Have you had a brush with fame?

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So have you had a brush with fame? Were you excited, or ho-hum?

Living in Westwood, celebrity spotting was a regular thing -- but I'm a country girl and I never got over the thrill. "Look, there's Alan Alda! He looks like he's ninety! Hey, that's Val Kilmer! Whoa, isn't that Elle McPherson? Man, she walks like a horse!"

Tell us about your brush with fame.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999


Ummm... well, most of my brushes with fame have been from Indiana celebrities, so a lot of you may not know who I'm talking about.

Once my family and I went into this little pizza place called Puccini's in Indianapolis to eat. It was open unusually early. We went in and realized we were the only ones there besides a big group of really tall men and women at a table in the back. They were all extremely loud and obnoxious and were wearing their sunglasses indoors. When they got up to leave, one of the men walked by our table. It was Reggie Miller... pro basketball player... Indiana Pacers? He and Spike Lee hate each other? Anyone know who I'm talking about?

My father, who is a state policeman, gave Bobby Knight a speeding ticket on the Interstate a few years ago. Knight is the coach of the Indiana Hoosiers... he's really well-known for throwing chairs and cursing out the referees. But he was really nice to my dad.

Ummm.. Dad also was on the set of Rain Man. You know that part where Raymond and Charlie stop at the little motel and have to stay there because Raymond won't go out in the rain? That's about 15 miles down the road from where I live, and my dad was hired to do security there. He met both Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. He said Tom was short and had pock marks (Ha-ha! Tom Cruise had acne!) and was pretty much an asshole. He said Dustin Hoffman was pretty nice, though.

Other than that... I don't really know of any celebrities I've run into. You don't see too many in east central Indiana. But John Mellencamp is from a town very close to mine. Neat.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

I'm such an idiot. Did I fix it?

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

Damn, I'm good.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

Hey, I know who Reggie Miller is ... he went to UCLA, too, and was a senior the year I was a freshman. I saw him once or twice.

I complete left out UCLA sports people. I rode in elevators with Ken Norton a few times (he had a friend or girlfriend or something in my dorm), I met Pooh Richardson who was our hotshot BB player after Reggie Miller graduated, and I saw Troy Aikman on campus several times after he transferred in. (What an ugly man. Nose like a pig.) I knew some other football and basketball players, but I don't think they were anyone famous.

And I almost roomed with a UCLA gymnast who was kind of hot shit for a while until she got badly hurt ... but I'll be damned if I can remember her name!

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

I've had numerous brushes with fame myself; so many that I may forget a few when listing them here.

Lessee, where to start?

Prime Ministers Of Canada: Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark

Musicians and the like: Geddy Lee of Rush, Dwayne Goettel of Skinny Puppy, The Cowboy Junkies, numerous famous in Canada bands, Seymour Stein (founder of EMI records) Oh yeah, and the Rolling Stones.

Actors and their ilk: Matthew Broderick, Linda Evangelista, David Carradine and the cast of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, misc. CBC tv personalities (Peter Mansbridge for example.)

Sports figures: Boom Boom Geoffrion, Isiah Thomas, Brian Bellows, Ernie Whitt, other misc NHL players know primarily by Canadians.

I'm sure there are others, but the mind draws a blank.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

When i worked at CVS a few years ago, I sold cigarettes to the guy who played the older brother on "The Wonder Years" -- Jason harvey? Is that his name? He had no sense of humor at all. And i was once in line in a Store 24 behind Henry Rollins -- he was in Boston to do a spoken-word show. I had my back to him, talking to a friend, and accidentally elbowed him in the bum. Hard. He was very nice about it though -- gave me a pat on the shoulder and told me to have a nice night. Very very big man, he is.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

My brush with fame also happened in the UCLA area. I was visiting my best friend who was attending UCLA at the time. We went to some bar in Westwood, I think it was Maloney's. Anyway we were drinking(I was drunk) and dancing(I thought I was hot shit), and my friends told me that Matt Damon was there and that he was staring at me. So I looked over, and yes it was Matt(a younger, bad haircut Matt), and yes he was looking in my direction, and yes he smiled at me. I smiled back, but all I could think about was that I had just watched that movie with Brendan Frasier about the private school(is it School Ties?), and that Matt was a complete ass in the movie. My friends wanted me to go talk to him, but in my drunken state I was still mad about Matt being that big of a racist ass. It is probably for the best though, my friends thought he was staring out of interest, when it was probably out of pity for my drunk ass.

