More Stars Than There Are In the Heavens : LUSENET : Hedgehog Talk : One Thread

When I was about five years old, my father was directing Vincent Price in a radio play for a record album, and he brought him round to the house for dinner. According to the family story (I don't actually remember it happening), I took one look at Vincent Price and raced across the room, throwing myself into his arms and refusing to leave his lap for the entire evening.

What's your coolest celebrity encounter?

-- Kymm (, June 09, 2000


Sharon Stone was in the line infront of me at the local store (Seagertown Super-Duper)with her hair all wadded up in a pony tail and no make up on. She needed a penny to make the right change and I gave her one.

She was born in my home town. I assume she must have been home visiting her family or something.

-- Tracey (, June 09, 2000.

I also don't remember this, but when I was also about 5, my father was the press agent for the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco; they produced one of his plays, Deedle Deedle Dumpling, My Son God, starring Michael Learned, Peter Donat, and David Dukes. Apparently I got to meet all three.

I also played in a brass quintet at the annual sales meeting of Warner Cosmetics, the year before they released their Paloma scent, and I got to meet Paloma Picasso.

OOh, I also got to server drinks to Esther Friesner and John Haldeman at the World Fantasy Con.

I used to play Champions with Diana Paxson's kids. I've been in Greyhaven.

I may have lost a few people on those last few...

-- Colin (, June 09, 2000.

I think the coolest was seeing Courtney Love outside a bar in Austin, Texas. It was the night before Lollapalooza in 1995. She was holding on to a signpost and spinning around it when I first caught sight of her. This was back in the day, when who knows how many drugs were in her system - at any rate, she was completely out of her mind, with her dress unzipped all the way down her back. Of course, she wasn't wearing underwear. The people I was hanging out with wanted to get her autograph, so someone from her entourage put a marker into her hand, held it, and made an "X" on each of their t-shirts.

My other big celebrity encounter: I shook hands with Clinton two weeks before he was elected in 1992, at a rally in Chicago.

-- Ann Monroe (, June 09, 2000.

So I'm not cool enough to have a real encounter. But when I was at Tony Roma's in LA, my friend and I saw this guy and we were positive that it was Rowan Atkinson. And she was going to ask for an autograph but then I spilled barbeque sauce all over myself and by the time we came back from the bathroom he had left and boy was she mad at me.

-- Andrea (, June 09, 2000.

Barbara Mandrell and her blue fiddle in a Dairy Queen, and I spoke to Dick Clark on the phone when I worked at the American Bandstand Bar and Grill.

-- Carolyn (, June 09, 2000.

George Michael kissed me! On the cheek!
It was the first class lounge in Heathrow airport. The guy I was rtavelling with spent about an hour saying "I'm sure that's him", I was all "Nah, just looks like him". Turns out it was him and he was really nice.

-- Caoimhe (, June 09, 2000.

I don't necessarily know that any of them qualify as cool but I have had a number of close encounters of the celebrity kind. The earliest that I can remember was when I was 11. It was in downtown Ottawa, where my aunt and I were waiting for a bus near the Parliament Buildings. Who should walk by, nod smile and say hello to me, but the Prime Minister of Canada at the time, Pierre Trudeau.

10 years ago, I was the manager of the flagship store of the Microplay Video Games chain in downtown Toronto. One of our regular customers was the late Dwayne Goettel from the band Skinny Puppy. Geddy Lee from Rush was in a couple of times as well.

Then there was my encounter with Matthew Broderick, a most un-cool experience thanks to my brain cramp. My journal entry about the experience:

Matthew Broderick was in Toronto, shooting The Freshman with Marlon Brando. He was staying at the Prince Hotel, which is a couple of blocks away from the store where I worked. Matthew Broderick had a Nintendo video game system with him at the hotel, and one sunny day walked into our store to rent some new titles to while away the off hours. One of the clerks came into the office area, where I was doing some number crunching, and said "You gotta come out here, and tell us if you recognise this customer." I walked out behind the counter and immediately knew who it was. The staff did some whispering amongst themselves - "Matthew Broderick." "No way! Really?" "Yah, it's him." "Cool." and so forth.

Queue Ron's gaffe: Our sales clerk is chatting Matthew Broderick up, while yours truly is standing nearby. Mr. Broderick says something about being in Toronto with the movie and just doing some shopping. Seeing that he is wearing glasses I brilliantly say "So that's why you're wearing glasses, so no one will recognise you?" (not realising that what one sees on screen is necessarily true to life.) He replies "No, I wear them so I can see."

Ron hurredly crawls back under his rock and scurries back into the office, embarrased by such a stupid thing to say - more so because I was wearing my glasses when I made my brilliantine statement.

The Rolling Stones used the school where I work as their rehearsal space in preparation for their 1994 tour for the entire summer that year. Others on staff had very close encounters with them; all I saw the entire time was the back of Keith's head as he walked down a flight of stairs. I heard them plenty; their main rehearsal space was the auditorium next to my office.

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues used our school for a location in one episode. I stood about 5 feet away from David Carradine (off camera) as they shot a scene. The man smokes like a chimney too. As soon as the scene was done, out came the cigarette.

-- Ron Collings (, June 09, 2000.

The Dalai Lama--whom I met at a small press conference about 8 years ago.

In my line of work, I meet various celebrities [or see them on the street--e.g., Robin Williams seems to be everywhere in San Francisco].

I met and interviewed the novelist Diana Gabaldon last year, and that impressed me, since I'm a fan.

-- Joy (, June 09, 2000.

