Sally Field earned the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Palm Springs, Calif., International Film Festival, viewed as the last pre-awards season gala.

Field, considered an Oscar contender for her portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," told the crowd Saturday she didn't enter the profession by happenstance, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

"I didn't back into becoming an actor -- I was born one," she said, recounting her experiences that span nearly five decades on the big and small screen.

"I did a scene in a suit of armor, and dressed as a bear. I've done love scenes with a pelican. Yes, it's true, I've done love scenes with a pelican. But I've also done love scenes with Paul Newman," the two-time Oscar winner said. "I've been fully clothed, semi-clothed and totally naked, and never once has it occurred to me to change my mind."

Bradley Cooper and Naomi Watts took home acting honors for "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The Impossible," respectively, and the cast of "Argo" received the Ensemble Performance Award.

Other honorees included "Life of Pi" composer Mychael Danna; Richard Gere, who received the Chairman's Award; and "Les Miserables" director Tom Hooper. British actress Helen Mirren received the International Star Award.