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Way Back When: Sally Field, Best Supporting Actress Nominee

Sally Field
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This isn’t Sally Field‘s first time at the Academy Awards rodeo — the actress previously won Oscars for her work in ‘Norma Rae’ and ‘Places in the Heart.’ Now Field is nominated for her supporting actress work in ‘Lincoln,’ so in today’s Way Back When, we give you a look at her earlier roles.


Sally Field’s first role was in the television series ‘Gidget,’ in which she plays the titular character — a 15-(and-a-half)-year-old who loves to hang out at the beach, surfing and swooning over boys. Gidget lives with her widowed college professor father and often finds herself in a lot of adorable shenanigans. Check out how cute Sally Field was circa 1965 in these opening credits:

‘The Way West’

Field’s first feature film role came in 1967, when she played Mercy McBee in ‘The Way West.’ The film follows a group of settlers heading to Oregon under the leadership of a former US senator, sort of like that ‘Oregon Trail’ game, but replace the dysentery with megalomania. Field starred alongside greats like Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum in the Western drama. In the clip below, she professes her feelings to a fellow pioneer named Brownie:

‘The Flying Nun’

From 1967 to 1970, Field starred in this television series about a nun who can fly, and all the adventures she finds herself mixed up in with her convent and neighbors. Field does a lot of singing on the show in her role as Sister Bertrille, and yes, that’s really her voice. Watch Sister Bertrille get a little funky in the clip below:

‘Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring’

Field starred with David Carradine in this 1971 made-for-TV movie about a teen girl named Denise who moves to Los Angeles to live among the hippies for a year. When she returns to her suburban, middle-class life, her family doesn’t approve of her absence and the free-spirited life she was living, especially now that her younger sister is making the same choices. In this clip, Field tries to explain how great her life away from home is going, even though she’s clearly hitchhiking and her boyfriend is a bum:

‘Home for the Holidays’

In this 1972 made-for-TV movie, Field co-stars with ‘Arrested Development‘s’ Jessica Walter as two of four daughters returning home to visit their ailing father, who believes he’s being poisoned to death by his new wife. The father asks his four daughters to kill his wife before she can kill him because the police aren’t an option? Enjoy this vintage TV spot for the movie:

‘The Girl with Something Extra’

In 1973, Field starred with John Davidson in this sitcom where she plays Sally Burton, a woman who is granted the power of ESP and can read minds, including her new husband’s. The show only ran for one season and would have gone on longer, but Field and Davidson reportedly couldn’t stand each other behind the scenes:

next: see Amy Adams before she was famous

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