Inside The 5-Year Whirlwind Romance Between ‘Smokey And The Bandit’ Stars Burt Reynolds And Sally Field


Smokey And The Bandit is a 1977 movie that has become an all-time classic thanks to the chemistry that stars Burt Reynolds and Sally Field shared onscreen. What many fans don’t know, however, is that this chemistry extended to off the screen as well. The pair engaged in a whirlwind romance after making this film together. 

Reynolds Calls Field ‘The Love Of My Life’

Though their intense relationship only lasted five years, Reynolds spoke out three years before his death in 2018 to call Field the “love of my life.” 

“Even now, it’s hard on me. I don’t know why I was so stupid,” Reynolds said to Vanity Fair in 2015. “Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up.”

In a recent interview with Good Morning America, Field talked about the electric connection she shared with Reynolds as soon as they began filming Smokey And The Bandit

“We had known each other about three days, four days at that point [during the filming of Smokey and the Bandit]. It was instantaneous, and four days felt like four years,” Field said. “You can see it in our faces. We were sort of, you know, deeply entangled. That nature of it wasn’t just, ‘Oh, this is a love affair.’ There was some ingredient between us having to do with my caretaking and him needing to be taken care of.”

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Field Recounts Their Love Story In Her Memoir

After making this movie together, Reynolds and Field were seen as the ultimate Hollywood A-list couple. And, fans thought they had the perfect romance.

In her memoir “In Pieces,” Field wrote that this was not actually the case, instead describing their relationship as a “perfect match of flaws,” saying he became more controlling of her as their relationship went on. 

In her memoir, Field also opened up about Reynolds’ drug abuse, which made her glad that the book came out after his death. 

“This would hurt him,” she told The New York Times. “I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it, he wasn’t going to be asked about it, and he wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further.”

Reynolds Regretted Ending Their Relationship

Just before he died in 2018, Reynolds told Daily Mail that his biggest regret in life was breaking up with Field. 

“I did four movies with Sally and spent five years with her,” he explained. “She was the love of my life and I screwed the relationship up. 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.”

The movies they starred in together were Smokey And The Bandit, Smokey And The Bandit II, Hooper, and The End.

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Even after all that they went through, Field said she was still “flooded with feelings and nostalgia” after Reynolds died. At least the chemistry they shared will always live on in the movies they made together.