I have to echo the might not be that cool sentiment, but,

Two weeks ago, Chelsea Clinton sat in front of me at a Cirque du Soleil performance in San Jose. She smiled, nodded, and said hi.

Joy mentioned Robin Williams; a few years ago, when he was in Chapel Hill, NC, filming part of Patch Adams on the UNC campus, he and his wife got in line behind Paula and me at the Ben and Jerry's ice cream parlour.

Reading Ron's comments about Toronto, I remembered the time last December I was there on business and inadvertently wandered through a temporary outdoor set for the syndicated TV show Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict. They weren't shooting at the moment, so I didn't disturb anything. Didn't exchange pleasantries with any of the actors, but I did see one of the aliens, in costume and make up beneath a parka (it was chilly out), leaning tiredly against a tree having a smoke.

Many years ago in Boston, I ushered a play, Touch of the Poet, starring Daniel J. Travanti. After the show, I waited around for his autograph. He was very friendly, chatted with me for a minute or two, and seemed to sincerely appreciate my telling him how I enjoyed the play and his performance.

I think I may have met then-Governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter when I was three, but I'm not sure. I don't remember it at all, of course, and I don't even remember very well the story my Mom tells about it.

And, Kymm, I never met him but I have a plaster copy of a lifemask Vincent Price made, the last he made in his life. I got it as a gift from a friend who's a makeup and f/x professional.

Oh, and of course, I met Kymm Zuckert, and even got her autograph (which really took some doing, I'll tell you). ;)

-- Michael (, June 09, 2000.

When I was working on Capitol Hill in the late 80's, Elizabeth Taylor came up to testify for AIDS funding. This was during one of her "gorgeous" times. SHe was slim and had the black and white hair thing going on. She really looked great. After she was finished testifying, she walked down the hall with a whole pack of gawkers, including me following her. When she got to the sidewalk out front, her car was nowhere in sight so she just had to stand there waiting. I remember that she stood perfectly still and kept a completely blank expression on her face (plastic surgeon's orders?) as this crowd of about thirty people surrounded her and gaped. Finally one of the group got up the nerve to introduce himself and, as people always do on Capitol Hill, tell her who he worked for. In a few minutes, her car appeared and she hustled off. She was tres cool. Then there was the time Mercedes McCambridge (Rock Hudson's sister in "Giant") showed up as a surprise substitute teacher for my "public speaking" course in college - but that, as they say, is another story.

-- jon arthur (, June 09, 2000.

I was at the Mall of America in Minneapolis last summer. My husband and I and some friends were waiting for another friend to get out of the bathroom, when somebody said "Hey isn't that George Lucas?" So we looked, and if it wasn't him it was the most uncanny resemblance ever. My husband sort of circled him at a distance, and a mall employee walked up and confirmed. Now my husband is a HUGE Star Wars fan, so he walks up and says "Excuse me, are you George Lucas?" George turns, nods, turns away. Totally blew him off. I understand that he was trying to have a day with his family, but at the same time I wish he could have at least smiled and said hi. Oh well. So, great celebrity, lousy encounter.

-- Amanda (, June 09, 2000.

I've had a lot of them, but here are some of my favorites:

Timothy Hutton. Hung out with him at Fanelli's in SoHo and shot the shit for several hours. He was dark, sarcastic and funny.

John Cusack - twice. First time was about 12 years ago at an opening night party for my friend's restaurant. He wasn't very well known at the time, but so fucking good looking in person that women were literally tripping over themselves to meet him. Second time was about 6 years later, at a skanky bar on the Upper East Side. He wandered in and was so wasted that his friends were literally holding him up.

Matt Dillon. He is a fixture in and around NYC, and I have seen him out many times, but the most memorable encounter was when he tried to pick me up at a friend's wedding. The guy is dumb as a rock and I was completely uninterested, but it took me awhile to shake him. He kept offering to give me a ride back to the city, I kept saying no thanks and eventually he went away.

Jason Patric and Nastassia Kinski having a knock down drag out fight on the set of my friend's movie. It got REALLY ugly.

-- Sarah (, June 09, 2000.

I once sold cigarettes to the actor who played the older brother on the Wonder Years. I can't remember his name now... I worked at CVS at the time, and he and a woman who was so aloof and gorgeous he had to have been paying her (because he's short and looks like a warthog) came in to buy cigarettes. Thrilling.

I also accidently smacked Henry Rollins in the ass in line at a Store 24. I was in line behind him, with my back to him, talking to a friend, and I made some gesture and WHAM! Right in the ass. I didn't really turn around, just enough to see a big arm with many tattoos. I said sorry, he patted me on the shoulder and said "No problem. Have a good night." My friend was standing there with his mouth hanging open... it wasn't until after we left the store that he was abloe to stammer out "That was Henry Rollins!"

-- Mary Ellen (, June 09, 2000.

Slumming in Baltimore before Homicide shut down, I got to meet Clark Johnson, Jon Seda, and Kyle Secor, and back in ye olde days when I was in the arts academy, we had sorta celebrity (B, C listers, basically) teachers from time to time. A class on comedy and timing from David Letterman, a class in physical acting by Jack Wagner (Kristina Malandro Wagner was there too, but she mostly looked pissed that she was stuck in a junior high school,) stage dancing class by Bob Fossee, and there was somebody else, but I don't remember who. I did extra work on Eight Men Out (watch for me, I'm the newspaper boy on the field! Yes, I said boy. *grin* I crossdressed.) and got to have lunch with John Cusack (we shared a juice. *shriek*) and was thoroughly unimpressed by Charlie Sheen's bad attitude.

-- Saundra (, June 09, 2000.

