Shirley Anne Field, the British leading lady who starred alongside Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer, Albert Finney in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and Kenneth More in Man in the Moon — all in 1960 — has died. She was 87.
“It is with great sadness that we are sharing the news that Shirley Anne Field passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 10, surrounded by her family and friends,” a spokesperson announced.
“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.”
For her first Hollywood film, Field passed up John Schlesinger’s A Kind of Loving to star opposite Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner in the World War II drama The War Lover (1962). It was a decision she would regret, she explained in a 2009 interview.
“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. “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 outstanding body of work also included The Damned (1962) with Oliver Reed, Lunch Hour (1963) with Robert Stephens, Kings of the Sun (1963) with Yul Brynner, Doctor in Clover with Leslie Phillips, My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) with Daniel Day-Lewis, The Rachel Papers (1989) with Dexter Fletcher and Hear My Song (1991) with Ned Beatty.
Shirley Broomfield — named after Shirley Temple — was born in London on June 27, 1936, and raised in a series of children’s homes with her younger brother. She returned to her family when she was 15 and worked as a model, and after being spotted by director Val Guest began her film career as an extra in Simon and Laura (1955).
In her breakthrough 1960 features, Field portrayed a beauty contest contestant who has an affair with Olivier’s desperate Archie Rice in Tony Richardson’s The Entertainer; the love interest of Finney’s rebellious Arthur Seaton in another classic kitchen sink drama, Karel Reisz’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; and a stripper in Basil Dearden’s Man in the Moon.
Remarkably, Field was in five other movies released that year: Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, Stanley Donen’s Once More, With Feeling!, And the Same to You, Beat Girl and Jungle Street Girls.
Field was married to race car driver Charles Crichton-Stuart from 1967 until their divorce in the late 1970s, and they had a daughter, Nicola. Her autobiography, A Time for Love, was published in 1991.
In a 2012 interview with The Yorkshire Post, Field said her life would not have been the same without the movies.
“I didn’t have a strong sense of identity when I was growing up because I’d lost it along with my family,” she said. “I hung on and the film industry literally saved me from despair because they all accepted me.”
This story originally appeared on HollywoodReporter