”
Known for films including Smokey and the Bandit, Steel Magnolias, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump and countless others, Field most recently starred in the sports comedy 80 for Brady alongside Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rita Moreno.
“This was a story about older women and sports, and I am a huge sports fan. It wasn’t just older women looking for a date, a better husband, or worried about their children,” she told the outlet. “Older women are a huge audience for sports, and I think we get overlooked.”
Field added of getting to work with athletes including Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Tom Brady himself on the film: “[They] were adorable and so much fun to be around. In reality we just laughed our way through the whole thing.”
As for her personal life, the ER alum is the mother of three sons. She shares Peter and Eli — born in 1969 and 1972, respectively — with her first husband, Steven Craig, and welcomed Sam in 1987 with ex-husband Alan Greisman, whom she was married to from 1984 to 1994.
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