12 Sally Field roles that range from iconic to obscure

From Gidget to The Flying Nun and Lincoln. Do you have a favorite Sally Field role?

Everyone knows and loves Sally Field. How could you not? She was the orginal all-American girl on Gidget and now she's won everything from Emmys to Academy Awards. Her acting career has spanned over five decades. Many people know Field for her popular roles but the obsecure ones are also worth mentioning. 

If you're a fan of Sally, this list is for you. Let's dive into her most iconic and most obsecure roles. Do you have a favorite Sally Field role? 

1. Gidget - 1965


Image credit: IMDb.com

Gidget was one of Sally Field's first roles and launched her into the world of acting. She was just 18 years old at the time. Many Sally Field fans watched her grow from an 18-year-old actress to a now 75-year-old icon. Field played the role of Gidget, a boy-crazy teen who loved to surf. Her role as Gidget was short-lived because the show only lasted one season with a total of 32 episodes. Fun fact: Gidget was among the first regularly scheduled color programs on ABC.

2. The Flying Nun - 1967


Image credit: IMDb.com

When you think of early Sally Field roles chances are you think of The Flying Nun. The Flying Nun was a hit TV series that lasted for three seasons. Field played the role of Sister Bertrille. The sitcom followed a community of nuns which included one who could actually fly. Are you a fan of Field in The Flying Nun?

3. The Girl with Something Extra - 1973


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The Girl with Something Extra sounds like you're describing Sally Field's early work. Field has always tried to bring something a little extra to her roles. After a few great roles she landed the role of Sally Burton. The show aired for one season on ABC. It follows the story of Sally (Field) and her husband who are seemingly normal newlyweds. The only problem is that Sally was blessed with paranormal powers. Do you remember this short-lived Sally Field TV series? 

4. Smokey and the Bandit - 1977


Smokey and the Bandit is an American classic. Field played the role of Carrie and acted alongside Burt Reynolds. This was one of Field's first big movie roles. The movie was so popular even Alfred Hitchock was a big fan of it.

5. Norma Rae - 1979


Many fans of Sally Field consider Norma Rae her best work. Field played the role of Norma Rae. The film is based on a true story about a young single mother and textile worker who agrees to help unionize her mill despite the danger. Norma Rae inspired change in the '80s and helped many women find their voice. Field even won 'Best Actress in a Leading Role,' at the 1980 Oscars. Do you think Norma Rae was one of Field's best roles?

6. Places in the Heart - 1984


Image Credit: IMDb.com

Places in the Heart also got Sally Field an Oscar in 1985 for "Best Actress in a Leading Role." As well as a Golden Globe! By this point there was no doubt that Sally Field could hold her own in a leading role. In Places in the Heart she played the role of Edna Spalding. The film was set in The Great Depression and shows a community dealing with poverty and lack of hope. Did you ever see Places in the Heart? Tell us your thoughts below!

7. Mrs. Doubtfire - 1993


Mrs. Doubtfire was a part of huge back-to-back performances by Sally Field in film. She played the role of Miranda Hillard and acted alongside Robin Williams. Mrs. Doubtfire was...no doubt...one of the most iconic movies of our time.

8. Forrest Gump - 1994


Image Credit: IMDb.com

Forrest Gump is an all-time classic. Everyone has probably said "life is like a box of chocolate," at least once. Sally Field played Mrs. Gump, the mother of Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks). Her role as Mrs. Gump got her nominated for many awards as "Best Supporting Actress" which include: a BAFTA award, a Kids' Choice Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and more. 

9. Brothers & Sisters - 2006


Coming off of some amazing performances and awards, Field went back to her roots in this family TV drama that followed the The Walker family and their life in Los Angeles. She played the role of Nora Walker. It aired for five seasons. Have you ever seen this show?

10. The Amazing Spider-Man - 2012


Everyone loves a good superhero movie! When The Amazing Spider-Man came out it grossed almost $760 million. Sally Field played the famous role of Aunt May and acted alongside the famous (and for some people, the best Spider-Man) Andrew Garfield. Instead of asking which Spider-Man you like best, we are going to ask which Aunt May do you like best?

11. Lincoln - 2012


Lincoln is considered one of the most important films in history. Lincoln was played by Daniel Day-Lewis while his wife, Mrs. Lincoln was played by Sally Field. In 2013, Lincoln was nominated for best picture at the Oscars. And Sally Field took home multiple awards for her role. She was nominated for over 40 awards for this role in 2013.

12. Hello, My Name is Doris - 2015


We like to imagine that Doris is how Sally Field is in real life. Field plays an eccentric woman in her 60s who gets inspired by a self-help seminar and pursues a younger co-worker played by Max Greenfield. It is a wacky and hilarious film!

