Actress Sally Field. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Sally Field was "always flattered" when Burt Reynolds referred to her as the love of his life.

The 'Boogie Nights' actor tragically passed away earlier this month at the age of 82, and his former partner and actress Sally - whom he dated for five years after meeting her in 1977 - has admitted she was fond of being referred to as the love of the legendary actor's life, despite calling him "complicated".

Asked how she felt about the term, 71-year-old Sally said: "I was always flattered when he said that. But he was a complicated man."

The former couple met whilst filming 'Smokey and the Bandit' over 40 years ago, and Sally admits their connection was "instantaneous".

In this Dec. 23, 1978 file photo, Burt Reynolds and Sally Field attend the off-Broadway play "Buried Child'" in New York. (AP Photo/Rene Perez, File)

Speaking in an interview with Diane Sawyer during an interview which aired on 'Good Morning America' on Monday, she added: "We'd known each other about three days, four days. 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. 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."

The 'Amazing Spider-Man' actress is currently promoting her new memoir, 'In Pieces', which details parts of her relationship with Burt, and she recently revealed she's "glad" he won't be able to read it because she was scared the words "would hurt him".

She said: "This would hurt him. 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."