We don't get to see celebrities here in Wisconsin! Waaahhhh..

-- Amy T. (, June 09, 2000.

As a kid, I used to act professionally. I mostly did commercials, but my neatest celebrity encounter was on the set of Annie Hall. Not only did I meet Woody Allen, but I met another extra who was as crazy about animals as I was - her name was Brooke Shields. Pretty good for 2 days of work! (And you can see me in the background - I'm a blurry red dress leaning over to whisper to an equally blurry little boy.)

-- Julia (, June 09, 2000.

Two memorable ones. I met Judy Garland in 1961, when she was touring her Carnegie Hall concert. I sat in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel for two days waiting for her to check in. She was very gracious, gave me an autograph, and posed for a photo for me. I then went to the show and shook her hand at the end of the show--the first, and only, time I've ever rushed the stage.

Last year, I attended the Ovation Theatre awards in Los Angeles with my friends Steve Schalchlin & Jim Brochu, whose show had been nominated for best musical (it lost to Rocky Horror Show). They came with Carol Channing, so I was able to spend the pre-show time sitting with the three of them and pretending I fit in.

-- Bev Sykes (, June 10, 2000.

When I was in London in 1985 I literaly ran into Charlton Heston. I was drunk as a skunk, friends and I were walking down a side street looking for a particular pub. A door opens right in front of me and BAM I slam into this big six plus foot guy I look up and mumble an apology, he says "no its my fault I should be more careful with that dam door", smiles and walks away, I say to my friends wasn't that Moses? At the front of the building we see posters for The Caine Mutiny staring the six foote.

Same trip in london I am doing some fantasy shopping (couldn't afford to buy a shopping bag even) in Harrods, I see the tackiest older woman I have ever seen, I am hypnotized and get busted staring at her, she smiles very politly and goes about her business. A few seconds later two people come up and ask for her autograph, as they leave I ask who she is, they tell me it is Dianne Cannon. Well withouth the makeup and lighting people hard at work I am afraid she looked like hell, and that was fifteen years ago.

I was working in the prop and gizmo shop on the Honey I Shrunk The Kids (the TV series) set. One day while working on a robotic giant flyman the cast comes strolling through the shop, Hillary Tuck, Barbara Alyn Woods, young Thomas Dekker and Peter Scolari. Trying not to pay any attention to them (both women are very easy on the eyes)I pinch my finger in a moving part I am testing and I am about to let go wih a good stream of bad words when I look up and see them al watching me. So I smile a let go a robust "CHEESE AND RICE That felt just as I would expect". Young mister Dekker says to me "Thats not what you wanted to say is it" and giggles. I laugh and agree. About a month later the episode we were working on is on TV and I am watching to see how the flyguy worked out. Suddenly in one sceen Peter Scolary, jumps back from something in surprize and shouts "Cheese and Rice" I about wet my pants laughing. He may or may not have got the words from me but I though it sure was a funny thing he would say it in the episode I was working on when I said it.

-- Daniel (, June 11, 2000.

Other celebrity encounters I have had:

Joining the John Cusack brigade, back when I was catering I worked the wrap party for The Grifter. It was a tiny, cheap party with just one waiter and one bartender (me) and two little tables with stuff. They were shooting longer than expected, so we were all set up with nothing to do and I was able to sort of watch Anjelica Huston's final breakdown in the room, though from an angle where I couldn't tell who it was, so it didn't spoil the movie for me when it actually came out.

Anyway, I was standing there, guarding the liquor, under strict instructions not to start serving until they wrapped, when John Cusack came over and asked for a beer.

"I'm sorry, I can't serve until the wrap!"
"But I'm wrapped! I'm completely done, please can I have a beer?"
"I'm really not supposed to..."
"Aw c'mon, please?"
"Okay, but you hide it and don't let anyone see, or I'll get in trouble!"
"I will, I promise!"

And he did. He was so gorgeous, and tall as a tree. He was flirting and dancing with Anjelica Huston all night, who looked really beautiful, and he got trashed as hell.

In other catering news, I used to work the CableAce Awards every year, which are very celebrity-light, but I gave Harry Connick Jr. a Pellegrino water and Dr. Ruth Westheimer a drink of some sort one year. I also worked the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wrap party and can report that Will Smith is an excellent line dancer.

Let's see, when I was three years old I met both Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby, as my father worked with both of them that year, but I don't even have a shadow memory of those. My father did a Disney TV movie with Alfre Woodard when I was in college (I think), who is just the most nice, most fun person in the world. She teased the hell out of me because Roddy McDowall was my favourite actor.

When I was a kid, I knew Kim Richards, because my father worked with her alot, and because we kept running into each other at auditions. Quinn Cummings from The Goodbye Girl went to my acting/dancing school, as did Pamelyn Ferdin and Doney Oatman, who both played Felix' daughter in The Odd Couple in different episodes. Pam also was Lucy's voice in the classic Charlie Brown specials. When my father did an episode of Family Affair, Anissa Jones, who played Buffy, babysat me. He did The Partridge Family in an episode on a cruise ship, and we all got to go to Acapulco.

I went to school with Crispin Glover from the ages of five to thirteen, and he was just the most adorable boy who only got weird much later. I went to college with Gina Gershon, high school with Richard Brooks (Law and Order) and high school and college with Felicity Huffman (Sports Night).

I'm sure I'm leaving out a good one, but those are the best I can think of just now!

-- Kymm (, June 11, 2000.

O, and I'd give alot for the opportunity to smack Henry Rollins in the ass!

-- Kymm (, June 11, 2000.

