Sally Field Says She Was 'Always Flattered' When Burt Reynolds Called Her the Love of His Life

Sally Field
Erika Goldring/WireImage

"He was a complicated man."

Sally Field is opening up about her complicated relationship with the late Burt Reynolds.

During a sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer that aired in part on Monday's Good Morning America, the 71-year-old actress spoke about the quick connection she shared with the actor, though their relationship was not always smooth sailing.

"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," she told Sawyer. "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."

Reynolds -- who died earlier this month -- was vocal about his affection for Field, whom he dated for five years after meeting her in 1977, and often referred to her as the "love of my life."

"I was always flattered when he said that," Field said of Reynolds' remarks. "But he was a complicated man."

The two-time Oscar winner is promoting her new memoir, In Pieces, which will be released on Sept. 18, and spoke further about Reynolds during an interview with The New York Times. Field admitted that she was "glad" her ex would never read her book.

“This would hurt him,” she said of the memoir. “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.”

The actress again described their relationship as “confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.”

The Forrest Gump star also told the Times that she believes dating Reynolds was an effort to recreate a version of her complicated relationship with her stepfather, stuntman and actor Jock Mahoney, whom she claims sexually abused her when she was a child.

She spoke about her troubled childhood during her interview with Sawyer as well.

"Child abuse, sexual child abuse, any child abuse, but sexual child abuse, I think one of the reasons it's... at least in my point of view... it's so damaging because it's so complicated," she said. "There isn't just one feeling... How then do you grow up and have any sort of understanding about what healthy sexuality is? Or how is it not always connected to danger? It's always connected to danger, shame and loss... Kind of the loss of self."

Field's interview with Sawyer will also air during World News Tonight With David Muir and Nightline on Monday. 

Here's a look at Reynolds' Hollywood love stories.