Celebrity Encounters

Post your stories of celeb encounters and sightings, good or bad.


  • edited February 2015
    My all-time favorite that makes me swoon to this day...meeting Ewan McGregor at a 30th anniversary screening of The Empire Strikes Back. He was with Jon Favreau and my friend's son wanted to say "hi" to him (Favreau), having met him before (yes, I live in Southern California). While he was talking with Jon, I had a quick chat with Ewan who was wearing the most beautiful blue/grey cashmere scarf. He was lovely and kind.

    I also met Harrison Ford at the same event but he was so stoned it was depressing.

    And for my most painful encounter...literally being knocked on my ass after running into Arnold Schwarzenegger at LAX. He was exiting the terminal and I was heading in. We didn't see each other and I ran into him hard. I'm not a small girl so the fact I landed on my butt was surprising. He isn't that big but he's solid. He was a gentleman and helped me up while apologizing. 
  • I'm so oblivious that I've probably walked by a few and never known it, this being NYC and all. My husband still makes fun of me for the time we were at an outdoor restaurant, Larry David was on the sidewalk directly in front of us, and I had no idea what was going on. (In my defense, I've never seen an episode of Seinfeld and I just didn't even know who he was.)

    I did meet Glenn Close and Rachel Dratch at Sundance back in 2006. I'm in a documentary (only about 30 seconds' worth of footage) that premiered at Sundance that year, so a bunch of us who were in the movie decided to go. Because we were actually in the movie and knew the director, we actually managed to get invited to a party or two. That is the one and only time I will ever have been on the right side of a velvet rope!

    Glenn Close is a very tiny person.
  • edited February 2015
    These are pretty minimalist-- the first two are more sightings than encounters, but here goes:

    1) I shared this in the Monty Python thread: on my wedding night in San Fransisco, the boutique hotel where we were supposed to stay lost our reservation (this is a long wedding horror story, for another thread at another time) so they put us up (for free) at the Ritz Carlton. When we went out for dinner, the person I front of us in the taxi line at the hotel was John Cleese. And he nodded at me when he caught my eye. Totally made of for the wedding night horror part of the story.

    2) a couple of years ago, I was at a nail salon in Beverly Hills with my mom and my sister. I was kind of staring blankly at the front of the shop (as one does while one's nails are soaking) and it slowly dawned on me that I was staring at Leonard Nimoy. His wife was getting her nails done at the station next to me. He was sitting by the nail dryer reading. Unfortunately, he and his wife left just as I was sent over to the dryer, so I missed out on getting to sit next to him.

    3) a friend of my mother's is an entertainment journalist. When the original Star Wars movie came out, for some reason she came over to our house with Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and interviewed him in our living room. I was 17. I remember him as being very polite about the three teens gushing over him and asking dumb questions about the movie.

    4) when I was in jr high or maybe high school this same family friend wrote a book about the making of the Wizard of Oz, using our house as her office. This was before cell phones and answering machines, so I would often answer the phone in the afternoon when she had left for the day (it was our phone, after all). This was in the mid 70s when most of the cast members were still alive. I would take messages for her from Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton, etc. and once from Liza Minelli! They were all very polite. I was a grumpy teen who was pissed I had to play secretary for a frind of my mom's. I had no idea what I was dealing with and who I was talking to! She did have Margaret Hamilton autograph a photo to me and it is still one of my prized possessions. (By the way, it is a great book if you like old movie lore).

  • @Pafuchi-- Ewan McGregor! I would just die!
  • Sophia Loren outside the Royal Ontario Museum. A friend and I went to see the Egypt exhibit and stopped at the ice cream truck outside for some soft serve when we noticed the news crews and photographers. A limo pulls up and there she was, in her devastatingly gorgeous glory.

    Robin Williams just crossing the street, not too far from the ROM actually. I remember it was my birthday and I was meeting my sister. I was crossing the street and noticed some paparazzi types, I looked over in time to see Mr. Williams.