Oh and once when I was ten, my friend Barbara and I were in McDonalds eating lunch with my dad. In walked Michael Damian! Now my grandfather was a huge fan of Young and the Restless so I spotted him immediately. I think he was touring at the time, and he came in with about five different men in black jackets with Michael Damian written on the back in red. I was about to pee my pants I was so excited. Anyway, he spotted Barbara and I sitting there staring and he came over to say hi. He actually picked up my Cabbage Patch doll and asked her name. I don't know which is sadder that Michael Damian was touring or that I was ten and carried my Cabbage Patch doll everywhere. Do soap opera stars even count?

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

my brushes with fame are thus:

familiar with john waters' serial mom? the house out of which the airconditioner is dropped is down the street (half a block) from my house. my then best friend and i met kathleen turner the day they filmed that. and oh, the high school? that's my high school. woo!

and in mighty ducks 3, the cafeteria scenes were all filmed at my college, in a meeting hall that most definitely isn't a cafeteria. i watched those scenes while scoffing, "that's not a cafeteria line! that's where the coat racks are! that's burton hall, not a dining hall! ha!"

my two brushes with fame.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

...occidental would sell out to movies faster than you could say "pissed off students"...their two recent claims to fame were being the campus for the 90210 "college-years" and the movie "clueless"...

...yet, despite all my pissiness about being inconvenienced, i loved seeing shots of the school on screen...sad but true...

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

I grew up in Maine, so my biggest brush with fame was meeting Stephen King when I was 13 at a book-signing. Also, my Psychology teacher grew up next door (or down the street) from Stephen King, and thus is one of the the "Hall twins" represented in one of King's books (perhaps "It"?).

Beyond that, at LAX, I spotted Tim Burton and his scary-ass girlfriend at baggage claim and an actor from "Days of Our Lives", whose name escapes me. At Disneyland, I saw Jean Smart from "Designing Women."

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

My brass quintet played for the annual sales banquet for the cosmetics division of Warner, the year that they released their Paloma Picasso designer fragrance; she like the music and came by to thank us for playing.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

Mine are all embarrassing.

Living in Vancouver, where EVERYthing is filmed, you see a lot of american actors. Drunk at a party, I made out with Richard (one hit wonder) Grieco. David Duchovney and I got in a shouting match at Jericho Park when his badly trained dog bit my badly trained but in this case not at fault dog. After that, my friends and I used to call his tel# in New York and leave the most awful and cruel messages. And my favourite brush with fame...A bunch of girlfriends and I picked up some very drunk little private school boys and took them to another party with us, and got them even drunker and more stoned than they were when we met them, which was quite a feat in itself. I drove them back to school in my boyfriend's car, and one of them hung out the window and puked all over the side of the car on the way there. Brendan Frasier. I wish I had the photos.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

I have three brushes with fame.

1. When I was a sophomore in high school our marching band got to be in the opening parade scene in "Born on the Fourth of July". Our band director had some huge arguement with the casting guy (who wanted us to show up the next day again. It was a school day.) and our band director said we weren't coming back the next day and we ended up on the cutting room floor. Oh well. And we didn't get to see Tom Cruise because he was at some local university track practicing his wheelchair moves.

2 & 3 (not on the same day) Sacramento International Airport I saw both Dennis Rodman (who almost ran me over) and Stephen Baldwin, who my sister and I took pictures of from outside the baggage claim because we didn't want to seem like star struck fans by going up and asking for a picture with him. Some other lady was already doing that and he was obliging but it just seemed too weird to go up and ask him. Rodman was running down the concourse and nearly ran me over as he was trying not to miss his plane. This was way before all the weird hair colors. He did have that tattoo on his belly and the bellybutton piercing, but he looked pretty normal. Just really tall.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

I love telling this story...

When I was in London, I worked as an usher at a big West End theater. In December of 1992, this particular theater was the venue for the Royal Variety Show, which members of the Royal Family actually attended. There was a Royal Box up high above stage right, and in the corridor which led to it there was the Royal Toilet.

I was assigned to stand outside the Royal Toilet, and if one of the Royal Family needed to go to the loo, I was to open the door for them. Princess Diana and Prince Charles walked *right past me* close enough for me to have touched them (but I didn't). No one used the Royal Toilet, thank god, 'cause that door was heavy.

