Though Sally Field has won Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes, she received possibly one of the most important awards of her life this week when President Barack Obama honored her with the 2014 National Medal of Arts. Ever the jokester, when Obama spoke of Field during the ceremony he said, "We like you. We really like you," in reference to her infamous 1985 Oscar acceptance speech.
She was amongst a group of very prominent musicians, artists and writers. "They deepen and broaden our great American story and the human story," Obama said during the ceremony.
Field, who began her career in television in the mid-1960s on Gidget and The Flying Nun, transitioned into film by the early '70s with a starring role in Smokey and the Bandit. By 1979 she had earned her first Best Actress Oscar for Norma Rae. She had a slew of hit films over the next two decades, including Places in the Heart (for which she won her second Oscar), Steel Magnolias, and Forrest Gump. Field then made a triumphant return to television with a recurring role on ER followed by the ABC series Brothers & Sisters. The 68 year old has also a directed a number of films including Beautiful with Minnie Driver. Today she continues to appear in films and television in addition to working as a diligent advocate for women and LGBT rights.
"The dignity, empathy and fearlessness of her performances have touched audiences around the world, and she has deployed those same rich qualities off screen in her advocacy for women, LGBT rights and public health," the White House said in a statement.
Field was amongst a group of nominees including authors Stephen King and Jhumpa Lahiri and chef Alice Waters.
Congrats to Field!