You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

EXCLUSIVE: Sally Field tells how Burt Reynolds would 'constantly snap as if I'd piddled on the floor', belittled her acting and was so jealous whenever they saw a man Field knew he would pinch her face

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 9/18/2018 Daniel Bates For Dailymail.com
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

(Video provided by Inside Edition)

Sally Field has revealed Burt Reynolds was controlling, jealous and belittling during their stormy relationship and even hinted that he was physically abusive to her.

In her new memoir, the actress writes that when she tried to assert herself, her Smokey and the Bandit co-star 'tightened his grip, sometimes literally', though she does not elaborate further.

Sally Field, Burt Reynolds are posing for a picture:  Sally Field has suggested that the late actor Burt Reynolds (pictured together in 1977) was so controlling during their stormy relationship that he was physically abusive to her, she revealed in her new memoir © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited  Sally Field has suggested that the late actor Burt Reynolds (pictured together in 1977) was so controlling during their stormy relationship that he was physically abusive to her, she revealed in her new memoir Field says that from the first time they met, Reynolds began to 'housebreak' her, telling her 'what was allowed and what was not'.

He only liked to talk about himself and used to 'constantly snap as if I'd piddled on the floor', according to her new book In Pieces, which is out today.

a man and a woman looking at the camera: The actress writes that when she tried to assert herself, her Smokey and the Bandit co-star 'tightened his grip, sometimes literally', though she does not elaborate further. Pictured:  The couple together on the set of Hooper in 1978 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The actress writes that when she tried to assert herself, her Smokey and the Bandit co-star 'tightened his grip, sometimes literally', though she does not elaborate further. Pictured:  The couple together on the set of Hooper in 1978 Reynolds belittled Field's acting career and was so jealous that whenever they saw a man Field knew he would pinch her face, demanding to know who he was.

The disturbing effect on Field was that she 'eliminated most of me, becoming a familiar, shadowy version of myself, locked behind my eyes, unable to speak', she writes.

Sally Field taking a selfie: The Oscar-winning actress (pictured on Monday) has said that she is glad Reynolds, who died on September 6 aged 82 from a heart attack, is not alive to read her memoir © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Oscar-winning actress (pictured on Monday) has said that she is glad Reynolds, who died on September 6 aged 82 from a heart attack, is not alive to read her memoir

Field has said that she is glad Reynolds, who died earlier this month aged 82 from a heart attack, is not alive to read her memoir. And now that the book is out, it is clear what she meant.

Field, 71, says in her memoir that her relationship with Reynolds was a replay of that with her stepfather, who sexually abused her from the when she was around six years old to 14.

Field describes how being with Reynolds was 'exorcising something that needed to be exorcised' but she was 'trying to make it work this time'.

The actress writes that from the beginning Reynolds was presumptuous and arrogant, introducing himself as 'Burt Reynolds, movie star' when he called her. 

It was 1976 and he had asked her to star in Smokey and the Bandit; she had already found fame with films like Gidget and Stay Hungry, while Reynolds was the biggest star in the world at the time, thanks to films like Deliverance.

Field writes she did not understand why Reynolds wanted her in the film because she was not his typical leading lady and she thought that the 'script stinks'.

Sally Field et al. posing for the camera: Field says that from the first time they met, Reynolds began to 'housebreak' her, telling her 'what was allowed and what was not' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Field says that from the first time they met, Reynolds began to 'housebreak' her, telling her 'what was allowed and what was not' But his motives became clear when, to her surprise, he announced they were going on a date for their first meeting.

Field writes: 'By the time we met, the weight of his stardom had become a way for Burt to control everyone around him, and from the moment I walked through the door, it was a way to control me. We were a perfect match of flaws'.