Two happy ones:

I've had a crush on Janeane Garafalo for ever and ever, and apparently, she lives at least part time in downtown Manhattan where I hang out a lot. To my immense excitement, I've run into her a bunch of times at a little coffee bar called Xando, on 6th ave and 13th. I never went up and introduced myself because I always thought it would be really annoying of me, and she was all cool and cute and...anyway.

But on Halloween this year, we were hanging out at B Bar, big party, and Janeane walks in, wearing a red Marlboro shirt. I jumped and squeaked and flapped my hands around a lot because I'm a big dork that way. My friends herded me over to where she was standing and even though they practically had to shove their hands up my back to make my mouth move, I managed to have a low-key "I really love your work" conversation. We ended up spending a couple hours hanging out and dancing and it was one of my better Halloweens. We're best friends now. Really. She loves me. Ha!

The other was when Woody Allen was filming "Small Time Crooks" in Jersey City, around the corner from my apartment. I was walking down to the train to get to work, I round the corner, and there's Woody in a little newsboy kind of hat, looking sad by the catering table. I said "Oh. Hi." And he said "Hey. Good coffee." I am assuming he thought I was a caterer. For lack of anything sparkling to say, I was left with "Yeah. Thanks." And then I sauntered off. Without even telling him how cute his hat was.

Ooh! I forgot one - Erik Estrada, on the F train - I took a stealthy picture of him (scroll down a bit) with the little camera on my lap top (yeah, I already said I was a dork, okay?).

-- Jen (, June 11, 2000.

But that's a broken image, babe!

-- Kymm (, June 11, 2000.

oh no way! really? it looks okay on my I'm all depressed.

But it's such a funny picture...I know! All of you hot-n-bothered Erik Estrada lovers, queue up and I'll email you the picture.

I won't hold my breath or anything, don't you worry.

-- Jen (, June 11, 2000.

I've seen Sissy Spacek twice--once while shopping for clothes, and once at Pier One, where I had a conversation with her little girl, who was very excited about the fish-shaped soap her mom had just bought her. And once when I was crossing a street, a guy thought *I* was Sissy Spacek. Just flattery? Nah, couldn't be

-- Catherine (, June 11, 2000.

I just remembered my short, part-time tenure as a lackey on "Nash Bridges". [I worked for the National Park Service; they filmed at NPS sites.] Mostly I had to answer questions from chowderhead tourists: "You making a movie or TV show here"? "Guess the lights, cameras and crew were a giveaway, hmmm?" "Does Don Johnson look as good in real life as he does on TV?" "Nobody looks as good in real life as they do on TV."

Cheech Marin was nice, but Don was an egomaniac and a jerk.

-- Joy Rothke (, June 11, 2000.

It probably looks fine on your end because you're viewing it from your computer, it's not uploaded to your server.

-- Kymm (, June 11, 2000.

Thanks, Kymm...

But damn, no, it is uploaded! How annoying that it won't show up. Ack. Hm.

Okay, just look here and if it doesn't work, I'm off to bury my head in my closet and weep.

And why this has become a lifequest, I'll never know.

I know! It's because I know that you're all just dying to see Erik Estrada on the F train.

Or not.

-- Jen (, June 11, 2000.

"Error: Not Found

The requested URL /users/jen/erik was not found on this server"

-- Kymm (, June 11, 2000.

Aha! Works on IE, not on Netscape. I assume thath Netscape doesn't accept spaces in links.

Pretty funny picture, though!

-- Kymm (, June 11, 2000.

Yeah, the space in the filename seems to be the problem. You can get around this by substituting "%20" for it in the URL, though. As in this link.

Of course, for all I know, that causes trouble in other browsers...

-- Shmuel (, June 11, 2000.

Northern Maine, which is where I grew up, isn't exactly a hotbed of celebrity sitings. Oddly enough, given Kymm's experience, I did meet Vincent Price when he came to my hometown to give a talk at UMPI (University of Maine at Presque Isle). I was in middle school, I think. It was a huge deal.

I had a beer with William Goldman while he was artist in residence at Oberlin. He's a very funnny guy.

I worked several summers for John DuPont. He is an outrageously rich man who flipped out and murdered an Olympic caliber wrestler several years ago.

Otherwise, I'm celebrity-spotting challenged.

-- Laura (, June 12, 2000.

well, president clinton spoke at my college's commencement on saturday. does that count?

really, though. in london, kenneth branagh sat behind us at a Royal Shakespeare Company show and laughed loudly and wheezingly through the whole damn thing. it was The Seagull, and branagh bellowed right through kostya blowing his brains out. we made a lot of fun of him for the rest of the trip.

-- aggie (, June 12, 2000.

Celebrity encounters? I've got a number of them. (Hopefully I don't scare or piss anybody away).

The most recent is when I met the actor Chris Noth three years ago (now of "Sex and the City" formerly of "Law and Order") after he finished a performance in an off-Broadway play. He gave me an autograph and I took a picture with him. He was fairly polite and charming.

I saw Matt Dillon years ago at a Tower Records. I wasn't a big fan of his and I simply watched him walk through the store. I do remember that nobody bothered him, which I found fairly strange at first since this guy used to be a teen idol, but then I thought, "This is New York. Nothing and nobody fazes us here."

I saw Bill Cosby once many years ago when the "Cosby Show" was taped a few blocks away from where I used to live in Brooklyn. I was on my way home from somewhere and I happened to see a whole bunch of people milling around outside the TV studio. When I got closer, I saw that they were all crowding around Bill Cosby. I managed to get an autograph and he was very gracious.