    And Hiddles at a coffee shop in the entertainment district area during TIFF. I was on my way to a job interview, otherwise I would've freaked out properly. In hindsight, it was probably a good thing I had somewhere I needed to be. I was struck by how very gracious he is with his fans.

  • edited February 2015
    I used to live near Bloomingdales (on the same street as Serendipity 3, near Dylan's Candy Bar, but the rent when I moved in wasn't that bad because you live off the off-ramp of the fuckin' Queensboro and my windows weren't well soundproofed, which they fixed after I moved out when they jacked my rent too high, of course...), and sometimes I would see celebrities running around my neighborhood.

    I saw Chloe Moretz in sweats in front of my building, probably waiting to get a table at Serendipity 3 (totally overrated, except the frozen hot chocolate is nice in a "isn't this just a bizarre milkshake" sort of way). 

    My favorite in my neighborhood was David Koechner, who I ran into at the local Starbucks and didn't notice him until he complimented my purse. I was staring at the ground and noticed he was wearing nice shoes and said "I like your shoes!" And then I looked up and he was wearing a nice shirt, so I said "And your shirt!" And then I sort of stared trying to place him until one of the baristas, who knew me as a regular, rolled his eyes at me and said to Mr Koechner, "I love your work." I felt like such a dork.

    I also was in Washington Square Park's dog park and saw Michael C. Hall (with a baseball cap tilted low over his face). I looked at him, thought he looked familiar, and he smiled at me nicely enough but I didn't say anything. I googled his dog and sure enough it was him. His dog looks ridiculously overweight in person, I judged him a little for it, not gonna lie. Poor thing was waddling around. 
    This dog:
  • edited February 2015
    I live in New York but I never see as many celebrities as others here do. Maybe I just don't notice?

    Once in Soho I saw Padma Lakshmi. I just grinned at her like an idiot, but she was very polite to the fans who stopped to talk her. She was with her adorable little baby and just as stunning in person as she looks on TV. 

    Last summer I was running out for a work meeting and saw Billy Eichner and Seth Meyers sort of dawdling in Union Square with a few cameramen. I took a very fuzzy picture and hopped on the subway, but a few weeks later I realized they were shooting a segment for the Emmys.

    A few months ago I went to this super expensive vegan hippie cafe and in walks one of the Olsen twins and a group of her friends. They looked exactly like you'd expect an Olsen's friends to look and she looked terrifying. I'm not exaggerating - sunken eyes, shriveled little hunched over posture, a ratty tangle of hair pulled back off her face. It was a bit odd, I'm the exact same age as the Olsen twins and that one could've passed for 5 years older. 
  • I've seen Tim Gunn a few times around my apartment on the UWS. He always looks completely impeccable. Even when it's 100° and pouring and I look like a sweaty hot mess. It's a bit unnerving actually, he's too flawless.

    I almost walked over Meg Ryan in a West Elm in LA. She was sooooo tiny and wearing sunglasses as big as my head.

    The building my husband works in has a production company in it and he's constantly texting me about celebrity elevator encounters. SJP (tiny and striking) & Yoko Ono (giant hat and smells nice) are the big ones. But I'll be eternally jealous of the time he had dinner just one table away from Clive Owen.

  • Simon and Garfunkel went to my high school (about 10 years before me) and they came back unofficially to visit once.  They were just walking around saying hello.  It was so unexpected everyone was just doing double takes.

    Also, when I was in kindergarten the actor who played Dennis the Menace on TV came to visit my class.  Exciting, no?  Even as a kid I was unimpressed.

    Sorry, that's all I've got...
  • I was working at a film & TV post production company when they were making Sirens. I had to get lunch for Elle Macpherson and Portia De Rossi. Portia was very sweet and young, Elle was gracious and enormous - it felt like she was about a foot taller than me (she's not, she's about 5" taller than me!) with the broadest shoulders in the world. 

