Former LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE star Melissa Gilbert is highly critical of child actors - despite having been one herself.

The actress, who serves as president of America's Screen Actors Guild, admits she often analyses the performances of younger screen stars - and is often disturbed by what she sees.

She says, "I'm very critical of juvenile actors. I can see forced cuteness a mile away, and it gives me the creeps.

"On the other hand, I have a real appreciation for a child who is really comfortable in his skin as an actor and who conveys a sense of reality in their performance.

"I'm very proud and excited that Keisha Castle-Hughes of Whale Rider is among (the SAG AWARDS) nominees - and Evan Rachel Wood, who have an indelible performance in THIRTEEN."

29/01/2004 17:02