I've also seen numerous soap opera actors which I don't want to mention as: a)many reading this have never heard of them anyway and b) soap opera actors have a stigma attached that implies that they aren't "real" actors, unfortunately.

There you have it.


-- Vena (, June 12, 2000.

I went to the Graduation ceremonies for the Native students at my Alma Mater a few years ago as some friends were in the grad class. for the dinner afterwards I was seated with a woman and her family that I knew but not well. She got her Law degree, her husband is a well known local native artist so we knew of each other, but I sat beside her charming young daughter and chated through dinner with her. She was just the cutest little thing as well as bright and friendly. She was also the little girl who played the young Isabel II in Legends of The Fall.

-- Daniel (, June 12, 2000.

Best celebrity encounter: Reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" with Olivia deHavilland to a gaggle of other kids at a Christmas party at the American Embassy in Paris, 1977 or 78.

My memory is all of a very kind lady, surrounded with a golden halo of light from the reading lamp.

Most embarrasing celebrity encounters:

1) Urging my friend Jennifer to go get her stuffed banana signed by Ed Wasser who played Morden on Babylon 5.

2) Babbling inanely at Tad Williams (author of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Otherland and others) while getting my copy of The Dragonbone Chair signed at a bookstore signing. Tad Williams is, by the way, a really, really, really nice guy. He's answered every e-mail I've ever sent him and remembered my screen name from his fan message board.

Fun celebrity crossings:

Jason Carter (Marcus on Babylon 5) getting plastered in the hotel bar at Dragon*Con last year.

Peter Jurasik (Londo on Bab 5) and Robert Trebor (Salmoneus on Xena) having a hilarious discussion on the escalator at Dragon*Con last year.

Harrison Ford, Sydney Pollack and Kristin Scott-Thomas, while they were shooting Random Hearts right outside my office downtown DC. They shot quite a bit of footage there -- Kristin Scott-Thomas' apartment lobby was shot in the condo across the street from my office and Ford did ten takes walking along the brick sidewalk beneath our office.

I never got up the gumption to go talk to him or ask for an autograph, but he was _mobbed_ by dozens of women from our building and the building opposite. He was very gracious, polite and obliging to everyone who approached him.

He's also a lot shorter in person than he looks on film. But he's still durn sexy.

The most fun from this encounter though, was talking to the extras. All of them uniformly stated that Pollack was a perfectionist, Ford and Scott-Thomas nice to work with, and that the shooting was a lot of fun.

My co-worker and I had a late night and they were still shooting on the street with HUGE globe lamps hanging in the trees to make the lighting look more like early morning. It was like walking in fairy land.

I was very disappointed when we went to see the movie and almost none of the footage shot near the office made it into the film.

-- Beth K. (, June 13, 2000.

In December, the theatre where I work presented Anne Meara's new play. Jerry Stiller did video work in it and their daughter Amy was in it, as well as Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson and their daughter Roberta. Roberta and Amy were hysterical and sweet, Eli and Anne were dears, and Anne Meara was a little scary. But the weirdest part of all was the night her son came to see the show and she kept walking around going "This is my son, Ben. Have you met my son, Ben?"

Also at work this year--our last show was full of TV stars like Conrad Bain and Michael Learned and Ralph Waite and Tim Daly and Fred Savage, but it also featured (for one week) Paul Rudd. Because I work in marketing, I got to be in charge of his opening night interviews. I had to walk him around and introduce him to critics (like they didn't know who he was!). He was an absolute doll--not remotely a diva in any way.

And last year at a convention I worked in the guest department. Stephen Furst (Babylon 5, also of Animal House and St. Elsewhere) was a guest and...took a liking to me. He was getting divorced, I was getting divorced, and he launched a campaign on the very first day to get me switched to be his guest liaison. He started flirting with me the minute we met and didn't stop until the last day. It was very flattering, actually, and he was very sweet, if about 20 years too old for me. :-)

I tried to meet Nathan Lane outside of a theatre, but he's a real jerk. Stephen Sondheim, who worked at my theatre in September, is a bitch and a half. Stay away. Far away.

-- Melissa (, June 13, 2000.

I had a beer with President Clinton once (and about 100 other people).

I heard Fred Savage was a jerk (from his own cousin). DAMN.

-- Melissa (, June 14, 2000.

Nathan Lane is a jerk? What a shame.

I remembered a couple more. In 1992-ish (maybe '93), I met author Cythia Heimel at reading/book signing she did in Boston. Because I was a) smitten with her writing, and b) curious about her personality and seeing her in person, I decided I had time to wait until the end of the signing to get her autograph. So, since I was waiting anyway, rather than stand on line the whole time, I took a seat sort of nearby her table and watched and listened to all her banter with all her fans.

Yes, sometimes people have told me I can be intense and a little freaky in person. And a lot of people did ask why I was sitting there like that. For the fun is why. I did ask if I was being rude and ought to move.

I'm not sure how much Ms. Heimel actually minded. She did ask me whether I was her stalker for the evening, making a joke of it, but she was also very dear when I did have her sign my books.

Anyway, in 1997, I briefly met Charleton Heston at a signing he did in Raleigh, NC, whilst peddling his autobiography, In the Arena. I thought he was quite cordial towards everyone who turned out, and respected the fact he stayed until the whole line got through, 90 minutes over the scheduled time. And he had a good handshake.

-- Michael (, June 14, 2000.

