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Your Brush with Greatness.


HelenBaby2
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I thought this might be a fun subject to talk about. We've had similar subjects throughout the years I've been here but there are a lot of new people so I'm curious. Who have you met or seen in unusual places or circumstances. Or maybe you've had occasions to work with a celebrity. I'll start.

 

I've been on 3of the 4 cruises as I've mentioned many times. The funniest thing that happened was when I ran into Margaret O'Brien on deck of the cruise before the last one. I was gushing to her how much I loved her and she responded by asking me where she could get a hot dog. Same cruise I saw Alex Trebek on deck and teased him about all the wine he drank the night before during the trivia contest. The day we were in Nassau I was right behind Robert Wagner when we were waiting to get off the ship. I also took the opportunity to introduce myself to Robert Osborne after he did a presentation on the academy awards. That cruise offered a lot of chances to talk with the guests, more than the previous two, although I was very close to both Ernest Borgnine on the first one and Mickey Rooney on the second one. Mr. Borgnine was very friendly to everyone. Mr. Rooney seemed to be in very poor health so I just took a picture and didn't really bother him. Both men died within months of going on the cruises so I was glad to be able to see them.

 

I went to Amsterdam for a week in 2011 with my niece. One day we were having pizza in this small restaurant and standing there eating a slice of pizza was Donny Osmond. To say I was shocked is an understatement. In fact when I said something to my niece she didn't think it was him. Said it looked too old for Donny Osmond. He said hello and I said Hi back but didn't ask if it was him or not. I get home and I'm telling my friend about it but I also told her while I was sure it was him I didn't ask him anything. She calls me back about a half hour later and she had checked his Facebook page and sure enough he had indeed been in Amsterdam. On that same trip we went to Brussels & Antwerp for the day and while sitting at a sidewalk cafe we saw a large group of people walk by and right in the center of the group was director John Landis.

 

I've met a few baseball players as well, but that really isn't film related so I'll save that for another time.

 

So, what was your Brush with Greatness?

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UGH. I wouldnt call John Landis brushing with greatness, but maybe that's just me. I've met Angela Lansbury, Alexis Smith and Chita Rivera when they were touring in shows..........

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While I never had a brush with greatness I did have a very odd experience with a "D' list person.  It was back in 1989, and in the news was the apparent suicide of Abbie Hoffman.     I was sitting at a bar in the Hilton near the airport.    (I was staying there for a company event).     I start talking to the guy sitting next to me and it was David Dellinger.   He was a member of the Chicago Seven along with Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and others.     David starts telling me about his experiences with Abbie.   Well soon he is talking about how the Feds killed Abbie because he had just talked to him a few days before and Abbie wasn't suicidal.     All of a sudden I was in a Parallax View type movie!      I just listen and offer my condolences  (which felt real empty given what he was saying).

 

   

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 I was sitting at a bar in the Hilton near the airport.    (I was staying there for a company event).     I start talking to the guy sitting next to me and it was David Dellinger.   He was a member of the Chicago Seven along with Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and others.     David starts telling me about his experiences with Abbie.   Well soon he is talking about how the Feds killed Abbie because he had just talked to him a few days before and Abbie wasn't suicidal.     All of a sudden I was in a Parallax View type movie!    

 

Abbie was a harmless clown. The FBI would have gone after Dellinger if they did that sort of thing. He was far more dangerous.

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I thought this might be a fun subject to talk about. We've had similar subjects throughout the years I've been here but there are a lot of new people so I'm curious. Who have you met or seen in unusual places or circumstances. Or maybe you've had occasions to work with a celebrity. I'll start.

 

I've been on 3of the 4 cruises as I've mentioned many times. The funniest thing that happened was when I ran into Margaret O'Brien on deck of the cruise before the last one. I was gushing to her how much I loved her and she responded by asking me where she could get a hot dog. Same cruise I saw Alex Trebek on deck and teased him about all the wine he drank the night before during the trivia contest. The day we were in Nassau I was right behind Robert Wagner when we were waiting to get off the ship. I also took the opportunity to introduce myself to Robert Osborne after he did a presentation on the academy awards. That cruise offered a lot of chances to talk with the guests, more than the previous two, although I was very close to both Ernest Borgnine on the first one and Mickey Rooney on the second one. Mr. Borgnine was very friendly to everyone. Mr. Rooney seemed to be in very poor health so I just took a picture and didn't really bother him. Both men died within months of going on the cruises so I was glad to be able to see them.