Their affair was 'instantaneous and intense', Field writes.

a close up of text on a white background: Field learned not to talk about previous lovers and later became 'terrified' of running into any man she knew, regardless of whether or not she was in a relationship with him prior. Pictured: Reynolds in March a few months before he died of a heart attack  © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Field learned not to talk about previous lovers and later became 'terrified' of running into any man she knew, regardless of whether or not she was in a relationship with him prior. Pictured: Reynolds in March a few months before he died of a heart attack 

'Blindly I fell into a rut that had long ago formed in my road, a pre programmed behavior as if in some past I had pledged a soul-binding commitment to this man'.

On their second date, dinner in his hotel suite, Reynolds told her about his life but when she tried to tell him about hers she got 'not-so-subtle hints that he didn't want to know'. 

Field began 'clamping down on [herself]' and felt Reynolds was 'disappointed' with her so she falsely told him her live-in boyfriend wasn't making her happy.

When Field tried to tell him about her two children from her previous marriage or when she would 'disagree with him about anything' he would turn 'glassy-eyed' and 'maybe offer a distracted comment before turning away'. 

Field learned not to talk about previous lovers and later became 'terrified' of running into any man she knew, regardless of whether or not she was in a relationship with him prior.

Field writes: 'Burt would pinch my face in his hand, demanding I tell him who the guy was and what kind of relationship I'd had with him.

'No matter who it was, if I knew him well or only barely, I'd lie with my heart racing as though I'd been caught at the dinner table with pink lips'.

a person driving a car: During the filming of Smokey and the Bandit his 'mysterious and painful' health episodes escalated and a doctor used to give Reynolds an injection of 'God knows what' directly into his chest. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited During the filming of Smokey and the Bandit his 'mysterious and painful' health episodes escalated and a doctor used to give Reynolds an injection of 'God knows what' directly into his chest. Field recounts in unsettling detail how she edited out the 'bad' parts of herself and only told Reynolds about the 'sunny' parts of her childhood.

Besides his controlling behavior, Field also learned to cope with Reynolds' health.

She writes how he would sometimes have odd 'attacks' where he would bend from the waist, push his fingers into his rib cage and burp while gasping for air.

Burt Reynolds, Sally Field are posing for a picture: Field learned not to talk about previous lovers and later became 'terrified' of running into any man she knew, regardless of whether or not she was in a relationship with him prior © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Field learned not to talk about previous lovers and later became 'terrified' of running into any man she knew, regardless of whether or not she was in a relationship with him prior

During the filming of Smokey and the Bandit his 'mysterious and painful' health episodes escalated and a doctor used to give Reynolds an injection of 'God knows what' directly into his chest.

Field writes: 'This could not have been a good thing and I couldn't understand why everyone around him acted so nonchalant while this man was writhing in pain, panicked that his heart was about to stop'.

Field gave Reynolds a brown paper bag to breathe into and wrapped hot towels around his feet, face and hands. Reynolds also used to routinely use Valium and the painkiller Percodan to get through the day.

During the filming of Smokey and the Bandit, Field writes: 'He was zooming the car down narrow roads, barely able to see around the forest of equipment and spouting reams of dialogue while I fed him barbiturates hand over fist. Clearly I didn't have my wits about me'.

His episodes led Field to take Reynolds to the Miami Heart Institute for a checkup on his heart, which came back all clear.

Reynolds dismissed her attempts to get him into therapy for his anxiety, which she thought was causing his heart palpitations, because he thought it was 'self-delusional poppycock'.

a man and a woman taking a selfie in a car: Reynolds dismissed her attempts to get him into therapy for his anxiety, which she thought was causing his heart palpitations, because he thought it was 'self-delusional poppycock' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Reynolds dismissed her attempts to get him into therapy for his anxiety, which she thought was causing his heart palpitations, because he thought it was 'self-delusional poppycock' But Reynolds thought that drugs could cure Field's health issues, and when she had a headache he offered her a strong Percodan.

When she asked for an aspirin instead, his voice turned to irritated impatience, which Field calls his 'how dare you doubt my know-how' tone.

Field says the message he was sending her was 'do it now, go!' so she took the pill and felt sick with her heart pounding. 