    But this is my favourite celebrity meet:
  • I have had two random celebrity sightings. A few years ago I saw Jasmine Guy on the terminal train at the Atlanta Airport. When I was in Chicago last spring for a conference I saw Richard Jenkins walking around near Water Tower Place. It took me a few moments to recognize him. He was giving directions to a lost tourist (I don't think she actually realized who he was).
  • I live on the UWS.  I once was riding the bus down Columbus Avenue when on came Cynthia Nixon with a small child and a friend.  She was playing a cancer victim in a play at the time, and was as bald as can be.  All I could think of, of course, is that the girls in Sex and the City never, ever took the bus or subway, except the one time Carrie deigned to take the bus because she had spent all her money on shoes.  Whining and bitching all the way.  In a city where Cynthia Nixon rides the M11 and Helen Mirren rides the subway!  Pfft!

    Anyway, she sat behind me, at the back of the bus.  And of course no one bothered her or even glanced her way -- lots of fingers flying on cell phones, though, and it was the quietest damn NYC bus you ever heard. Except for her.  She was chatting away in her actor-trained voice that filled the bus.  Then someone -- had to be a tourist -- finally did pipe up and say, breathlessly, "Excuse me.  Aren't you Cynthia Nixon?"  Cynthia paused for a moment, didn't answer, then picked up where she left off, and you never heard that woman again.  I didn't turn around, of course.  Maybe Cynthia simply gave a chilly nod, though I like to think she just paused long enough for my fellow passengers to throw daggers at the clueless dolt with their eyes.

    Next sighting -- I happen to live near where Lady Gaga grew up and her parents still live (I'm in much humbler digs, trust me, as rare as those are getting to be here).  One August day I was riding my bike down that block, and this SUV was double parked in the road, and this guy with a walkie-talkie was standing beside it in the street, effectively blocking the way.  I rode up slowly to pass by, and he kind of gave me a look up and down as if deciding if he was going to let me pass or not, then finally stepped aside.  I didn't know what was up until I looked to my left, and there was Gaga.  Huge-ass wig, of course, and wearing a coat and heavy tights.  Did I mention it was August?  And pictures were later featured on TLo!  Not in front of the apartment, but of her shopping later on Fifth or Madison or somewhere, and there was her handler, too (no, not Hot Ginger).

    Then once riding my bike in Central Park I saw Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick walking.  And I saw Tim Gunn once by Café Luxembourg, near Lincoln Center.  Yes, snappily dressed.  It was summer also, and I think he was wearing a seersucker suit.  Season-appropriately!

    In 8-1/2 years in NYC, that's my sum total.  Maybe Bruce Dern once, I'm not sure.
  • One day at work I was walking outside, and the streets were blocked off, and there were cameras filming, and I was all "WHAAA????" I looked over, and there was a guy who looked suspiciously like Billy Baldwin, and I realized it WAS Billy Baldwin. Mind you - I live in a SUBURB of Kansas City, so we don't get The Celebrity Sightings like the left and right coasts do, and to have Billy Baldwin filming a movie on our small quaint Main Street was pretty ridiculous.

    Not QUITE as ridiculous, though as the time when I was 10 and saw Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom's Marlin Perkins on our plane. He signed my Snow White coloring book.HOLLA!!!

    Oooh, oooh, ooooh - I also just remembered that I stalked John Schneider through Disneyland when I was on a church trip there in high school. He was still Bo Duke cute.
  • Sleepy Hollow was filming in the city where I live, and John Noble has been in my store a few times. The first time, I was in the back of the store checking off my ad on a Sunday afternoon, greeting customers as they passed, and I happened to say "Hi, how are you doing" to a short middle-aged gentleman. He looked at me, nodded, my brain said THAT'S JOHN NOBLE I WILL EAT MY HAT IF THAT'S NOT JOHN NOBLE and clearly the expression on my face must have reflected the internal revelation, because he smiled a bit. I left him alone, though, because obviously the dude just wants to shop for school supplies. Five minutes later, though, I heard one of my minions on the headset saying OH MY GOD JOHN NOBLE IS HERE. haha. He was in a couple more times that fall, and I'd like to think it was because I insisted everyone (well, the three or four of us who even knew who he was) leave him be!
  • No huge celeb encounters. Saw Mercedes Ruehl on a plane from NY a few years after her Oscar win. I was in coach and she was in 1st class, but she'd occasionally appear from behind the curtain to see her (adopted) kid and his nurse, who were in coach. All I could think of was, "So that's how celebs handle travelling with kids!"