 

I went to Amsterdam for a week in 2011 with my niece. One day we were having pizza in this small restaurant and standing there eating a slice of pizza was Donny Osmond. To say I was shocked is an understatement. In fact when I said something to my niece she didn't think it was him. Said it looked too old for Donny Osmond. He said hello and I said Hi back but didn't ask if it was him or not. I get home and I'm telling my friend about it but I also told her while I was sure it was him I didn't ask him anything. She calls me back about a half hour later and she had checked his Facebook page and sure enough he had indeed been in Amsterdam. On that same trip we went to Brussels & Antwerp for the day and while sitting at a sidewalk cafe we saw a large group of people walk by and right in the center of the group was director John Landis.

 

I've met a few baseball players as well, but that really isn't film related so I'll save that for another time.

 

So, what was your Brush with Greatness?

Meeting Ted Williams may have been a brush with greatness. Meeting Marv Throneberry falls somewhat short of that.

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Wow I wouldn't even recognise Donny Osmond any older than say 20. 

 

My two favorite "stars" that I've met were:

 

Gloria Swanson (my avatar) When I was 16 in the late 70's, she appeared at the opening of a movie theater founded by James Card. I rode my bike to the theater and waited until a Grey Ghost Rolls drove up. Ms Swanson got out. I looked around and realized I was the ONLY FAN there. So I jumped right in to talk with her. She seemed surprised someone my age was interested in her. We talked about movies & health. I was 5' and about 100lbs at that age-Gloria was teeny and made me feel like a gorilla. She autographed a program for me and allowed me to take her photo (with a Kodak 110 camera-oy!) That program hangs on my living room wall.

 

Debbie Reynolds. She came to our State Fair to perform a free show. I was thrilled to see her performance=she was lovely, funny, talented, a great personality that had the entire crowd in the palm of her hand. I loved experiencing that. Along with a huge crowd, I waited behind the stage for her to come out. Everyone had albums and memorabilia, all I had was the newspaper page with her photo. Debbie walked down the line and spoke with EACH and EVERY PERSON. She smiled, made eye contact and if you were interesting, speak a line or two with you.

When she came to me, I couldn't believe how teeny SHE was too! Delicate and beautiful-certainly no old lady. I thanked her for signing my paper and thanked her for saving the collection of Hollywood costumes & memorabilia. I told her I had museum backround and know how difficult & costly preservation can be. She thanked me and moved along.

 

Since reading Debbie's latest book, I was heartbroken to read she had to sell off everything a few years ago. You did your best Debbie. Apparently, scattered is the way it was meant to be. It may be preserved by the owners with deep pockets....but I, nor anyone else will ever be able to see it for public display.

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I've met Geena Davis.andJeff Goldblum, back when they were first dating. I was in Westwood.standing in line to see a movie. They were very friendly, and surprisingly tall.

 

Back then, also in.Westwood for the same.reason, I met Julie Newmar,.still looking stunning.

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I've met Geena Davis.andJeff Goldblum, back when they we're first saying. I was in Westwood.standing in line to see a movie. They were very friendly, and surprisingly talk.

 

Back then, also in.Westwood for the same.reason, I met Julie Newmar,.still looking stunning.

I had a quick conversation with Jeff Goldblum once.  He was standing at one urinal and I at the next.  No, I didn't look.

 

Met George Peppard the same way.  And no, I didn't look.

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Wow I wouldn't even recognise Donny Osmond any older than say 20. 

 

My two favorite "stars" that I've met were:

 

Gloria Swanson (my avatar) When I was 16 in the late 70's, she appeared at the opening of a movie theater founded by James Card. I rode my bike to the theater and waited until a Grey Ghost Rolls drove up. Ms Swanson got out. I looked around and realized I was the ONLY FAN there. So I jumped right in to talk with her. She seemed surprised someone my age was interested in her. We talked about movies & health. I was 5' and about 100lbs at that age-Gloria was teeny and made me feel like a gorilla. She autographed a program for me and allowed me to take her photo (with a Kodak 110 camera-oy!) That program hangs on my living room wall.

 

Debbie Reynolds. She came to our State Fair to perform a free show. I was thrilled to see her performance=she was lovely, funny, talented, a great personality that had the entire crowd in the palm of her hand. I loved experiencing that. Along with a huge crowd, I waited behind the stage for her to come out. Everyone had albums and memorabilia, all I had was the newspaper page with her photo. Debbie walked down the line and spoke with EACH and EVERY PERSON. She smiled, made eye contact and if you were interesting, speak a line or two with you.

When she came to me, I couldn't believe how teeny SHE was too! Delicate and beautiful-certainly no old lady. I thanked her for signing my paper and thanked her for saving the collection of Hollywood costumes & memorabilia. I told her I had museum backround and know how difficult & costly preservation can be. She thanked me and moved along.

 

Since reading Debbie's latest book, I was heartbroken to read she had to sell off everything a few years ago. You did your best Debbie. Apparently, scattered is the way it was meant to be. It may be preserved by the owners with deep pockets....but I, nor anyone else will ever be able to see it for public display.

