Actress Rachel Fielding, who starred in a film which won an Oscar last year, will be the compere of this year’s East Sussex Women in Business awards ceremony.
Rachel, who lives in Eastbourne, played Sue in The Silent Child, which won Best Live Action Short Film at the 2018 Academy Awards.
The actress grew up in East Sussex and is the only daughter of a civil servant and a speech therapist, Mike and Mary Bell.
She went to school in Ringmer where her English teacher encouraged her to audition for the National Youth Theatre.
Rachel spent several seasons there working with its founder Michael Croft playing Ophelia in Hamlet and Desdemona in Othello.
After failing to get into drama school on her first attempt and after a gap year, she gained entry to the Bristol Old Vic where alumni have included Olivia Coleman, Mark Strong and Daniel Day Lewis.
She began her professional career in the early 1990s working for, among others, the National Theatre at the Haymarket in London in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”, and with Richard Harris in Pirandellos Henry V at Wyndhams.
She continued to work extensively in television and film including the BBC series This Life, New Tricks, Cold Feet, Heartbeat, Hotel Babylon, Holby city.
In Harry Enfield’s early days she appeared in many of his sketches with him. Her films include “How To Get Ahead In Advertising” with Richard E Grant, “Nasty Neighbours” which premiered at the Venice film festival and most recently “the Silent Child” which won best live action short at the 2018 Academy awards last March.
It was after playing the mother of Libby played by Maisie Sly in the film, who is also deaf in real life, that Rachel decided to learn sign language having been unable to communicate properly with Maisie on the set.
Rachel has just completed her first level in BSL. She is now a patron of Deafcog a charity that brings together the deaf community to combat loneliness and isolation and to champion their cause with more access to BSL interpreters.
She is also a champion and mentor of young talent and teaches drama to a wide variety of pupils as well as running auditions for new intake at the NYT. She is about to complete her first screenplay. This year’s awards event will be held at the Cavendish Hotel on July 19. Entries/nomination forms are now open. Visit http://www.eastsussexwib.co.uk/. To sponsor a category please call Denise Greaves on 07711 474668 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org