From Europe, with love, for Jean Seberg

A roundtable discussion on the life of Jean Seberg provided loads of evidence on how loved the actress from Marshalltown still is, especially in Europe.

The discussion Saturday at the Jean Seberg International Film Festival at the Orpheum Theater was led by London residents Cedric Pulford and Michael Coates-Smith.

Pulford met Seberg when he was student editor of a magazine at Oxford University in 1959. Pulford said it was Seberg’s beauty that was attractive, but also her personality that drew him to her.

Pulford read a tribute to Jean by Bertrand Delanoe, the current mayor of Paris.

Delanoe called Seberg an “eternal heroine of French cinema” and an “immortal actress.”

“It really shows the continuing high esteem the French have for Jean Seberg,” Pulford said.

Another tribute to Seberg from Honor Blackman was read by Jude Rawlins, also of England.

Blackman co-starred with Seberg in the film “Moment to Moment” and is a legendary actress in Europe.

“Jean was a warm, sweet and very dear girl,” Blackman wrote in the tribute.

Many in attendance at the discussion shared their childhood memories of Seberg, including Jeannine Loros, who was a few years younger than Seberg growing up in Marshalltown.

“She was so pretty,” Loros said. “She was so friendly and she was so generally warm,” Loros said.

People also recalled Seberg’s passion to tackle any obstacle in front of her – which was evident when she learned the French language in a matter of a few years.

“She had this evident gift for language and that helped her to embrace French culture and society,” Pulford said.

The film festival continues Sunday and wraps up with a 3 p.m. screening of a documentary on Seberg’s life.