Went to a book signing for "Beach Music" by Pat Conroy when my son was an infant. The line zigzagged through the store, out the front door and around the corner. I was around the corner. I had no idea how long the line was inside the store or I probably wouldn't have waited. When I was inside the store about 2 rows away from where he was sitting my son had had enough and started fussing. I picked him up and jiggled and swayed and sang to him til he quieted down. When I was about 20 people back and he was in sight, a mom with a child who was leaving grabbed one of the clerks and made them take me up to the front of the line saying that we had waited long enough. (Gage was long quiet by then so it wasn't because we were making a ruckus.) Anyway, when it was my turn Mr. Conroy asked if mine was the baby who had been crying. I was quit embarrassed and said "Yes, I'm sorry." He was very nice and said he didn't know why I would stand and line all that time just to meet him. He asked my name and Gage's name and he wrote in my book..."To Sarah and Gage, who EARNED this book." Course, I still had to pay for it, but I thought it was sweet of him to take so much time talking to us when the line still stretched way out.

Oh, and we saw Joey Ramone on the street in the Village a couple of weeks ago.

AND, I have 2 different links to Kevin is 6 degrees and the other 4, plus I've been in the same room with him 3 times, when I saw he and his brother perform their music.

There's more...but I'm sure y'all can live without me recounting every one of them...:)

-- Sarah (, June 15, 2000.

My mother's best friend from childhood was Jane Powell (known as Susie -- her pre-Hollywood name -- around our house). We saw her occasionally when she came to the Pacific Northwest to do plays. My mom had press photos of herself and Jane in swimsuits, packing Jane's suitcases in preparation for the move to LA, etc. This was in the 40's. Mom had definite opinions on the actors she met while visiting Jane on various sets. Sinatra was a nice man, Peter Lawford was a jerk, Jimmy Durante a sweet guy. Jane talks about my mother several times in her autobiography, and made me cry when she wrote about her death and how much my mother's friendship meant to her. I was always very impressed that we knew a real movie star.

-- Lucy Huntzinger (, June 15, 2000.

Well, I work in film now and again, so I don't know if sighting actors doing their job really counts as "celebrity encounters".

Well, okay.. the first thing I ever worked on starred Mark Decascos (now The Crow? The Raven?) who was really sweet and one heck of a trouper. His costar was the actress/model Kylie Travis. The department I was in seemed to loathe her, for some reason. But I asked her about her home town, and treated her like a human being, and she was perfectly nice to me. Also on that movie was former Supermodel of the World Monika Schnarre, who was funny and sweet.

I worked on something starring Sidney Poitier and his daughter Sydney, with cameos by Phylicia Rashid. All were very nice indeed. Mr Poitier , in particular, was a true gentleman... and a verifiable hottie at the age of 70 or so.

The guy who played Charlie de Salvo in "Highlander- the series" is not only a good friend, but introduced me and my fiancé.

But! My faaaaavourite celebrity encounters are musicians, and none took place here in Toronto. I met Mike Keneally in person, on a trip tp LA, and he gave me a hug and chatted. We had formerly communicated by email. Never heard of him? One of the best guitar players on the planet; used to play for Zappa, now has a solo project called "Beer for Dolphins".

When going to college in Nova Scotia, I worked occasionally as an usher for concerts at the arts centre. Billy Bragg chatted with me before a show,and he was very pleasant- smart and funny.

Another singer who gave a show there, back in her cow-punkette days before achieving real fame, was k.d. lang. I was standing at the very back of the hall, watching the show. During one rockin' tune, she leapt off the stage, ran skipping all the way to the bottom of the aisle, grabbed my elbow and do-si-do'd me around twice, and then ran back down the aisle and joined her song in progress!

I guess that one's my favourite of all.

-- Cameron (, June 15, 2000.

O, I've met Billy a few times! He's just a really ordinary guy, and very sweet and funny.

-- Kymm (, June 15, 2000.

Definitely not cool ones, but...

When I was a kid I met Peter Lupus from Mission Impossible and (drat, can't come up with the name) the guy who played Barnabus Collins on Dark Shadows, and got autographed pictures of each - they were making an appearance at a car show. The Barnabus Collins guy and I chatted for awhile about my name - he said he liked the way it was spelled. (That was enough to make him my hero for years after)

And down in Texas I waited on Dave Hasselhof for a couple hours when he was down in our little podunk town to do some fishing. That one was a pretty neat surprise, if only because it was so unexpected. As customers go, he was ok.

When I worked in DC I'd occasionally bump into various news anchors because they worked in the same building I did.

More cool to my mind is that my aunt (who was a waitress in LA and regularly waited on celebs) once let me borrow a diamond ankle bracelet she got from a regular customer of hers for her birthday - it was the guy who played the dad on the Rockford Files.

(This is why I don't have any really cool sightings - I can never remember anyone's name!)

-- Lynda B. (, June 16, 2000.

(I have a few encounters to share; I hope you don't mind . . .)

I guess it was pretty cool meeting Rock Hudson and Susan St. James, when they were filming an episode of "McMillan and Wife" at the hotel my family and I were vacationing at way back in the '70's, but I was really too young to remember it specifically. The only thing I really remember is how pretty Susan St. James was, and how people were always brushing her hair! Every five minutes, someone was brushing her hair! I've still got the pictures of them "on the set", but sadly I lost the book my dad had them autograph for me.

When I was in High School, I had the opportunity to meet author Walt Morey (anyone remember "Gentle Ben"?), who came to talk to some grade school kids. My mom was the school librarian (no jokes, please), so I got to get out of class to meet him. It was so cool! I'd always written stories and planned on becoming a writer, and he gave me some really good advise about writing and publishing, which I promptly forgot. He signed a copy of his new book, "The Lemon Meringue Dog", and was a really great guy!