Burt Reynolds posing for the camera: Field's verdict on Reynolds is that people saw him as a charming, funny, good ol' boy from the South but inside he was tortured. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Field's verdict on Reynolds is that people saw him as a charming, funny, good ol' boy from the South but inside he was tortured.

As the months went by Reynolds became 'louder, short-tempered and impatient,', she writes. 

Field was doing all the cooking and cleaning in his Los Angeles home, buying things and 'fulfilling every wish before he could even wish for it'.

She was paying for everything out of her own pocket but when she finally got up the courage to ask Reynolds for some money, he refused.

He said: 'My business manager gives me only a thousand dollars a week. If I give you two hundred that'll leave me with almost nothing'.

Field does talk about good times in their relationship like how Reynolds was an early adapter to the VHS player and that he gave her films such as The Searchers - the John Wayne western.

Field writes about how with film made them 'love something together, which made us love each other'.

But Reynolds did not gel well with Field's two children, Peter, who was seven at the time, and Eli, who was four.

He bought them go-karts for Christmas but they did not want to be bribed and his attempts to charm them 'flopped like a juicy fart at a family reunion'.

Reynolds became 'uncomfortable' around them so Field left them at home with her mother while she spent evenings with him, staying overnight and driving back early the next day.

a man standing next to a forest: Jock Mahoney (pictured with Sally and her brother) was a stuntman who married Field's mother Margaret Field in 1952 after she divorced her father Richard © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Jock Mahoney (pictured with Sally and her brother) was a stuntman who married Field's mother Margaret Field in 1952 after she divorced her father Richard Field writes how she became 'overwhelmed with guilt' at neglecting her children for Reynolds; ironically when she was with him she felt 'more trapped than with my children'. 

When press reports began about Reynolds' cheating, Field's grandmother made sure she knew about it, calling her to report what was in the National Enquirer that week, and described the photos. 

a group of baseball players that are standing in the grass: Field, 71, says in her memoir that her relationship with Reynolds was a replay of that with her stepfather, actor Jock Mahoney (pictured with him and her brother Rick in 1952), who sexually abused her from the when she was around six years old to 14 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Field, 71, says in her memoir that her relationship with Reynolds was a replay of that with her stepfather, actor Jock Mahoney (pictured with him and her brother Rick in 1952), who sexually abused her from the when she was around six years old to 14

Field tried to brush it off but secretly she 'knew it was all true'. She writes that she 'felt duped and a fool' but, still she stayed with Reynolds.

Field writes that 'to be loved I had to stop being me' and in her journals at the time she wrote about wanting to 'run away, to escape from some hidden trap'.

She was 'bending myself into a pleasing shape, a soothing compliant cup of warm elixir that Burt was then lured into drinking over and over, until he became addicted to the seemingly unconditional love I was offering', she writes.

Sally Field talking on a cell phone: Field (pictured in 1967) writes that she had a secret abortion in Tijuana, Mexico, when she was 17 years old during her sexual awakening which felt like she was 'breaking out of my own brain' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Field (pictured in 1967) writes that she had a secret abortion in Tijuana, Mexico, when she was 17 years old during her sexual awakening which felt like she was 'breaking out of my own brain' The biggest role of Field's career was Norma Rae in 1979, about a textile factory worker who rallies her co-workers to unionize.

Inevitably Reynolds objected to the role and told Field that 'no lady of mine is gonna play a whore'. 

When Field said it was just a part she was playing, Reynolds mocked her, saying: 'Oh, so now you're an actor... you're letting your ambition get the better of you'.

Field defied him and took the part and on the last day of filming Reynolds drove to see her on the set and proposed with a diamond ring, which Field describes as 'not me'. 

Field did not accept his proposal and they never married. She writes how Reynolds 'didn't speak and I didn't know what to say other than thank you, awkwardly'. 

After Norma Rae finished filming, Field writes that her personality started to 'flare out', which was met with Reynolds' 'shocked disapproval'. 

