Reynolds and Field were one of the most popular couples in Hollywood throughout the 1970s. The pair 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. Reynolds adored Field, and in 2015 recalled being with the American star, saying: “I miss her terribly. Even now, it’s hard on me. 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 reportedly split up around 1982. This tumultuous time was an era of change and recalibration for Field, who penned some of the relationship’s finer details in her memoir, In Pieces. The memoir hit store shelves on September 18, 2018. 12 days earlier, on September 6, 2018, Reynolds died of a heart attack, aged 82. After the star’s death, Field confessed how – despite the loving relationship she shared with the late star – she was not always completely happy with the “complicated and hurtful” relationship.
Field said: “I reveal [in the book] what I was feeling and how trapped I was in an old pattern of behaviour. and how I was predisposed.”
Field explained how Reynolds was a “preformed rut in her road”. She continued: “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.” She later added, during a statement regarding the star’s 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 said of Reynolds reading her memoir: “This would hurt him: I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it.”
Field confessed: “I’ve always thought of him rather nostalgically … He was a very important part of my life, but for a tiny little part of my life. I was only with him for about three years and then maybe two years on and off after that. But it was so hugely important in my own existence, my own movement as a person.”
Before then, Reynolds spoke fondly of Field and their relationship.
Reynolds explained: “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.”
Smokey and the Bandit is available for rent on Amazon Prime Video.