    Met Alice Krige at the London Docklands. Had a brief chat about Mary Shelley (she'd played Shelley in a movie, and I'd written a thing about how Shelley's upbringing and personal life had influenced Frankenstein).

    Met Neil Gaiman at a comic book fair in Helsinki. He was very nice and signed my copy of Good Omens with the opening line of a joke and told me to get the rest from Terry Pratchett if I ever met him. (Also, my bf of the time was one of the organisers, so later, we met Gaiman again at an Irish pub for drinks.)

    A few years later, in London, I ran into Terry Pratchett and Robert Rankin in a bar. Happened to have Good Omens in my bag for travel reading, so I got the punchline of the joke from Pratchett! Me and a couple of other girls bought him drinks (he likes double vodkas on the rocks).

    Oh, and I've briefly seen Robert Picardo singing karaoke in this little downstairs joint.

    That's about it for celebs the rest of the kittentariat might know.
  • I was sitting on the floor by a gate a Charlotte airport because my flight had been delayed and my phone was low on battery and that was where I could find a plug.  I nearly got nailed in the head as someone ran past with one of those hard-sided silver cases.  It was Gary Busey.  He was actually really nice to the fans who approached him at baggage claim.

    I was catching an early flight to San Francisco from Newark for a conference when Jeri Ryan asked me if I would watch her bags so she could run to the ladies' room (there was an LA flight at the next gate).

    In college I worked in the costume shop.  I had made puppets for a production of Rosenkrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.  I noticed a problem during the show and went backstage during intermission to fix it.  Henry Winkler walked into the green room and asked me if I knew where the student director of the show was.  Apparently the guy's dad was an NBC exec and Winkler was a family friend so he came to see the show.  All I could think as I told him where to find the guy was "holy crap, he's short!"
  • My favorite run in with a celeb literally was a run in.

    Back in 1990 when Kenneth Branaugh exploded on the scene with Henry V. He came to Chicago with his theater troupe along with Emma Thompson. They were headlines of Chicago's International theater festival. They were doing a double bill of Lear and Midsummer's. We ushered on their last day. First came Lear. We went around the corner to get some food before Midsummer started. It was an extremely windy day. THere I was with my buddy Jim fighting into the wind with our friend Mary right behind us using us as shield. Branaugh was coming from the opposite direction also fighting the wind. The wind starting going extra crazy and changing directions. Branaugh got caught up and starting twirling around and collided through us. We were a human pinball machine

    Afterwards Jim and I though it was hilariously cool that we got pummeled by "Kenny-baby" (That what we called him). Mary screamed in delight when she realized it as well

    Later we met him, Thompson and Richard Briers and other members of the troupe for autographs. Everyone was very charming especially Emma Thompson
  • edited February 2015
    Ah yes, Neil Gaiman. I met him a couple of times in the 00s, when he was well known in genre circles but not nearly so much as he is now. He is really truly the Nicest Person Ever. He has the gift of making people feel like he's genuinely interested in what they have to say. I saw him accept a Hugo Award for American Gods back in 2002 at WorldCon, and when I met him at the Elf Fantasy Fair in the Netherlands six months later, I teased him about his choice of words on stage (something like "fuck, I've got a Hugo!"), and despite the very long line behind me, he went on at *length* about how surprised and pleased he was to have won it.

    The second time I met him, he was doing a signing with Peter S. Beagle - now, I love Neil, but I have a threadbare copy of The Last Unicorn that's nearly as old as I am, with all its fur loved off in that Velveteen Rabbit sort of way, and I was actually more excited to meet him and have him sign that book. :)

    I've met an assortment of fantasy/sci-fi folks, although I don't think anyone who's not interested in the genre would really know or care. Same with the prog/power metal genre - I've met some pretty high profile musicians, but if you're not into the music, you probably wouldn't care. :)
  • edited February 2015
    Too many to name. But my most favorite encounter happened 1973, en route from Tokyo to Los Angeles. You see Kittens, I was a Pan Am stewardess in the 70's. 