It was the last public appearance of the Royal Couple before they announced their decision to

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

Working in a theatrical production company, I've had all kinds of brushes with fame, but mainly in the form of "Hi, nice to meet you, please sign this contract here, here and here, and initial here, here and here. Leave forms a, b, c and d with my secretary and if you should have any questions, she or the the paralegal can assist you. Thank you very much." I gave that stinking speech so much that I still have it memorised.

I also lived in a theatrical building of sorts, lots of actors and dancers and NY soap star types lived in our apartment building. I guess the most famous would be Nathan Lane (who lived next door) and Brian Benben and Madeline Stowe who lived one floor from the penthouses and were often caught making out in the elevators.

I've been able to finagle several meet-n-greets with my favourite band (Duran Duran) to the point where they now know me, which is fun. The only celeb I haven't yet brushed that I'd like to is Kevin Spacey. I could've joined a friend at this year's Tony Awards but decided not to, and she literally walked into him in the lobby. (Watch Dreama kick herself over that bad decision from now until. . . )

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

ummm. well. i did get a big hug from the lead-singer girl of 'lamb' on monday night.

but of course, they're not that huge yet, and not a lot of people have heard of them, so perhaps it doesn't count as a brush with fame. i was pretty thrilled though...

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

A few. Four years ago, the band I was in at the time did a support slot for Peter Frampton (yeah!) at the Amsterdam Paradiso. At one point, we were allowed inside his dressing room for a photo opportunity, but when we walked out, a security guy ripped the film from the camera. Still, we had a great time laughing at this guy who still claims to be a huge star 20 years after the fact.

A year later, we had a gig at a small place in Amsterdam, and afterwards were informed that Keanu Reeves was in the audience for at least part of it. He was on tour with Dog Star at the time and had done a show at the infamous Milky Way earlier that evening. I didn't see him myself, but people assured me afterwards it was him, and he was even tapping his foot!

But the best one was definitely Lou Reed. I literally bumped into him when he was just leaving his Amsterdam hotel, while on a promo visit to the Netherlands some 9 years ago. Tiny little detail: the hotel, the most luxurious one in the entire city, was located smack in the middle of the red light district! I apologized for bumping into him. He was really cool about it and just ignored me.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1999

PS - what was I doing in the red light district? On my way to class, OK? One of the most important university buildings in the city is located there as well! ;-)

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1999

When I was three years old, we were living in Pari and along with many other ex-pat families we were invited to the Christmas party at the American embassy. Part of the evening's entertainment for children, was a reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by 30s film star Olivia deHavilland. At that stage in my life, I knew every word of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by heart, so when they asked for a volunteer to help Miss deHavilland read, you better bet I had my hand up in the air. She picked me out of the sea of faces in a lamp-lit room. All I remember is an older woman with a nice smile and a pleasant voice and how much fun it was to show off how well I could recite that poem. There were also extremely good brownies at that party.

During my sophomore year at Smith, various background shots were done on our campus for the Bill Pullman/Alec Baldwin/Nicole Kidman thriller Malice. For several weeks, the gateposts were covered over with signs for "Westerley College" The sign posts are still stained a vaguely puke green from whatever adhesive they used on the stone. There was also a scene shot in one of favorite cafes in Amherst, but it didn't make into the final cut of the film. A completely impossible and improbable bike ride did though, a series of segmented shots of a girl on a bike riding through Northampton that could only happen if you had a transporter.

Last year, the film "Random Hearts" due out this weekend, with Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott-Thomas, was shooting on location in DC and Baltimore. Several sequences were shot on 23rd St. in front of the building I worked in. Mr. Ford was there for two days and Ms. Scott- Thomas for one. The street was closed off for a large portion of the day and was MOBBED with people from the surrounding buildings crowded onto the sidewalks to watch the action. Many people approached Mr. Ford and he was uniformly gracious and funny with everyone. At one point, they were shooting a scene of him crossing the street and looking up towards the building across the street. A knot of us were standing right there across the shooting line so in essence we were what he was looking at through that whole segment. I didn't ask for an autograph or anything, they had a lot of stuff to shoot and it was a mob scene down there during each break. We also got good views of director Sydney Pollack and Ms. Scott-Thomas got to run out of the condo across the street at least twenty times while Mr. Ford followed her in a Jeep. It was really cool to be able to just look out the window and observe the movie-making process. They did lots and lots of takes of very short bits of acting. Our deli downstairs did record business for the three days of shooting and Carmen and I got to see the big ballon lights they use to make it look like daylight/morning during night shoots. It made the whole street look kind of magical, with all these massive lit ballons hanging along its length amidst the trees.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1999

