Sally Field Channeled Grief over Mother's Death into 'Lincoln' Role, Defended Young Julia Roberts


"I had done three television series before I was 25 years old and I had two children by then, and I said 'I'm not doing television anymore. I have to stop.' And they said, 'Well, that's foolish. You'll never work, you're not pretty enough, you're not good enough,' and I said, 'You're fired.' Then my business manager said the same thing and I said, 'You're fired.' I just fired everybody. Then I left my husband. You know, I was like, 'Out, all of you,'" Field said. "I couldn't afford to have those voices near me that said, 'You can't do this, you're not good enough,' because I have too many voices inside of me that say that."

The results would speak for themselves. She would win Best Actress in 1980 for "Norma Rae" and another in 1985 for "Places in the Heart." Later, she would speak up on behalf of less powerful actresses. On "Steel Magnolias," Field defended a young, frail Julia Roberts from a disparaging director.

"He was really mean," Field said. "He picked on Julie, I mean, for what reason? None of us knew. And we were all protective of her, but since I played her mother, I was particularly fiery and protective.

"I said, 'I'm walking off, next time this happens, I'm walking off,' but Dolly was seriously out there, too so I wasn't the only one," she added.

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