Sally Field has been crippled by shyness all her life.

The 'Lincoln' actress is permanently battling her nerves and claims to have put on an act to mask her natural personality the entirety of her adult life in order to succeed in Hollywood.

She revealed: ''I wish I'd known how shyness can cripple you. I first started work at 18 - when I was still a child. I knew nothing about my rights and I took my shyness well into my middle-age ... It is always part of my person in some way. I consider shyness a big, ugly, dripping, drooling demon.

''There are lots like me - performers who cover up. You won't hear it talked about very often because who wants to admit that?''

The two-time Oscar winner also confessed she has never truly felt happy and believes the shock of seeing her family's wealth ripped away from her as a child has made her question everything and live in a state of permanent dissatisfaction.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Sally explained: ''I wish that I'd had a better education about money. I've spent so long worrying about it. I came from a family that seemed to have a lot of it. My stepfather [Jock Mahoney] was a TV star and top stuntman. Then it was taken away. They came and took the house and the car and we moved into a little home.

''I have spent too long having a feeling of losing everything. The result is it can be hard to find happiness.

What is happy? I have felt tormented many times. Happy is not a description I consider.''