Elton John remodeled the house across the street from mine in Atlanta. It was in a neighborhood of 30's bungalows -- nothing fancy -- which we thought was pretty cool. We were told it was going to be his guesthouse/pool house. He has a penthouse condo here. A friend of his lived there the whole time. It was great for us because when we looked out our windows we saw this lovely house with all this great landscaping, but it made me laugh to think that when they looked out their windows they saw our little house, with our pitiful "landscaping." Anyway, when my first son was about 2 months old, the guesthouse was still under construction and I went out to get the mail. I had been staining lawn furniture and I probably hadn't slept for weeks. I looked like something your neighbor's cat left on your front porch. And, of course, I ran into Elton. He was with two other people and they never even acknowledged my presence -- Even though they were standing in my yard at the time. On the other hand, the way I looked I probably wouldn't have acknowledged me either. I saw him one other time at the house, but mostly we just saw expensive cars going in and out and one day they threw a party and used our driveway for their valet parking -- of course, without asking us. The house has since been sold and we moved, too.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1999

And I somehow forgot the -s- on Paris. Guh. What's with this delete key?

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1999

Do politicians count? I'm going to say yes, and tell you that I was in slapping distance of Newt Gingrich this summer on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. I was walking in the crosswalk with some international students, and he walked toward us. When I realized it was him- I just stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed and I think I may have said, "Oh my GOD!" or something similar, but I definitely know I was pretty loud about it. He made eye contact with me and gave a smirky little grin. It may have been a perfectly normal smile, but since he isn't on my favorite people list, it was smirky. When we got across the street, I tried to explain to the students who he was. No luck.

Last summer in NYC, I saw Fyvush Finkle (spelling?)- the older wild lawyer guy on the old show "Picket Fences". Remember it? I liked that show a lot. He had his arm linked with an older woman, and they both were making it slowly down the street. I and some international students (again) were walking toward him and his companion, and I did the dropped jaw, bug-eyed thing. They passed. I ran after them, I stopped him, shook his hand, and told him that I loved his work on "Picket Fences". He smiled and said thank you. Other students that were on this NYC trip saw Madonna get out of a limo in another part of Manhattan. They couldn't get over it! I was happy for them. Great stories to take home with them.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1999

I was once introduced to Troy Donahue. (Handsome blonde movie star of the 50's and 60's) I was working as the receptionist at Boston University's Orthodontic Clinic (circa 1963) and one of the students was doing his research on "what jaw, mouth, teeth characteristics are considered as the norm for perfect or beautiful or whatever" (I'm sure his stated thesis was worded much better than that) I do believe he was a star-struck dentist! He contacted every beauty queen and movie star that came to Boston that year and managed to get quite a few of them in for head shots and x-rays of their jaw and teeth structure. When I heard that Troy Donahue was coming I begged him to introduce me. So he did. I was completely tongue-tied ....had nothing to say....I may have managed a weak Hi. So, please, don't offer to introduce me to Robert Redford. I don't think I would do much better today! :)

-- Anonymous, October 07, 1999

Because of my job, I meet semi-famous musicians semi-regularly. I'm jaded enough at this point that I only get excited when I get a chance to meet someone kinda cool (like Rufus Wainwright) or when I *miss* the opportunity to meet someone kinda cool (like when I gave away my backstage pass at Foo Fighters show, only to find out later that Minnie Driver was there (she was dating the drummer)).

-- Anonymous, October 08, 1999

I saw Edmund Muskie in the airport in Portland, Maine, once. Maine isn't exactly a hotbed of celebrity spottings, so that was pretty cool. I also met Vincent Price, long, long ago, when he came to my hometown to give a lecture on cooking.

