She was a guest on Rob Lowe’s “Literally” podcast on Wednesday, where she was struck by the memory after Lowe told a story about Burt Reynolds. Lowe had said that he’s annoyed by late-night talk shows that make the guests play games, and that he wants the format to go back to old-fashioned interviews, with someone who was good at it, like the late Burt Reynolds.
“Oh, Burt Reynolds!” Winfrey replied, adding, “Oh, gosh! I have a Burt Reynolds story.”
She explained that when she was much younger and interviewing Sally Field, (who costarred with Reynolds in “Smokey and the Bandit” and also dated him) she asked a bad question.
“My big mistake: I asked her, ‘Does Burt sleep with his toupee on?'” Winfrey recalled. “I even say now, I cringe to even think that I asked that question. But I asked it because the producers are like, ‘You have to ask, you have to ask, you have to ask. That’s what everybody wants to know.'”
She continued, “And so I asked it, and she went cold on me. She shut down, and I could not get in again.”
Lowe said he knows Field personally from their time on “Brothers & Sisters,” and said, “She’s one of the most amazing actors I’ve ever known.”
“But when Sally goes cold, it’s like Khrushchev in the Cold War,” he said. “She will bury you.”
But Winfrey stressed that she deserved what she got.
“It was like, ‘Whoa, Sally went cold on me on live TV,'” she said. “I deserved it, I deserved it, I deserved it, ’cause that is such an inappropriate question.”