Soon after that, I was in the Musicland store at the Palouse Empire Mall (Moscow, ID), and who should happen to walk in and look around but Bryan Adams! Since I had his tape, I recognized him right away (he was opening for Journey, who were playing locally), but the people who worked there didn't. I thought they were pretty lame. I was terribly shy, however, and didn't approach him for an autograph until he was recognized by some other people who were not so shy. I just fell into the crowd, and got an autograph!

Then, a couple years ago I had the opportunity to meet an actor I absolutely adore: Sir Derek Jacobi! He was at the Mill Valley Film Festival promoting his new film "Love is the Devil", and I was there with some friends I'd made on the Sir Derek Jacobi Forum . We attended the Tribute and screening of his film, then went to the reception held in his honour. There, I got to meet him and shake his hand, but didn't get an autograph at the time. The timing and the atmosphere just wasn't right then. This past April, I met up with some of these same "Forumite Friends" in New York City, where we were saw Sir Derek perform in "Uncle Vanya". My friend Carol and I went to pick up the tickets, and as we were leaving, we met Sir Derek as he walking towards the theater! It was an amazing encounter, so purely accidental, that I think that would have to be the coolest one! Even better than later the following day when our group had the opportunity to meet with Sir Derek after the show. We took pictures and this time I got him to sign my Playbill! That was cool, too, but just seeing him walking down the street, on his way to work, was the best!

Thanks for listening! Cheers! Hez

-- hez (, June 18, 2000.

let's see..... several - I got Robert DeNiro to laugh out loud when I suggested he kneel at my feet (he's actually very quiet and kind of shy in person) spent a month in upstate NY with Sigourney Weaver, Dana Ivey and Chris Durang - descriptions: down to earth, nice nice nice, gentleman in that order... meet Barbara Walters at a press dinner she was gracious and small... didn't actually meet Steven Speigel but I sat in his house seats when he couldn't make a performance of "Anna Christie" at Roundabout... Ed Harris told me I was beautiful in a mexican resturant when he was doing "Simpatico".....

-- Michelle Matzeder/Wilde/Bruner (, July 01, 2000.

I once met Barbara Windsor while filing for my best friends granddad and when she walked in to say hello I had just broken a very heavy filing draw which subsequently fell to pieces on my lap.Then to make matters worse when I stood up I was taller than her and she looked very embaressed(more like I was very very embaressed!!!!!!!!!)

-- Camilla Burrow (, December 05, 2000.

I got to meet Jamie Lee Curtis back in the summer of 1989. I was working as a musician at DisneyLand (California), and she showed up to one of our shows (we were a marching/show band). She was there with her daughter and husband, Christopher Guest. And of course, dorks that we were, in the band, even though we'd just seen "This is Spinal Tap", we didn't realize who he was.

Anyway, during the show, our director would always introduce each of us to the crowd ("From Northwestern University, Jared Brame...). And, of course, Jamie Lee looked at each person as they were introduced, so that was quite cool. She wound up bouncing her daughter around on her knee, and the girl "wet 'em". Jamie Lee was very casual about that and just changed her or something like that.

After our show, I hung around up front, and our director said something to Jamie Lee like, "Oh, one of your fans is here..." And with that, she walked right up to me and shook my hand. We chatted for a couple of minutes about nothing in particular...I wish I'd had my camera! But anyway, she looked nice, and acted even nicer.

Let's see...I got to meet Oprah, since I went to one of her TV tapings...audience members were asked not to request autographs or pictures, but you could shake her hand and say hi, which I did.

Also: my wife's friend used to be the personal assistant to Malcolm Jamal Warner, so we got to meet him last summer at a taping of his show. (I later found out he had the hots for my wife!) Old time comedian Tom Postin was in the episode we saw taped, and he walked by me and nodded. It's funny how annoyed you can be by someone when they're on TV or the radio (his radio and TV voiceovers, and "Mr. Bickley" character on Mork and Mindy were pretty annoying!), but when you meet them in person, you're somewhat in awe. Maybe it's just me.

Finally: I met Roger Ebert at a book signing last summer. He was nice, and especially nice to this kid who, during a Q&A session, said he wanted to be a film critic. He talked to the kid a lot, encouraged him, took a picture with him, etc.

Okay, okay, two more quick ones: I've met jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson a few times (he was really drunk once--it was sad), and I met and exchanged a couple of words with wrestling promoter Verne Gagne.

Okay, I'm done now.

-- Jared Brame (, December 13, 2000.

Hmmm. I've had some kinda neat ones... First, if anyone watches MSNBC and sees an anchor/reporter that goes by the name Ashleigh Banfield I used to hangout with her in Calgary (Canada). She is a singer and I play in a band and we were always trying to get our schedules to line up but it never really worked. I haven't seen her in about 3-5 years.

My next is my fave. We were in a local bar where a washed up rockstar from the 70's was playing. After his first set he was hanging at the bar and I signaled him over. He came over and we all chatted and he ended up producing my bands first CD. We have become friends and I actually got to play with him onstage at a later gig. We played his encore, worldwide hit (from 1977 "Mama Let Him Play") together and everyone that came to see him was staring at me the entire time wondering "who the hell is that?" His name is Jerry Doucette.

I've been in TV/film for many tyears and have met hundreds of famous and almost famous people who all come through TV stations on their way up (and down) but not usually when they are on top (exception: top 15 markets) Some names are Celine Dion (I'd never even heard of her until that day), Matt "Guitar" Murphy (Blus Bros.), Billy Ray Cyrus, Bon Jovi, Joh Cusak at a hockey game, Colm Meaney at the resort town of Banff, Alberta (they were filming Mystery Alaska) and the list goes on.