 

 

WOW. That is amazing you actually got to meet Gloria Swanson! I did see her when she did a Q and A show on a tour  in the 1970s (Bette Davis too) but didnt actually meet either of them in person. Really sad that Debbie's museum went down the tubes. :(

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I had a quick conversation with Jeff Goldblum once.  He was standing at one urinal and I at the next.  No, I didn't look.

 

Met George Peppard the same way.  And no, I didn't look.

 

 

LOL!

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I forgot, I also met Petula Clark after a concert once back in the 70s. She was nice enough to pretend to remember meeting me at a previous concert (when all I meant was if she remembered the actual concert, as I didnt meet her then). Funny.

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Meeting Ted Williams may have been a brush with greatness. Meeting Marv Throneberry falls somewhat short of that.

I got to meet Dave Winfield in Toronto. The Blue Jays were playing the Yankees and I was with my family at the stadium early that day to get tickets for that night's game. We weren't expecting to see anyone but when we were leaving the parking lot we saw Winfield walking into the stadium. I made my sister stop the car and ran over there to get his autograph. There were a couple of other people there but that's all. He told us we should really talk to the guy who was walking out of the stadium. That was Tommy John but he got away before I could talk to him. It was in 1982.

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As a boarding gate customer service agent and then supervisor for many years at LAX and for Hughes Airwest, Republic and then Northwest Airlines(different carriers due to airline mergers), I've met far too many celebs to count. However, among what might be termed as "The Old Classic A-Listers"  I will mention encounters with Bob Hope, Ginger Rogers, Gregory Peck and Kirk Douglas immediately come to mind.

 

Now, away from the airport and while on the road with a group of fellow motorcyclists, some 7 or 8 years ago now, I encountered Malcolm McDowell in beautiful Ojai California after spotting his classic early 1950's C-type Jaguar, like this one here...

1952-Jaguar-C-Type-1.jpg

...parked in the restaurant parking lot that our group had decided to dine at and in which he had just finished dining.

 

(...McDowell and I talked classic cars for about 10 minutes or so, and before he hopped in that beauty and drove away...seemed like a nice enough gent)

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A friend of mine excitedly approached Jack Palance on Yonge Street and asked him for his autograph. Palance turned to him and sneered ... "P I S S Off"

Hey, we thought it was funny.

 

 

Nice.

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I shook hands with Kirk Douglas at a book signing and sat two stools away from Rodney Dangerfield as he was swarmed by autograph seekers, whereupon he beat a fast retreat from the bar.

 

I met a couple of SCTV comedians who were shopping together at a record store, Catherine O'Hara and Dave Thomas. Nobody around us knew who they were, and we talked for a few minutes. Later I encountered Joe Flaherty (Count Floyd) in a bar.

 

In Vegas I encountered a couple of boxers, Alexis Arguello (a nice guy with whom I talked for a few minutes about his next fight, which he lost, unfortunately) and Michael Spinks, taking both their pictures.

 

Finally, I shook hands with Pierre Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister. Oh, and, as a baby in a carriage, I apparently had another future Canadian PM at the time, John Diefenbaker, pat me on the head as he showed my parents around the House of Commons in Ottawa.

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Along with 20,000 other hysterical screaming kids I saw The Three Stooges as Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition, circa 1962.  That would be Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe DeRita.

I've met quite a few celebrities up close but seeing the Stooges, even from afar ranks right up there.

They entered the stadium on a clown's fire trunk and drove around the track.  As I said, the kids were hysterical with glee.

Then the Stooges took to the stage and for about half an hour hit each other over the head, tore out Larry's hair and poked Joe in the eyes.  We were all in heaven, I tell ya.

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A really fun thread, HelenBaby!  I love reading these stories.

 

In the 1970s I had friends who were close to Susan Strasberg.  I saw her a number of times at their house, and a couple at hers, once at a party with Diane Ladd in attendance.  She was so pretty, with a flawless complexion, also very witty.  She walked into a party at their house saying something like, "I just spent the day in bed with George Sega!" when making "Rollercoaster."  I was very shy and too intimidated to talk to her much.  It was fascinating to see photos of Marilyn Monroe and other actors around her house.

 

In the '90s I met Kim Basinger at a fundraiser for an animal sanctuary.  She was luminous, as beautiful in person as on screen.   And very nice. I said how much I admired her work in the movies and for animals.  I'd brought her little elephant pin and was surprised to get a letter of thanks a few weeks later--she'd gotten my address from the sanctuary.  Alec Baldwin was there too, smoking cigars and looking most handsome.  