Field writes: 'As I began pulling away he tightened his grip, sometimes literally'. 

Sally Field smiling for the camera: Field writes that Reynolds was 'engulfed by a massive wave of seeming instant notoriety, a sex symbol, and when his tsunami of collective unconscious slammed into him, he couldn't breathe' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Field writes that Reynolds was 'engulfed by a massive wave of seeming instant notoriety, a sex symbol, and when his tsunami of collective unconscious slammed into him, he couldn't breathe'

When she called him to say she was going to the Cannes Film Festival he 'asked in a huff what the hell I intended to do there', branding it a 'waste of time'.

Reynolds' tone changed to 'deep disappointment' and he said that he had been house hunting for both of them and that she was 'spoiling it' for him.

When Field couldn't be 'bullied or seduced' into changing her mind, Reynolds lashed out and said: 'You don't expect to win anything, do you?' and slammed the phone down.

On the plane to France she describes a feeling of being 'wondrously free'. 

On the last day of filming Reynolds drove to see her on the set and proposed with a diamond ring, which Field describes as 'not me'. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited On the last day of filming Reynolds drove to see her on the set and proposed with a diamond ring, which Field describes as 'not me'. And at Cannes, Field won the Palme d'Or for best actress and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actress that year.

Field's verdict on Reynolds is that people saw him as a charming, funny, good ol' boy from the South but inside he was tortured.

She writes that he was 'engulfed by a massive wave of seeming instant notoriety, a sex symbol, and when his tsunami of collective unconscious slammed into him, he couldn't breathe'.

Burt Reynolds talking on a cell phone: After Reynolds died, Field said she was 'flooded with feelings and nostalgia' and was glad he would never read the book © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited After Reynolds died, Field said she was 'flooded with feelings and nostalgia' and was glad he would never read the book She writes: 'He also couldn't talk about it, couldn't articulate how it made him feel both empowered and terrified'.

Reynolds' fans saw him as the 'quintessential definition of masculine pulchritude' but according to Field: 'The human inside that dream figure was just a good-looking, ordinary person frantically trying to fulfill everyone's expectations', 

Sally Field posing for the camera: Sally Field's revealing memoir 'In Pieces' (pictured) is set to hit stands September 18 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Sally Field's revealing memoir 'In Pieces' (pictured) is set to hit stands September 18

Field tells how when Reynolds was a senior in high school and playing on the varsity football team he cried on the field after winning the state championship.

But his father came on the field and slapped him because, in his eyes, he was not behaving like a man.

Field writes that Reynolds 'spent his life trying to prove to his father that he was a man worth loving'. 

Field adds: 'He tried to hide everything about himself that he saw as being imperfect, to camouflage himself, which meant he got locked into a stressful trap of faking it'.

After Reynolds died, Field said she was 'flooded with feelings and nostalgia' and was glad he would never read the book.

She said: 'This would hurt him.

'I felt glad that he wasn't going to read it, he wasn't going to be asked about it, and 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'.

Before the book's publication Field gave an interview to the New York Times which she revealed that the stepfather who abused her was Jock Mahoney, a stuntman who married Field's mother Margaret Field in 1952 after she divorced her father Richard.

Recounting the episode she writes: 'I felt both a child, helpless, and not a child. Powerful. This was power. And I owned it. But I wanted to be a child.'

Field writes that she had a secret abortion in Tijuana, Mexico, when she was 17 years old during her sexual awakening which felt like she was 'breaking out of my own brain'.

In 1968 Field got stoned with singer songwriter Jimmy Webb, passed out and woke up to find him 'on top of me, grinding away to another melody'.

Webb denied the encounter took place.

While auditioning for the role of Mary Tate Farnsworth in the 1976 film 'Stay Hungry' Field said that director Bob Rafelson demanded she kiss him and said that 'I can't hire anyone who doesn't kiss good enough'. 

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon