The mogul recalled that time she spoke with Sally Field and the "inappropriate" question she asked.

By Nick Romano
May 13, 2021 at 11:51 AM EDT
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Even Oprah Winfrey, who has interviewed thousands of celebrities over the years — including, recently, a prince and a duchess — made a "flub" in her career that still makes her "cringe."

The entertainment titan looked back on one particular moment from her past during a podcast appearance on Rob Lowe's Literally! With Rob Lowe. In the episode, released Thursday, Winfrey recalls interviewing Sally Field, whom Lowe knows very well from their time together on the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters.

"Of flubs in the world, this was when I was younger and not living from the point of view of the surrogate, but I did feel a responsibility to ask the questions people wanted," she said. "And Sally Field was on. My big mistake: I asked her, 'Does Burt sleep with his toupee on?'"

For a few years in the 1970s, Field dated late actor Burt Reynolds, who didn't keep it a secret that he wore toupees. In a 2015 GQ magazine interview, Reynolds said, "Most guys with toupees overcompensate. They want too much hair. They end up piling it high, looking like a weird flower. But if someone offered me a movie now — and I'm still waiting for one — I'd go back to my natural look. With whatever I have left up there."

Lowe's response to Winfrey's revelation? An emphatic "OMG!"

"I cringe to even think that I asked that question, but I asked 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 recalled. "So, I asked it and she went cold on me. She shut down, and I could not get in again."

"I deserved it," she added. "'Cause that is such an inappropriate question."

Lowe offered his two cents, saying, "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. She will bury you."

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