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Brush With Fame


FilmRebel

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Has anyone had, or known someone who had a "Brush" with a famous classic movie actor? My Uncle just died and it got me to thinking of some stories. My Uncle was on a game show called "Truth or Consequences." It was during WWII and he was in the Navy. He was on the show with Veronica Lake and won a Gruen Wristwatch. Also when he was in the Navy, he shot skeet with Robert Stack.

 

 

 

My Grandfather was installing natural gas pipeline in the Los Angeles area in the 1930s. He said Ginger Rogers came out of the house and talked to the workmen. He said she was very nice person.

 

Edited by: FilmRebel on Jan 9, 2012 9:06 PM

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I worked part-time at an upscale grocery store in Beverly Hills, and, therefore, saw many, many stars. (It is surprising how many stars actually do some of their own shopping!). Some were extremely nice and friendly, while others were downright rude. But I just accepted that perhaps they were having a bad day. But it was a wonderful experience. Some who were especially nice were Julia Roberts, Johnny Mathis, Neil Sedaka, and Sidney Poitier.

 

Terrence.

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My uncle got to meet Jessica Lange and the rest of the crew when the production of *Tootsie* came "upstate" (well, Kingston isn't really upstate) to do those scenes.

 

Grandma had the best reaction: "Who's Jessica Lange?" :-)

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Joan Bennett, in my case:

 

I was at the Dark Shadows Festival in New York in August of 1990, and I had seen Joan the year before that (I think). By now she was 80 years old, and as things were getting ready for the fans' stroll through the autograph line, as I was sitting and conversing with a blind D.S. fan (yes....he told me he listened to the show and enjoyed it!), I excused myself to him because I noticed Joan was in her wheelchair at a table and trying to get her cigarette lighter to work. I went up to her and, taking my lighter out of my pocket, asked her "Can I light your cigarette for you, Miss Bennett?" She replied gratefully "Oh, thank you, young man" as I lit it for her, then returned to my seat (not bothering her for her autograph in advance of anyone else). Joan died two months later...She was probably the most classic actor I've ever met.

 

This is a copy of the same photo she signed for me later (this is not a scan of the one I have with her signature).

 

joanbennettm.jpg

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Well, let's see... back in the spring of '68, I was a hippie, panhandling outside of a big drugstore on Sunset Strip. Robert Vaughn walked out, with some little starlet in tow, and I said hello to him.

 

I know a lot of experimental/avant garde filmmakers, who most here wouldn't know. But, I have met Kenneth Anger, Crispin Glover, and Michael Moore.

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Look at Joan's big eyes! Lovely!

 

Heh ValentineX, you reminded me that I too have met Crispin Glover. I was working at my neighborhood movie theater when he brought his indie film there and was asked to "guard" him before he went up for Q&A. He was a squirrelly little man and we mainly talked about Syracuse and classic film since I know nothing about him. (a definite advantage when meeting a "star") I watched his film and was completely disgusted by it. Amazingly, the goth kids ate it up with a spoon and I had to "guard" him again for the roudy autograph line later.

 

My most exciting encounter was Gloria Swanson! When I was 16 in the mid 70's, she attended the grand opening of a classic film theater in my town. I rode my bike and waited in the lobby for her.

(I could NEVER have afforded to attend!)

She arrived in a cream Rolls Royce and was surprisingly left alone! I walked right up to her, grabbed a program and asked for her autograph. I got a great photo of her signing it seated under a vintage portrait of herself.

She was amazed that such a "young person" knew who she was or was even interested in her. She was very interested that I was brought up vegetarian, and we spoke a LOT about diet & natural foods, aging, staying healthy. I now follow the same diet regimen as she did.

 

She was amazing, beautiful, extremely tiny and so personable.

The autograph is faded but proudly displayed in my living room.

Sadly, these days something like that could never happen.

 

And also sadly, for several years I ate my lunch outside Louise Brook's apartment hoping to catch her, but never did.

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You didn't say whether Robert Vaughan answered you. I assume he didn't...........When I was living in LA, I was driving north on Barrington Avenue, when I saw Dustin Hoffman jaywalking in front of my moving car. I yelled out the window at him, "Hey, I'm walkin' here, I'm walkin' here!". I guess I should have yelled, "you're walkin' here!"

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I've had only one incident that might be described as a "brush with fame." A few years ago I ran into Mickey Rooney at the 7-11... despite dousing him with holy water and driving a stake through his heart the man refused to die. I asked him how he could justify stealing oxygen from the rest of us when his career peaked nearly a century ago... he just popped a can of Red Bull and gave me the finger.

