It's probably a good idea to hide the fine china whenever two-time Oscar winner Sally Field gets angry.

It seems the 53-year-old actress (Norma Rae, Places in the Heart) has something of a history of breaking dishes as a way of letting off steam, according to her upcoming A&E Biography (airing June 12).

"There's a little bit of a fire in my mom's belly and occasionally she, especially in her mid-30s, would just lash out," recalls son Eli Craig. "Not ever at people, not ever at her children, but occasionally at inanimate kitchenware. She'd smash dishes and fling them across the room. I was, like, 8 years old and saying, 'Mom, why are you smashing all the dishes?' And she'd say, 'I hate these dishes!' "

The former star of TV's The Flying Nun went through her last memorable dish-throwing spell during the early 1980s, a period marked by forgettable roles in Smokey and the Bandit II and Back Roads. Which is good news for her youngest son, Sam, 13.

"I think she's a different mother now than she was when I was growing up," says 28-year-old Eli. "She's not nearly as volatile now. I don't think Sam's ever seen her smash dishes."