 

About 30 years ago I met Bob Barker at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. I thanked him for his work for animals and shook his hand.  He was courteous and seemed tough, like someone you wouldn't want to mess with, not that anyone would want to!  The owners of The Magic Castle were really lovely, and spent time chatting with my boyfriend and me.

 

At one point I briefly went out with the son of a POTUS.  We didn't see eye to on politics, but did both love wolves, and saw Never Cry Wolf.

 

In the'80s I saw an actor at an in-the-round theatre and my mother said he was looking at me. (He later said he did  make eye contact with people in the audience.)  I wrote him a note admiring his work in the play and he phoned, asking for a photo.  (Things weren't easy back then before all the technology!)  We had a couple wild dates, but he wasn't available, shall we say.  He's not a household name, but a working actor, and was in an Elizabeth Taylor TV perfume ad.

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Whoops, forgot my favorite brush!  Many years ago I was phoning the daughter (a gorgeous girl, smart, with a wonderfully wicked sense of humor) of Victor Mature, and he answered the phone!  My heart was pounding wildly away!      

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In 1985, I was at the Aldwych Theatre in London to see a production of Jumpers, by Tom Stoppard, starring Paul Eddington and Felicity Kendal. I had to go to the loo in the interval. I made my way up to the men's room, where I saw a large group of young ladies waiting outside. I went in. There was a tall man with a mustache just hanging about in there.  I realized it was Tom Selleck. He said hello, I said hello. He remained there when I left, but when I opened the door to leave, all those young ladies shrieked! Then they saw it was me and quieted down. I guess Tom was waiting for the interval to end before venturing out.

 

 

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I don't know if THESE count, but back in 1973, at a jazz recital my friend was playing at in a music conservatory behind the Detroit Institute of Arts, he introduced me to guitarist "extrodinaire" EARL KLUGH.  This was, of course, a few years before Klugh set off on a recording career, and became very well known and respected by jazz fans and his peers alike.!

 

Then back in 1997, while many of my wife's family and we were in Niagra Falls, my sister in law and I spotted CHRISTINE LAHTI nearby and sauntered over to say "hi".  :)

 

 

Sepiatone

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During the late 70s and early 80s as part of my law enforcement career, I was assigned as liaison with the film industry. There were several movies shot in Miami and I got to spend some time with:

Dom DeLuise, Suzanne Pleshette, Jerry Reed -  Hot Stuff

Ernest Borgnine, Joanna Dru - Super Fuzz

Paul Newman, Sally Field, Sydney Pollack, Absence of Malice. I remember talking to co-producer Ronald L. Schwery, who also produced Ordinary People. I asked him what he thought his chances for Best Picture were against Raging Bull.  He said he felt they were good.  He was right.

 

I was most involved with The Mean Season (1985). Since the story involved the Miami Police Homicide Unit, myself and a Homicide detective served as technical advisors (and were credited). Director Phillip Borsos was a true gentleman. Sadly, he passed away at a young 41 yrs.  from leukemia. It was nice speaking to Kurt Russell, Mariel Hemingway, a young Andy Garcia, Richard Bradford, and Richard Jordan, who also died young.  I was given the script to read before shooting began and I asked if the casting was complete. The Director told me that they still needed to cast some of the supporting roles.  I suggested William Smith for one of them and to my surprise they called him and gave him the part. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet him.

I got to briefly meet Anthony Quinn during the premier of Children of Sanchez.  He really is a larger than life character. Very charismatic.

 

Oh, in 1973, I was a young patrol officer and was at a party thrown by our Sergeant. One of my co-workers said to me "look over there - The Godfather." No, it wasn't Brando - but it was Robert Duvall, who was doing some research for his role in Badge 373.  I told him how impressed I was with his performance in The Godfather.  He said it was nothing compared to what we had to do every day. I thought that was quite a compliment to us.

 

One more that didn't have to do with my occupation.  A friend of a friend's father was Harold Russell, who I got to meet.  He did tell me about William Wyler, who he called Willie. 

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Bogie's posting gave me a memory jog.

 

I also met a celebrity in Toronto when I was at kid, but at Maple Leaf Gardens, It was Duncan Renaldo, aka the Cisco Kid, one of my TV heroes, there with his horse, Diablo. As a kid we were all lined to meet him as he handed out autographed photos of himself in his TV western attire. I can't remember much about the occasion except that my Dad, who was born and raised in Mexico, accompanied me and when we got to the front of the line he spoke Spanish to him.

 

Nobody in Toronto spoke Spanish in those days. It was a really Angelo Saxon city in those times, a far cry from today. Reynaldo happily conversed with my father for a few seconds before we moved on.

 

with-horse1_zpssnglh4q2.jpg

 

That's right, I met the Cisco Kid! As a little kid, that was a big deal for me. Times change. Now I almost forgot it.

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