The year was 1987. I was six years old. There was a movie being filmed in town, and they needed antique cars. My Dad and Granddad both had Model Ts, so they were loaning them to the producers for the movie.

And, it happened to be my lucky day that they needed some children as fillers in one of the scenes. So Dad took me along for the fun.

I was beyond thrilled. I was going to be a Movie Star!! We arrived, and they whisked me off to wardrobe.


They dressed me in period clothing and gave me a baby doll to carry. Besides the fact that I was MUCH too old to be carrying around a baby doll, it was the ugliest baby doll I’d ever seen.

I hated that doll.

The scene was a carnival, so besides the fact that I was going to be a MOVIE STAR, I got to ride carnival rides – for free!!

Never had there been a better day in my six years.

Except for that stupid doll, of course.

I was assigned to sit on the Merry-Go-Round. I excitedly took my post and started my circular movement.

I went around…and around…and around. I kept thinking that surely I’d get to move on to the Ferris Wheel soon, but no. I sat, spinning endlessly with only my stupid doll to keep me company. For hours.

By the time I was told I could get off, I had sworn off Merry-Go-Rounds for the rest of my life. Or for the day at least.

I was a smart one, though. I “accidentally” forgot my baby doll on the Merry-Go-Round. After all, she was ugly.

My new assignment was to walk around the carnival with my Granddad. Five minutes into my walk, a producer comes running up to me with that awful doll.

“Excuse me, miss – I think you left this on the Merry-Go-Round.”

I was so aggravated and confused as to how they had known it was MY doll. Why couldn’t they have given it to some other little girl?

But I dutifully carried her for the rest of the shoot. Stupid Doll.

After the shoot, my Dad took me to the producer’s office, where I was paid a whopping $70 for my outstanding talent.

(For years I wondered if Dad had staged that whole thing and if HE had actually paid me, but Dad reassures me that I was actually paid for my role.)

Dad immediately took me to the bank and helped me set up a savings account to store my fortune, where it stayed for many years.

When the movie was completed the next year, I received a beautiful invitation to the Premier at The Alabama Theatre.

I couldn’t wait to go see my soon-to-be-famous face!!

Except for one small detail. It was rated R. And I was six.

My DEBUT MOVIE was rated R! I couldn’t even see my infamous performance!! That day, I came to terms with the fact that the world was a very unfair place.

My parents went to the premier, as did a few other people we knew. They told me that the movie itself was horrible, but that I did wonderfully, and that there was a close-up shot of me that EVERYONE saw.

I believed them and reveled in my fame.

Twenty-Two years later, it all of a sudden dawned on me that I was now old enough to see my star-studded performance.

But … I didn’t remember the name of the movie.

I asked Mom about it.

“Oh – you don’t want to see that! It’s a horribly low-budget and violent movie about a gangster dying of Syphilis!!”

“But I do! I was in it!”

“Well, I don’t remember the name of it either. I’ll find out for you, though.”

She went through her Shrine Of Rachel Celebration Box of her Favorite Daughter Folder of my childhood junk and found the invitation. 0212012 copy


Verne Miller.

Verne Miller

I immediately loved the subtitle. How classy can you be if you’re dying of Syphilis?

I tried to NetFlix it. NetFlix laughed at me.

Blockbuster? No record of such a movie.

Amazon – Found it. Sorta. With some qualifications:

  • It apparently was never made into DVD, so if I wanted it, I was going to have to lug out our VHS player to see it.
  • Nobody sells it new. It is as discontinued as it could possibly be. The only copies available are well-used former rentals, but very cheap, at least.

So I ordered it. A $5 investment in the excitement of seeing my debut into celebritydom.

A few minutes into the movie, I recognized the rolling hills from driving by them when we went to the movie set. Then the car turned, and sure enough, he was headed to a carnival:IMG_7701A much smaller carnival than I remembered, but a carnival scene nonetheless.

The scene lasted MAYBE two minutes, and I saw zero traces of myself.


Okay…calm down. Maybe he comes back to the carnival.

Sure enough, nearing the end of the movie, he returns to the carnival. This time, it’s about one minute long.


