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Archive - Tuesday, 26 December 2000
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How I launched a Hollywood star
When film director John Stallwood put Greta Scacchi in front of the camera he knew she had what it took to make it in Hollywood.
And she was just nine at the time.
The actress, now a major movie star, launched her film career with Mid Sussex Cine Society.
On a rainy day in Lindfield in the Sixties, the girl who would go on to entertain cinema audiences around the world was starring in Inhabit The Wind, a cine film about four youngsters saving a kestrel.
Mr Stallwood, now 69, of Crescent Road, Burgess Hill, went on to carve out a career in journalism and public relations.
But it was his love of film and photography that led him to make a piece of cinema history in 1967.
Greta's co-stars in the film were John's children Timothy, five, and Caroline, seven, and Christopher Heath, ten, whose father was also involved in the project.
The film lasts about ten minutes and was meant to raise money for wildlife conservation.
Greta's part was mostly silent, except for one scene where she is calling for Timothy.
Mr Stallwood recalled: "Greta was only nine years old but I could see she had potential. She could accept direction and respond to it.
"I knew Greta because I was a friend of the family when they lived in Haywards Heath. I cast her for the film because I thought she was just right for the part.
"As far as I was concerned, she was aware of what was needed in terms of response to a given filming situation. I wasn't surprised to see her become a huge film star."
Greta went on to make cinema hits like Heat And Dust and now has a home near Hurstpierpoint.
Meanwhile, the film is still in the safe keeping of the group, now called the Mid Sussex Cine and Video Society. President David Heath said: "It's an old film but we are very proud of it."