 

You gotta respect the man... he is one tough hombre.

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Okay, the Mickey Rooney story was a joke so here is my real one, although I guess she was more a classic televsion star than a classic film star...

 

A few years back my grandmother broke her hip while shopping for artichokes (LONG story). After the surgery she was sent to a rehabilitation facility where she could recuperate and get physical therapy. One of the nurses there mentioned to me that Imogene Coca was also a patient. I knew she had been on "Your Show of Shows" but I primarily knew her as Aunt Edna from National Lampoon's Vacation, and so I snuk off down the hallways to see if I could find her.

 

I had to go into the rooms because the patient names weren't listed on the door, and after a horrifying encounter with a deranged woman who seemed to recognize me and call me "Sonny!" (LONGER story) I finally found Imogene Coca.

 

She was in a wheelchair, and much older than when she did NLV but she looked exactly the same. She was smiling, she was friendly, she treated me like her own grandson... she asked for help with her radio (she was looking for music to sing along with) and she asked me for a cigarette, half-kidding I think, and I never forgot her. She died less than six months later.

 

:(

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I've met several stars over the years. Touring in shows. You will love this, but I met our SOTM, ANGELA LANSBURY!!!!!!

 

Many years ago. She was touring in a summer stock version of Gypsy (after her Tony award winning stint in the Broadway revival) I had written her beforehand in care of the theater to ask if I could see her before or after the show. To my amazement she must've remembered, as her hubby allowed me into the trailer. I remember her being extremely tall, and I wasnt prepared for being in such close quarters with her. I remember babbling a few questions and her answering and I left. I was so nervous I forgot to ask for her autograph. I remember I was the only person that went in, so I was pretty proud of that. I'm sure I'd be less nervous nowadays though. :)

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I met Peter Sellers on the streets of New York. This was before he worked in Hollywood and he seemed surprised to be recognized. I sat one table away from Debbie Reynolds while she argued with her husband Eddie Fisher at the Sands in Las Vegas. I recognized Richard Coote on the streets of London and told him I admired his work. I went backstage to meet John Carradine when he was touring in a stage play. I recognized both Charlie Ruggles and Jan Sterling again on the streets of New York. I met George London star of the Met in the mens room of the Kennedy Center. He too was surprised to be recognized.

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

>

> Heh ValentineX, you reminded me that I too have met Crispin Glover. I was working at my neighborhood movie theater when he brought his indie film there and was asked to "guard" him before he went up for Q&A. He was a squirrelly little man and we mainly talked about Syracuse and classic film since I know nothing about him. (a definite advantage when meeting a "star") I watched his film and was completely disgusted by it. Amazingly, the goth kids ate it up with a spoon and I had to "guard" him again for the roudy autograph line later.

>

 

I met him when he came to show his film *What Is It?* at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He was in our Green Room, for which I was the manager/chef. Squirrelly, perhaps, and thin, but he was as tall as I am, 6'1". I actually liked his film, but I realize it is not for all tastes.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}You didn't say whether Robert Vaughan answered you. I assume he didn't..........

 

It's been so long, I don't recall much. I don't think I tried to panhandle from him, but did say something, probably U.N.C.L.E. related. He kept up his brisk walk, but spun around as he walked, to face me, and said something. I don't recall what, but I'm sure it wasn't rude or unpleasant, or I would remember.

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This is a true story.

 

 

In NYC in the mid-1960s, after seeing How to Succeed in Business... on Broadway (starring Rudee Vallee and Robert Morse) I found myself outside the stage door entrance (along with a mob of others) just as someone rushed out of the stage door and hurried towards a waiting limosine. The mob at once surrounded him, but I'm very short so I had no idea who was there. Suddenly a woman in the mob rushed towards me, gasping, "He touched me! He touched me! My Gawd, I'll never wash this raincoat again!" Eagerly I said, "Who? who?" And she replied "I don't know, but he touched me!"

 

 

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Mid-1960s. When distinguished visitors came to my campus as a part of the "Cultural Affairs" program, I was one of 4 or 5 students who got tapped to play host to them in the auditorium and handle their needs there. We set up for them what they requested in terms of lighting, props, etc. This was unpaid work, but we were glad to do it because it helped us control the stage inventory. -- The lights, wires, mikes, amps etc. The Drama Club were possessive about such things. Quite often the only thing you had to do was turn down the house lights, turn up the lights on stage, open the curtain and let the visitor take over. Reverse these actions when the performance ended.