My other brush with fame involves someone who is probably not that famous outside of DE and PA, John DuPont. He shot and killed an Olympic wrestler on the grounds of his estate, then barricaded himself in the manor house for days. That estate is just a few miles away from where I live, and we had all those big network trucks blocking traffic all weekend long. Most people in town knew that he was a lunatic -- he had a tank and used to drive it around the estate, for example. (He also drove it on the streets.) The family had lots of horses, and I used to work on the estate during the summer, exercising the horses. I only met John D. once, though. He didn't mix with the help.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 1999

I had to think about this one for a while, apparently because I don't get out of the house often enough :) I met Rick Fox (formerly of the Boston Celtics, now of the LA Lakers, and newly Mr. Vanessa Williams) at a Red Sox game in Fenway Park. I got his autograph, he seemed pretty nice. At the same game, Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino was also sitting a couple of rows behind us, so of course I went up to him, too, and begged for an autograph. Being the daughter of a rabid college basketball fan, Rick Pitino's name was often heard in our house when I was growing up, so I was pretty happy to meet him, and he was also very cool. The Seattle Mariner's dugout was right in front of us, so we got a lot of Ken Griffey Jr. viewing in, along with the rest of his team.

I got to shake President Clinton's hand when he was running for president the first time around. He was at a Democratic rally in Vermont, and being the naive idealistic college sophomore that I was at the time, I went, got to see him, and get a "thank you very much" as he walked on by. I now wonder where that hand had been before...

I got to see the replica boats they made for the next George Clooney movie, "The Perfect Storm." We went to Gloucester a couple of weeks ago for a whale watch (stop laughing, they're a lot of fun) and there they were, along with the crew packing up to leave. No movie stars, though. I guess one of the boats was the one they actually lost at sea, so having a replica around was really freaky for the natives.

You'd think with all the movies they shoot in the Boston/North Shore of Massachusetts areas these days, I'd see a lot more, but I never do.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 1999

This is weird, I just wrote about this last night...

Two days ago, I waited on Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Earl Klugh at the music store I manage, and not knowing who he was, I gave him one of my snobby little "here's what I like about the artist whose CD you are buying" presentations. (It gets boring sometimes, I get starved for conversation.) The artist I was talking up was Keith Jarrett; I'm sure Earl Klugh knows him well. I felt a little stupid when I saw his name on his credit card. Really nice guy, though.

I worked at a summer music festival for seven years and got to meet lots of people there, including Garrison Keillor and Yo-Yo Ma. And in college, they filmed a talk show scene (which was never in the movie) for "JFK" at my college in Texas, and I got to see Kevin Costner (and his entourage, what a freak), Oliver Stone (who looks like a gorilla in person, but who seemed like a friendly guy) and we met John Laroquette (who was REALLY cool but whose scene wasn't in the movie, alas for him).

-- Anonymous, October 09, 1999

i am kid

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2001

i am kid that is stupid

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2001

My brush with fame is actually pretty embarassing. In September my boyfriend had just moved to Vancouver. The first time we went downtown, I was pointing at, you know, the sites, and telling him what they were. We were waiting for a light to turn green, and I pointed at the big domed stadium. Right then a guy also waiting for the light with us turned and gave me a big cheesy grin and said "hey, how's it going" in a big cheesy voice. I said something like "um, good" and was about to offer him my bus transfer (so he could resell it to someone else- he looked kind of grubby) when the light changed and we could cross the street. About a block later my boyfriend told me that the guy was Michael Moriarty (used to be on Law and Order). He apparently thought I was pointing at him, and not a big puffy dome.

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2001

My wife and I rented a studio on the same floor as Edward Burns. Burns bought his place just after Brothers McMullen hit. We saw him around the neighborhood a few times with his girlfriend of the time, who had played his girlfriend in Bros. McM. In an apparently unrelated sighting, Drew Barrymore took our cab one day as we got out of it in front of our building.

Because I work in the NBC tower and the whole building is supposedly on one elevator bank during nights and weekends, I've seen a few celebs. My favorite was a late-night trip alone with Mira Sorvino. I've seen several news people -- Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Mike Wallace, and once Walter Cronkite -- and a lot of senators and White House aides of the sort who make "Meet the Press"-type appearances. When I worked a lot of late Saturday nights in 1996-98, I often got caught in the elevator with mad Saturday Night Live crew members carrying props and graphics for the show. Never saw the guest of the night, which makes me think there must be a special "celebrity-only" elevator somewhere. . .

-- Anonymous, May 07, 2001

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