HomeAmerican Entertainment‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Star Sally Field Opened Up About Relationship With Burt Reynolds

‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Star Sally Field Opened Up About Relationship With Burt Reynolds

by TK Sanders
Getty Images

American actress Sally Field released her memoir in 2018 just days after her co-star and former lover Burt Reynolds passed away. The timing was ironic but not intended — Fields was going to release her memoir regardless. But the Smokey and the Bandit star later confessed that she was “pleased” Reynolds did not get a chance to read the details for himself.

Field’s book, In Pieces, recounted a relationship with the superstar Reynolds in which she felt “trapped” despite being in love. In the decades following their 1970’s love affair, Reynolds often lamented the time as a missed opportunity.

“I miss her terribly. Even now, it’s hard on me,” Reynolds said in a 2015 interview. “I don’t know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up.”

The pair split around 1982 after many years as costars and tumultuous lovers. Reynolds and Field starred alongside one another as on-screen lovers a few times, including 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit, 1978’s Hooper, 1978’s The End and 1980’s Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again. They became synonymous with each other, a blend of art and reality that audiences loved to keep up with at the time.

Field’s Memoir Has Lots of Personal Detail About Reynolds

Fields released her memoir, which covered the relationship in detail, on September 18, 2018. Reynolds died of a heart attack just 12 days prior. He was 82 years old. Reynolds’ death emboldened Field to speak a bit more freely about her memories of the past. She confessed that although she dearly loved the late star, she did not like their “complicated and hurtful” relationship at times.

“I reveal [in the book] what I was feeling and how trapped I was in an old pattern of behavior, and how I was predisposed.” Field also described Reynolds and his strong personality as a “preformed rut in the road,” a metaphor to explain how hard it can be to escape a relationship.

“I couldn’t see it coming. And I didn’t know how to get out. I had been carefully trained to fall into this … we were a perfect match of flaws.”​

​Field later added in a statement regarding Reynolds’ death: “There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”

Field is glad that Reynolds did not have a chance to read her personal thoughts and glad that nobody will ask him questions about it.

“He wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further.”​

Nobody knows whether or not Sally and Burt ever reconciled in any way except Sally and Burt. But Reynolds did mention before his death that he would enjoy a conversation with his former love.

“That sense of loss never goes away. I have no idea what Sally thinks about it. She could pick up the phone and speak to me but she never does. I spoke to her son recently. He said that his mum talks about me all the time. Maybe she’ll phone me one day. I’d love to have that conversation.”