    Traveling first class were director Sydney Pollack and movie star Robert Mitchum. They had just completed shooting The Yakuza in Japan and were on their way 'home'. Mr Mitchum had a large painting he'd purchased, and asked me to "take care of it babe". So, I stowed it away carefully in the back of the first class coat closet in the nose of the 747.

    About 4 hours into the flight, Mr. Mitchum approached me to thank me for taking care of him and his belongings. He was so drunk it was a miracle he could walk & talk at the same time. Drunk or not, he was so handsome,  I just stood in reverence.

    Without warning, he grabbed me in his arms and open mouth kissed me in front of the entire first class cabin.
    Again, I just stood there.
    He promptly sat back down in his seat, and fell asleep.

    When Mr. Mitchum awoke, he apparently felt less drunk and less amorous. He was sweet as he could be.
    This is my favorite celebrity encounter because it is the most ridiculously funny.
  • @foodycatAlicia I would lose it if I met Nigella! That's a great photo.

    I met Leslie Nielson when I was 15. I had to greet him at the airport on behalf of UNICEF. I just remember thinking that he was very tall and very handsome. I giggled a lot.

    I met Josh Hartnett a few years ago, on the street outside of a bar. I said, "That's Josh Hartnett" very quietly and my friend said, "Hey, Josh!" very loudly. We chatted awhile about the musical festival we were just coming from and he told me that he liked my hat. He is extremely cute in person.
  • When I was still a baby, my parents lived in California not far from where Little House on the Prairie was being filmed.  My parents were eating breakfast in a diner one morning when they encountered Melissa Gilbert.  Apparently she was very gracious and said that I was adorable.  :-)

    Second celebrity encounter- I am 99% positive I passed Gordon Ramsay on the street in Portland.  It was a not-very-busy side street, so it was hard not to notice him.  He was very dressed well, very striking and walked with that confident swagger that begs to be noticed.  I looked up and smiled as he passed.  He smiled in return with a look of recognition, "yes, that is who I am."  It wasn't until he was a few steps away that I realized who it was!

    And my third, and favorite, celebrity encounter (at least he's a celebrity to me).  I met John Fluevog.  I was SO excited when they opened the John Fluevog store in Portland that I showed up early to the store opening party.  I waited and waited and waited until he finally came out from the back room.  As soon as I could I ran up to him and gushed, "Meeting you is like meeting a rock star!"  I totally nerded out on this poor man.  He was soooo nice and gracious!  He talked with me for a while.  He posed with me for pictures.  And then- he signed my shoes.  Yes, Bitter Kittens, I own a pair of signed Fluevogs.  They are amongst my most prized possessions.  <3
  • These are great!  @HotTamale - what a fun story! 

    I was attending Johns Hopkins a few years ago, when John Astin was teaching drama there.  One quiet Sunday afternoon I was leaving my department's building as an gray-haired gentleman was walking in.  Neither of us were making eye contact, but I casually said good morning as our paths intersected.  He looked up at me and smiled that fabulous Gomez Addams smile and responded with a huge, "Good MORNING!"  I totally froze, because I didn't recognize him until he smiled.  Fortunately, he had moved past me and didn't see me gaping like a fish.
  • There was that one time, when I met Susie Chapstick. 

  • Back around year 2000 when we were living in NYC, husband & I were walking in Riverside Park and saw a tiny, rather wrinkled older man in baseball hat and sunglasses. He was strolling with a stunning, tall, dark-haired young woman and a little boy. After staring at the guy for a few seconds, I said: "You know, I think that's Mick Jagger!" Husband gets all his celebrity/entertainment info from me, so he just shrugged. When I came home, I googled a bit and learned that yes, that WAS Mick Jagger, and the woman and small boy were the Brazilian model and her son, which became the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back of Jagger's marriage to Jerry Hall.