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Mark 12 months ago
The Girl With Something Extra can be found on the Crackle streaming app, as well as Gidget and The Flying Nun. All three were Screen Gems productions that are now owned by Sony, which (surprise, surprise!) also owns Crackle.

A couple of more things you could've added, one obscure, the other two a little less obscure:

Hey Landlord!--Sally had a recurring role on this short-lived sitcom that aired between Gidget and The Flying Nun, as the sister to one of the two lead actors, Will Hutchins (the former Sugarfoot) and Sandy Baron (who played Jack Klompus years later on Seinfeld). This was one of Garry Marshall's first productions, done in conjunction with Mirisch-Rich Productions, better known for The Rat Patrol.

Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring--Sally in TV movie mode.

Alias Smith and Jones--Sally was one of a number of famous folks who had recurring roles on this ill-fated Western, as Clementine.
L 23 months ago
Norma Rae is a must see summer movie. While I'm in a different part of the country, it can get just as hot. (Lowell, next town over from me, was a huge textile industry in the dawn of the 20th century). And Beau Bridges is hotter than the weather.

I love to weave by hand, but wouldn't want to do it for my livlihood.
gerardarcade 23 months ago
How can you NOT include Sally Field's bravura performance as the schizophrenic Sybill in that iconic tv movie?
Copal 23 months ago
I LOVED the Flying Nun on Metv....I did not see it originally, as a small child. BUT it was a blessing to see a show which had a morale to the story along with humor.
CANARYMETV666 23 months ago
Oh yes METV Flying Nun was terrific.
It was so neat when she found out she learned how to fly
Matsui 23 months ago
I remember her most from "Smokey & The Bandit" (1977) & "Norma Rae" (1979). Great Actress. I am going to that Flying Nun Party Today.
KevinHartford 23 months ago
I don't see anything on your list that I would consider "obscure" however, how do you overlook "Sybil" and "Steel Magnolias"??? Or even "Where the Heart Is" or "ER"???
RichLorn 23 months ago
I had a tremendous crush on Gidget, but when she later emerged as a nun I felt the need to go to confession.
(Norma Rae - Great movie!)
TinkRoss 23 months ago
Sybil and Steel Magnolias. Helloooooo!!!
PhilK 23 months ago
'everything from Oscars to Academy Awards'

That's almost as amazing a feat as writing an entertainment article and not knowing that is the same award :(
BigRooster62 23 months ago
Murphy’s Romance with James Garner is our go to Sally movie.
FrankieRae 23 months ago
You left out the movie Sybil. She was great and it was a spectacular movie.
JonP 23 months ago
Megan Carter in Absence of Malice. I loathed that character, and I wanted Paul Newman to destroy her. Anytime an actor can really make you hate her character, she has done a great job.
Runeshaper 23 months ago
So many GREAT films! Mrs. Doubtfire is def my favorite from this list (-:
Hpsnape1957 23 months ago
She also starred in an obscure movie called, "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" from 1971. Sally played a teenager returning home after running away to live the hippie lifestyle for a year deciding it was no longer for her. At the end, her younger sister runs away to try that lifestyle. Only saw it once when it first aired on t.v. and haven't seen it since.
Michael Hpsnape1957 23 months ago
I had to look that up. A tv movie, which limits how often you might see it later. Lane Bradbury plays her younger sister, though she was in her thirties by then.

Some of these movies did show up when the local station ran movies every weekday afternoon. "In search of America", Jeff Bridges convinces his family to buy a bus and go in search of America.

Just after I got a DVD player in 2004, I was able to get it on DVD, cheap. "Ginger in the Morning" with Sissy Spacek, sort of a TV version of "Breezy". And "Katherine" also with Sissy, I think a version of Diane Oughton's life.
Lacey 23 months ago
Everyone always forgets "Punchline" (1988) which is interesting as it also stared Tom Hanks. Think of it as a 1980s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Inthe25th 23 months ago
I am the most fond of Sally Field in The Flying Nun. It aired in the turbulent changing 1960s. I never viewed it until the 21st century. I find the show refreshing and inspiring. My favorite episode is when she granted the dying wish of a Nun whom served many years her Christ and His Church snow on Christmas by dropping dry ice in the clouds. The gifts God grants us are to bless others. I really like that.
ShelleyOnealGilmore 23 months ago
You left out Steel Magnolias and A Woman of Independent Means.
Lacey ShelleyOnealGilmore 23 months ago
She was iconic in Steel Magnolias, as was everyone else.
lifelinx 23 months ago
Sally was super in her role as Abby's Mom in ER in the 90's.
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