 

I was on duty when Baroness Maria Von Trapp visited to give a speech that was essentially a review of her life story. I was able to help her on one point: She had read a biography of the founder of the college, but she could not remember the title. I knew of the book, but hadn't read it; I told her the title, and she was able to mention it by name when she began to address the audience.

 

I did the duties also for Newsman Sander Vanocur on his visit. John Carridine, whom I would have loved to talk with a little, arrived late, did his poetry and cultural readings, and had to leave immediately. Sort of ricocheted off us.

 

Others did similar duties for Hans Conried, Victor Buono, Henry Morgan (not Col. Potter; the one who didn't change his name to Harry), and others whose names escape my memory now.

 

For me the big giggle was the visit by Tom Ewell. I had last seen him as the tragic, blocked music composer who died in a bar brawl in *Tender Is the Night*. We were conversing backstage when a campus official who was usually audience only at these programs joined us. He introduced himself and welcomed Mr. Ewell, and then got around to what he was there for: "I know you've been asked before, but what was it like working with Marilyn Monroe?" The Dean and I got a few minutes of rapture about "what you saw on the screen was what was there, lovely person," etc. I had never seen (as of that time) *The Seven Year Itch*, but that name brought up a question I wanted to ask. At the first lull, I asked "Did you ever meet Mr.Miller?" (I didn't mention that I had portrayed Biff Loman of *Death of a Salesman* the previous semester.) Ewell shrugged. "Yeah. You wouldn't like him." His series of readings from Twain, Poe, Hawthorne, etc, went well.

 

My Halle Berry story is more complicated and, of course, more recent. I may get around to it some time.

 

Edited by: flashback42 on Jan 11, 2012 6:12 PM

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August 1965. For my 9th birthday, I get to fly(!) from Utah to California to stay with a favorite uncle and go to Disneyland for the first time.

 

We arrive early, and go for breakfast at the restaurant in the center of the park. A man at the adjectent talbe has drawn a small crowd; it's ... Walt Disney. "Go talk to him," my uncle urges. Utterly tongue-tied, I stumble up to the table and manage to say, "You're really Walt Disney, aren't you?" He laughs, says "Yes" and shakes my hand.

 

The rest of the day, the rest of the trip, was wonderful, but still a little anticlimactic.

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One day, many years ago, I had heard that Debbie Reynolds was going to be in Chicago and would be @ a particular store downtown. (The name of the store escapes me.) But upon hearing that she would be there, I rushed downtown to see her. I guess I had gotten there earlier than expected because I was expecting to see a 'throng' of people trying to get in, but instead, there were maybe a handful of folks, myself included, that were a tad bit too early. And we got to talk to her and shake her hand. I told her how much I enjoyed her movies ... and in my nervousness, I asked if I could take her picture, which I did. Later, when my Dad saw the picture of Debbie Reynolds, he thought that was Great ... But, wondered why I didn't have someone take the picture of myself with Debbie Reynolds. "I can see a picture of Debbie Reynolds anywhere" he said, "but a picture of Debbie Reynolds with my daughter ... Now that would be Something else !" . . . (TRUE DAT !) . . . I don't know why I didn't think of it @ that time. I missed my chance ... Oh well . . . .

 

 

My other 'brush with fame' was when I was working @ the Chicago Hilton in a coat check room. After a dinner party, the group came out @ one time and began handing us their tickets to retrieve their coats. One gentleman handed me his ticket, but didn't see who it was, since this is very fast paced. Upon getting his coat and handing it over to him, I saw his face for the first time and thought I recognized him as a gentleman I had possibly seen @ my church. I asked him, "Hey, I know you, don't I ?" expecting him to say he was from my church. He just nodded politely and smiled, as he was putting his coat on and walking away. And I started saying, 'Hey, hey ... I know you ... " but began making his exit with the other people. And as I was still standing there, with my hand still extended out, dumbfounded and somewhat 'miffed' ... my co-worker came up to me and asked me 'what's wrong ?' ... I pointed to the guy and said, 'I know that guy from somewhere !" ... She looked @ him and said, "You should ... that's* Mike Singletarry from the Chicago Bears !"* :0 I was flabbergasted as I was *short *of holding onto his coat sleeve, insisting to know where I knew him from .... Ughhh !

 

http://youtu.be/0HlzEB6o9lQ

 

 

 

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