Bobby Henrey was eight when he was improbably chosen by film director Carol Reed and producer Sir Alexander Korda to star alongside Sir Ralph Richardson in The Fallen Idol based on a Graham Greene story. Released in 1948, the film was an instant box office success; the child's performance was singled out for critical acclaim and it remains one of the classics of British cinema. His brief film career over, the erstwhile star, an only child brought up within an exclusively adult world by eccentric parents focused on their literary careers, was suddenly confronted with the rough and tumble of school life. Survival came at the cost of burying the experience, pretending - unsuccessfully - it had never happened: an attitude Robert carried into adulthood. The death of his 19-year-old daughter and an invitation to a special screening of The Fallen Idol in London in 2001 finally persuaded him to come to terms with his childhood experience. Through Grown-up Eyes is a remarkably moving and candid account of coping with childhood stardom in post-war London and the vicissitudes of later life in the USA, tragedy and loss. It is ultimately about survival, treasuring the good things of life - and allowing hope to have the last word.
Born in France in 1940, Robert Henrey spent his early childhood with his parents in Mayfair before being chosen to play the role of Phillipe in The Fallen Idol at the age of eight in 1948, directed by Carol Reed and starring Ralph Richardson. After a part in a subsequent film, Wonder Boy, Robert was sent off to boarding school before going Oxford University where he met and later married his wife, Lisette. The couple settled in New York before moving to Greenwich, Connecticut, where they now live. Robert is an ordained Catholic deacon and is now retired.