How could this be true?!!?!?

After the movie was over (which wasn’t as horrible as we expected – I guess my Mom helped out by completely trashing our expectations), I agonizingly-VHS-slow-re-winded it back to the original carnival scene to study every character, and then, although skeptical at first, became pretty convinced that I found myself.

IMG_7703 copy
There I am, on the Merry-Go-Round, right behind the amazing Star of the Movie, Scott Glenn.

(Don’t ask me who he is. I have no idea.)

My screen time added up to about one fifth of a second. Surely that will earn me my Screen Actor’s Guild membership.

Later, I went back and scoured the second carnival scene and managed to find myself again, this time on my second assignment of walking through the carnival with my Granddad.

Although my screen time was longer, it only featured my backside.IMG_7743

(I don’t know who the woman was, but she was most definitely NOT my Grandmother.)

And then we were seen again from the Police’s point of view when they’re coming into the scene, still backsides only:

IMG_7753Luckily, my Grandfather was a very recognizable figure – I’m not sure I would have even been convinced that I was a girl, much less me in these shots.

Since I know you’re dying to see my amazing acting skills, here’s the first excerpt. Watch very carefully over Verne’s shoulder as the brown arm retracts, and whatever you do, DON’T BLINK.

I know. I’m amazing. I’m expecting a call any day now from James Cameron asking me to star in the Avatar sequel.

22 thoughts on “Rachel, Child Not-So-Star.

  1. You are too funny! I love that you remember how vehemently hated that doll.

    That's great you were able to find the original footage though.

    There's a music video floating around out there somewhere with a few seconds of me in it too. Only
    I'd prefer if the footage were forever lost!

  2. So promising. I think you have a definant future in the biz!
    LOVE that you have the footage!
    I was in the movie Cobb as an extra…I have yet to see the movie. I was in the stands so highly doubtful I would ever see myself. The job had great perks…my man, JImmy Buffet played an umpire (in the scene I was in. Can I say, we "shared" a scene). At the wrap party he played a surprise concert in Rickwood field to what was a couple hundered extras tops. A very memorable night.

  3. At least you can say you've been in a movie! It could be useful in one of those games where you are supposed to tell something about yourself that no one believes. :)

  4. I agree with @This is the Day. Not only can you say you were in a (professional) movie, but you can say you were in an "R" rated movie. That's a GREAT conversation starter ;)

    I've been in many movies myself, but sadly all of the homemade variety. My brother and I used to write, stage, act and film in our own movies and then inflict them on our poor, poor parents. Unfortunately much of that footage has indeed been forever lost. Probably this is for the best. Probably.

  5. As soon as I started reading this post I thought to myself, "Please let there be pictures." And there were!

    Love it! A six year old in an R rated movie about a gangster dying of a syphillis. You don't get better bloggy fodder than that!

  6. MOVIE.STAR!!! Totally love it. And don't think I wouldn't blow that bad boy Merry-Go-Round shot up and hang it on the wall!

  7. That is the coolest thing EVER! I love that you tracked the movie down.

    Every time I met someone new, I would begin by saying, "Hi. My name is Belinda and I co-starred with Scott Glenn in an R-rated movie when I was six." It would just come out of my mouth automatically.

  8. You were brilliant!

    I had a friend in a Chuck Norris movie when she was little. She ran outside to do something (maybe get the mail), ran back inside 2 seconds later, and the house blew up.

    At least you got to stay alive.

  9. That's so cool! Who cares if the movie was terrible and you can't really see your face, you were in a movie!
    I can't believe they paid you $70 for your 1 second of fame, that would be like $200 today…maybe you should try to get Ali in the movie starring business ;)

  10. At least you didn't get all the issues that come with being a child star. The TV Guide channel will be calling to do a " Where are they now?" special on you any day now.

  11. Haha! You really made me laugh. By reading this post, I'm sure you did enjoy your childhood. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. So funny I came across this trying to Google the name of the movie also! My grandfather too loaned his antique car to the movie and my mom and aunts were extras lol I did get to go the premiere I was a whopping 13 years old. I do not remember watching the movie just eating snacks and drinking punch, but it was fun!

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