    Other people I saw in NYC were Joan Allen (very tall, thin, beautiful), Peter Bogdanovich (looks about how he does on TV), Gilbert Gottfried (looks very normal), Peter Jennings (tall, dark, handsome in a square-jawed sort of way), and probably a few others that I forget.
  • When I was in college, I worked as a waitress/housekeeper at a very remote lodge in southwest Alaska that is famous for bear-viewing.

    Olivia Newton-John showed up with her husband and daughter, she was the on-camera host of some special on bears. This was in 1994. I recall her daughter was around 7-8 but am too lazy to google. Anyway, she and her husband were totally obnoxious and spent the whole time ditching their daughter for us to care for while they mugged for the camera any chance they got. It was like a bad caricature of self-absorbed film people. They were completely gross and their daughter was a really sad but sweet little girl.

    They stayed a week, we cared for the daughter every day, and they didn't tip us a DIME.

    That's right. I was stiffed for a tip by Olivia Newton-John.
  • P.S. Of course, the biggest and most important celebrity encounter in my life was meeting Tom and Lorenzo at their book signing party in NYC last summer! At that same party I met Emmett McCarthy, so it was two... er, three for one kind of day!
  • @Tracy_Flick you are not the first person I have heard say something like that.

    Did she and Matt entertain other people while they were there?
  • HotTamale said:
    Too many to name. But my most favorite encounter happened 1973, en route from Tokyo to Los Angeles. You see Kittens, I was a Pan Am stewardess in the 70's. 

    Traveling first class were director Sydney Pollack and movie star Robert Mitchum. They had just completed shooting The Yakuza in Japan and were on their way 'home'. Mr Mitchum had a large painting he'd purchased, and asked me to "take care of it babe". So, I stowed it away carefully in the back of the first class coat closet in the nose of the 747.

    About 4 hours into the flight, Mr. Mitchum approached me to thank me for taking care of him and his belongings. He was so drunk it was a miracle he could walk & talk at the same time. Drunk or not, he was so handsome,  I just stood in reverence.

    Without warning, he grabbed me in his arms and open mouth kissed me in front of the entire first class cabin.
    Again, I just stood there.
    He promptly sat back down in his seat, and fell asleep.

    When Mr. Mitchum awoke, he apparently felt less drunk and less amorous. He was sweet as he could be.
    This is my favorite celebrity encounter because it is the most ridiculously funny.
    Holy moly!  That is an amazing story.  I can't imagine it will be topped.
  • Garrison Keillor came to my college for an event sponsored by the NPR station I worked for at the time, and I got VIP tickets to meet him before the show. He is exactly as you'd imagine him to be if you ever listen to A Prairie Home Companion, and he wore the same red sneakers I always see him wearing in pictures. He signed my copy of Homegrown Democrat "Be good, be cool." Man I love him.

    Of course no one usually knows who he is, but I live in southern Indiana. We don't get a lot of celebrities here.
  • edited February 2015
    About 20 years ago (gulp) I went to Basix in West Hollywood for lunch.  I noticed the guy at the table next to me was extremely handsome.  Then a split second later I realized it was Brad Pitt.  It was the era of his short bleached blond hair.  Like this:


    I was very proud of everyone in the restaurant (this is about a ten table restaurant) because no one bothered Brad at all.  He ate alone for about 45 minutes until his guest showed up.  A man, probably his agent or lawyer.

    I was at the post office in West L.A. and literally slammed into the most solid person I've ever seen/met/felt.  I looked into his eyes and realized it was Jason Scott Lee, in his absolute prime.  He was there with a bodyguard, but with those muscles, really, why bother?  It felt somewhat like this:


    And finally, I was at a Restoration Hardware in Century City and I noticed the most beautiful 30something woman I had ever seen.  At closer inspection, I realized it was a 60something Jaclyn Smith.  I think she may have been the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in real life.  Looking about like this.  

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