It’s been nearly two months since the unfortunate death of Burt Reynolds, and now, his ex-girlfriend Sally Field is speaking out about their relationship again. The famed actress detailed their partnership in her new memoir, In Pieces, but during a sit-down with This Morning on Tuesday, Oct. 16, she also revealed she couldn’t be herself when she dated the A-lister.
“It was instantaneous and intense and I said we were a perfect match of flaws,” she said of their relationship, which lasted for five years from 1977 until 1982. “We went together very well but not necessarily for the right reasons, it was a pre-formed rut in my road. I say in the book many times if I could have been different would he have been different.”
She then went on to describe how she didn’t act like herself around him. “He was who he was, a man of his time, and needed the women that he was with to represent him in a certain way, but would he have been different if I couldn’t have said ‘Don’t do that, I don’t like that?’ But I couldn’t be myself — I was absent,” Sally added. “I was behaving the way I was taught, that to be loved I had to disappear so I disappeared.”
Even though Sally and Burt both moved on after their split by marrying other people, before Burt died of a heart attack at age 82 in early September, he confessed to the world that Sally was the love of his life during an interview with Today anchor Hoda Kotb. “I was always flattered when he said that,” the 71-year-old said in an interview with Diane Sawyer after Burt’s public claim. “But he was a complicated man. We’d known each other about three days, four days [when we filmed Smokey and the Bandit]. It was instantaneous and four days felt like four years. You can see it in our faces. We were sort of, you know, deeply entangled.” Sally continued, “The nature of it wasn’t just, ‘Oh this is a love affair.’ There was some ingredient between us having to do with my care-taking and him needing to be taken care of.”
Burt tragically passed away just a few days before Sally released her memoir — so he never got a chance to read it. “It was kind of horrifying that it was so close, and I certainly never wanted to hurt him more than I already had,” Sally admitted. “I knew this book would hurt him, even though I tried to paint him as the colorful human being that he was so I don’t know. He will always be in my heart and my history. He will never not be there.”