Former LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE star Melissa Gilbert hopes whoever becomes the Governor of California will boost the state's dwindling film industry.

The actress, who serves as the president of America's Screen Actors Guild, has been closely observing the race between the candidates hoping to oust GRAY DAVIS from his position in Tuesday's (07OCT03) recall election, with ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER being the current favourite.

Gilbert hopes that whoever emerges victorious will work on tax incentives to bring productions back to Hollywood.

She says, "People don't understand how important it is. Because the industry supports so many ancillary businesses in the state, the trickle-down effect is enormous.

"I have to give the current governor credit. He signed three bills that were very helpful to us last week. But until we get that tax incentive, productions aren't going to stay here. Not when producers can get 35 per cent of their budgets back if they shoot in Canada."

But Gilbert isn't pinning her hopes on Schwarzenegger giving Hollywood a helping hand - even though he's an actor himself.

She explains, "You would imagine, but when someone steps into the realm of public politics, the driver of the agenda becomes whatever they perceive as most pressing.

"I won't officially endorse a candidate for governor. I have a lot of problems with the recall itself. I think we're on a slippery slope here."

06/10/2003 03:18