Shirley Anne Field, 'Alfie,' 'Santa Barbara' Actress, Dead at 87

Shirley Anne Field
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The actress died peacefully on Sunday surrounded by friends and family.

Shirley Anne Field, the actress best known for the 1960 romance thriller Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and the 1966 British comedy Alfie, has died. She was 87. 

The family announced her death in a statement to the BBC, which stated Field died on Sunday of natural causes. The family's statement read, "It is with great sadness that we are sharing the news that Shirley Anne Field passed away peacefully on Sunday ... surrounded by her family and friends."

The statement continued, "Shirley Anne will be greatly missed and remembered for her unbreakable spirit and her amazing legacy spanning more than five decades on stage and screen."

Field, born in East London and named after Shirley Temple, began her career as a model in the 1950s, and appeared in her first feature in the 1956 comedy Loser Takes All. That same year, she also appeared in the musical movie It's A Wonderful World. Then, in 1960, Field's career took off, first after appearing in Peeping Tom and then starring opposite Laurence Olivier as Tina Lapford in the 1960 musical drama The Entertainer. That same year, she earned even more fame starring as Albert Finney's girlfriend in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.


She'd go on to appear in numerous films in a career that spanned five decades, including The Damned (1962), Alfie (1966) -- in which she famously played nurse Carla -- and House of the Living Dead (1974), among others. She also starred opposite Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner in The War Lover (1962), Lunch Hour (1963) and in the rom-com My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) with Daniel Day-Lewis.

For her role in The War Lover, Field reportedly passed on appearing in John Schlesinger's A Kind of Loving, which she later regretted.

"I finally had a chance to go to Hollywood and become a worldwide name. It was the stuff dreams are made of, but I didn't get to enjoy it like I should have," she said in a 2009 interview. "When I arrived, I was so panicked and tired and the sun was just too yellow and the orange juice too orange. It was very stressful, and I had a headache all the time."


Field's TV credits were also impressive. She starred as Pamela Capwell in 1987 on the American soap Santa Barbara. Some of her other TV appearances included Murder, She Wrote and Where the Heart Is. According to Deadline, her final credit was the short film Beautiful Relics in 2014.

She was once married to race car driver Charles Crichton-Stuart. They tied the knot in 1967 but divorced just a few years later. They had a daughter, Nicola. Field's autobiography, A Time for Love, was published in 1991.