How Sally Field's Son Sam Helped Influence One Of Her Biggest TV Roles

One of Sally Field's biggest TV roles was the part of Nora Walker on "Brothers & Sisters." The show followed the ups and downs of the Walker family, of which Nora was the matriarch. In addition to Field, the cast of "Brothers & Sisters" included other recognizable names, such as Hallmark star Luke Macfarlane and "The Americans" actor Matthew Rhys.

Rhys played Kevin, one of Nora's children. Macfarlane played Scotty, Kevin's love interest and eventual husband. One of Field's real-life sons, Sam Greisman, wrote a piece for People about his relationship with his mother and explained how art imitates life.

"The first week of shooting on 'Brothers & Sisters' was rearranged so that she could move me into my dorm at NYU," Greisman said. "(Later, a frank, heartfelt conversation about my queerness was used verbatim for a scene between her and Matthew Rhys. Still waiting on a retroactive writing credit on that, if I'm being perfectly honest.)" Greisman has made it known that Field was always a supportive mom, and she even once tried to play matchmaker with Greisman and professional figure skater Adam Rippon.

Sam Greisman gave a speech when Field won an ally award

In 2012, Sally Field received the Ally for Equality Award at 2012's Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, and Sam Greisman gave a speech honoring her. He mentioned "Brothers & Sisters" and added, "She played the mother all of us gay men wished we had. You see, it's a unique position for me, because she is my actual mother" (via YouTube). Despite alluding to an overbearing nature, Greisman called himself "lucky" to have her. "When I came out, she didn't even bat an eye," Greisman said. "In fact, she was overjoyed. Being gay was just one more thing she loved about me." He quipped that perhaps she was even too supportive.

"All joking aside, I feel very blessed to be able to call her my mother," Greisman said. "In addition to being an extraordinarily talented actress, I know that she will have my back for as long as she lives."

In Field's acceptance speech, she spoke about Greisman and said, "When I saw him struggling, I wanted to jump in and define it for him. But his brothers held me back fiercely insisting I try not to travel that road for him." She instead made it clear she would be there for him no matter what. Greisman officially came out when he was 20.

Field was always supportive

In a 2018 interview with the Leader, Sam Greisman divulged that before he came out, Sally Field wasn't very subtle, hinting that they should see the film "Brokeback Mountain," which features gay main characters. Sam said his entire family — Field, his father Alan Greisman, and his half-brothers Peter Craig and Eli Craig — were "so extremely supportive, my mom especially." A lot of Sam's anxieties about his sexuality were on his own end. 

"I knew my family and my mom especially were trying hard to create a space where it was OK to be gay," Sam said. "That made me more anxious." Their work to make a comfortable, accepting space made him "embarrassed" because he felt they'd already guessed he was gay. "Yet that was the best she could possibly do!" Sam said. "You couldn't ask for anything more!"

While speaking with the Leader, Sam also recounted being 19 and seeing footage of his younger self on the red carpet with Field. He got upset trying to get in touch with his past self, so he and his mother had a conversation about it. "Not really about my sexuality but she was asking what was it about being a little kid I missed. ... She was just hinting round the subject, not forcing things," Sam said. He explained that he himself still had to come to terms with his sexuality: "It was just a case of start accepting, start experiencing."