Movie Star Memories: Sally Field

In this blog series, I’ll describe my impressions of various movie stars I’ve met over the years. Hope you enjoy reading about your favorites, and that you’ll be inspired to check out my Hollywood novel Dream Factory, which is available in both paperback and electronic formats through

When the Smithsonian Institution celebrated the 100th anniversary of the motion picture industry in 1986, it invited three different actresses to represent their respective eras of Hollywood: Lillian Gish (the silent film era), Ginger Rogers (the golden era), and Sally Field (the modern era). Each of these great actresses fielded questions from an audience on different evenings, about what it was like to make movies in Hollywood during those times.

Sally Field, who was both smart and friendly, spoke often about how she studied the work of other actors and actresses who had gone before her to learn more about her craft. She enjoyed not just making movies, but also watching them. She was a star, but she never forgot the importance of being a fan, as well.

I was impressed by Sally’s emphasis on lifelong learning. She’s an astute observer of human nature as well as the craft of making films, and her wisdom comes through in her onscreen performances.

Even though it has been many years since I met her, I continue to fondly remember that evening at the Smithsonian every time I watch Sally’s great acting in a movie, such as the great film Lincoln in which she costarred last year.

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