Recently, I was at a "Friends" taping in LA and got to sit in the second row at the very end. Turns out that, for this episode, this was where most of the action was. Anyway, Jennifer Aniston gave me a big smile - I musta been drooling or something :) - she was approx. 4 feet away. Sigh... Matthew Perry was freaking out some of the audience members as he sat and stared at poeple for a LONG time (for me it was about 1:30) and the girl next to me complained to her friend saying "that creep won't stop staring at me", it went on for about 3 or so minutes with her. I think he was just getting even for all those times when other people stare at him.

I guess I should mention folk diva Joni Mitchell. She was at a family reunion. We are distant cousins. The last time I saw her was 1983. So much for family ties!

Enjoy... Paul

-- Paul (, March 05, 2001.

growing up a disabled child in shriner's hospital many athletes came to visit we sick kids, among them were footballs lawrence taylor, john elway, Bear bryant, basketball's j.b carol, and baseball's mike heath and mike norris both with the A's in the early 80's. further, I grew up in santa rosa and met many Oakland Raiders who had thier traing camp there, among them john matuzak, jim plunket, marcus allen and ted hendricks, but there were many others. Also I met jeb and george w bush while they were campaigning for thier father's presidency. I have also met singers reba mac entire (she tiped me $50) and joan osborne (one hit wonder "what if god was one of us") who both came into bars I was working in as a party dj.

-- Ray Watkins (, January 16, 2002.

In 1973, I think, I was in San Carlos, Mexico. I went to a bar (now called Tequilas'), and ordered MORE RUM AND COKE PLEASE. I was quite trashed allready. I turned to my right and found myself face to face with Gene Hackman! He was there to film a movie called "Lucky Lady" with Burt Reynolds and Liza Minneli. I turned to him and said " I know who you are". He said "don't give it away, I'm trying to have a good time". I turned to a friend at the other side of the crowded bar and shouted " Hey steve! Check it out, it's Popeye f****in' Doyle! Mr. Hackman sure can deliver a mean look when he wants to. Sorry. I used to volunteer as a security guard at the Michael Landon Celebrity Open. During that stint I would act as a sort of body guard to various celebrities. One was Buddy Hacket, he sat in a chair and talked, actually, mumbled, constantly even though no one was close enough to hear him. Very odd. I was not star struck by the "stars" I met there with the exception of Eli Wallach. He walked by me and I said "Hello Mr. Wallach". He came over to me, took my hand, looked into my eyes and acted like I was the most important being on the face of this planet! He seemed to be incredibly interested in what I might have to say and that he had all the time in the world for me. I gushed about the diversity of his many roles and, most importantly to me, his role in "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". An incredibly gracious man. God Bless.

-- John Forrey (, December 29, 2002.


Back in 1996, I "pulled over" a car, one day, that was blocking an intersection, in mid-town Manhattan. (I'm in law enforcement). It was during the Christmas holiday season.

I motioned the driver of the car to roll-down his window, so I could speak to him. I intended to just give him a warning, since it was close to Christmas.

The driver rolled the window down on the SUV, and I began to utter the words, "Sir, Why are you blocking the inters--Stephen Spielberg! --Hi!" Stephen Spielberg was sitting in the front passenger seat. He laughed, hard. I then said, "I love your movies!" He burst out laughing again, and he said, "Thanks! Happy Holidays!"

Then, he reached over and shook my hand. I said, "Merry Christmas!", as they drove off --totally forgetting that he's Jewish.

Yep, Schindler's List was out the window! Just think of all of the time, money and energy that was spent on Shindler's List, and there I was, in his face, with "Merry Christmas!" Jeez!

I didn't mean to insult him, by saying that. I hope he knew. I think he knew what I meant. I meet celebrities all the time, and I never get flustered over them. But, I really became star-struck with Spielberg. His movies ARE incredible, and for an aspiring actor, like me, it WAS a "big deal" when I met him. :)

I recommend, to you, the "JAWS" DVD. This DVD has the "making of" Jaws, feature, which is very, very interesting.


-- Chris (, May 07, 2004.

I have a few. I was part of a small group of people hanging out after one of Regis Philbin's casino shows. We called his band director over to see if he could get Regis to come back out to sign some autographs. He said that he'd try. Surprisingly enough, he did! Although Regis seemed a little grumpy he personalized everyone's autograph instead of just signing his name and shook hands. He's exactly what you would expect. Saw comedian Steve Harvey, along with his entourage, after hours at a local Bar-B-Q restaurant. Didn't get to meet him, but he was decked out. A very well-dressed man. Met Jack O'Halloran and Sarah Douglas (two of the Kryptonian villains from Superman II) at a memorabilia auction. O'Halloran, who played the gigantic, silent one was very nice and had a hand shake that could crush granite. Douglas, the villainess, was VERY friendly. She hugged me really tight and kissed my cheek. But, of course, she was drunk. Met George Takei, Sulu of Star Trek fame at a convention. He was very gracious and funny. He thanked me for coming out to see him, which I thought added a touch of class. Saw Lou Ferigno at another convention and asked if he could sign my program. He said that I had to buy something first (he had a booth with posters and stuff). I turned him down but told him I enjoyed his appearances on "The King of Queens". He told me to watch the next episode, as it was their Thanksgiving Special. Yeah, okay. At the same convention I got to meet Allison Mack who plays Chloe Sullivan on Smallville. She's much prettier in person and very, very nice. Especially to all of the fan boy geeks waiting in line to see her. ----- Like me, for instance.

-- Lonnie Easterling (, July 22, 2004.

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