The 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors are finally here, and this year, Sally Field will be one of the visionaries honored during the ceremony.
Field is a Tony Award-nominated, two-time Academy Award winner, and will be acknowledged alongside other honorees, including Linda Ronstadt, Sesame Street, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Earth, Wind, & Fire.
The ceremony will air on CBS Sunday, December 15, at 8pm ET/PT.
The Kennedy Center Honors Awards Those in the Performing Arts for Their Contributions to American Culture
Each year, the Kennedy Center Honors awards artists for their lifetime contributions to American culture.
At an interview on the red carpet for the Kennedy Center Honors, Field was asked why this particular honor was so special to receive. She shared, “This really is– everyone feels– this kind of is the real, pinnacle achievement award. It goes across the board in the arts and it is people that the public, in some cases, have forgotten or haven’t heard much about, but who have had such an impact..”
This year, LL Cool J will host the event. The artist was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor in 2017 and is a two-time Grammy winner.
Last year’s recipients included Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, Wayne Shorter, and the creators of Hamilton: An American Musical. This year marks the first year that the Kennedy Center Honors is celebrating a TV show.
Field Says She Had to Fight for Many of Her Acting Roles
Ahead of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, The Washington Post profiled Field, asking her about her career and the many difficult roles she has taken on. The outlet quotes her as saying, “The roles I cared about deeply I had to fight for… They never really came to me.” One of those roles was the role of Mary Todd Lincoln in Spielberg’s “Lincoln”. It eventually earned her an Oscar nomination.
Field kicked off her career in the 1960s, starring in the short-lived comedy Gidget, followed by The Flying Nun, and The Girl with Something Extra. In 1979, she received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Norma Rae. She received the same accolade in 1984 for Places in the Heart. The director of the latter, Robert Benton, shares, “She is the great American actor. She knows how to play a proletariat role from the inside not from the out. She doesn’t act. She inhabits.”
He adds, “I never felt for a moment that what I saw was any kind of acting. The hardest thing in the world is to be utterly natural. A lot of actors are really great, but they’re technical actors. She’s not like anyone else I know.”
Field released her memoir, In Pieces, in September 2018. According to NPR, the actress wrote such an honest memoir she wasn’t sure if it would ever go to publication. She tells NPR, “I wrote it for myself. I didn’t know whether I’d ever have the guts to publish it. [But] I felt this urgency, this anxiety, this need to find something that was festering in me. … I found out that I had to put all the pieces out in front of me and try to fit them together and see if I could witness something … and know the answer to why I was feeling this way.”
Be sure to tune into the Kennedy Center Honors airing tonight on CBS at 8pm ET/PT.