Celebrity Encounters

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  • I was getting off of an elevator at a hotel on the island of Kauai and Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw were getting on the elevator. I only paid attention because she was wearing a very expensive looking gauze outfit...teal gauze....miles of it... skirt, blouse, hat...everything matched....it was overwhelming on her. And both of them were really tiny.

    It took me a few seconds to realize who they actually were...I was distracted thinking about her clothes....you know, what makes that gauze look so expensive? And, that was a bit too matchy matchy, and way too much fabric on that tiny body....that sort of thing.

  • edited February 2015
    These stories are fantastic! I have a few, they'll definitely pale in comparison (that Robert Mitchum one just about killed me) but here we go.

    1. When I was on a field trip in eighth grade I ran into Tim Gunn in the Philadelphia airport, and naturally he was wearing a suit and looked lovely. It still pains me to think that I met Tim Gunn himself as an awkward eighth grader with glasses and braces wearing the finest of airport gear (sweatpants and sneakers, so stylish). Frankly I'm surprised he didn't shove me away in horror.

    2. I'm a UCLA student, and for the past couple of years James Franco's been teaching a screenwriting class in the English department. Last year I was walking to meet a friend for dinner on a rainy night and walked right past him. I did a double-take, made eye contact with him again, and he winked at me (which is how I knew it was James Franco, I mean who else?). I ran away in response.

    I haven't been attracted to him since his Spider-Man days but he was surprisingly gorgeous in person. And once again, I was wearing sweatpants, my glasses, and a ponytail. I'm surprised he realized I was female.

    3. For all the soccer fans out there, Real Madrid (my favorite team) practices on the UCLA campus every summer and this past summer I decided to go there and stalk them. Because I'm incredibly brilliant I forgot to bring anything for them to sign, and as luck would have it one of the players came right up to me and asked me if I wanted him to sign anything. I stammered something incoherent and he just left.

    4. Just a few days into 2015 I was at the LAX baggage claim and realized that Alfie Enoch was next to me at the baggage claim. He was adorable and well-mannered, he even helped me grab my suitcase off the carousel. And again, surprise surprise, I was makeup-free and rocking the glasses and a ponytail, like the "homely" girl from a teen movie.

    One of these days I'm going to run into a celebrity and not be a mess. I'm determined.
  • I stood next to Kate Beckinsale in a TSA line at LAX a couple of years ago.  She wore no makeup and her hair was in a messy bun.  Her skin was flawless and refused to jump to the front of the line.  That earned her a brownie point in my book. 
  • I once babysat for a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra years ago during the summer while they were at Tanglewood. I was in the backstage area minding my charge (an absolutely adorable two-year-old girl) when in quick succession John Williams and James Taylor walked by. John Williams glowered at me and James Taylor smiled at the little girl, I think his twin boys were about her age at the time. He has a summer house out there so it's not hard to run into him in the warm weather months. Everyone I know who's met him said he's a lovely man. My brother was a parking lot attendant at Tanglewood one summer and said John Williams was kind of a jackass.

    Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin was partially filmed where I work. After they wrapped one night I saw Aishwarya Rai, Jean Reno, and Andy Garcia leave the building. Reno was making eye contact and smiling at everyone, he's much better looking in person. Andy Garcia is a lot shorter than I thought. He smoked at the time (not sure if he still does) and all the smokers in the building spent a fair bit of time with him on his smoke breaks outside. He's apparently quite nice. Steve Martin insisted on arriving and leaving through the loading dockso he wouldn't have to deal with anyone, so I never got to see him. The people at work who did meet him did not speak highly of him. Evidently he's quite arrogant.

    A horrid Cameron Diaz movie called The Box also did a bit of filming there. I walked by Cameron in between shot set-ups on a Saturday, I was struck by how small she was. I saw her stand-in running around all over the place all day.

    And when I was a baby, my family went out to Cape Cod for a vacation and were driving out near Hyannis Port where the Kennedy compound is. At some point an old woman by the side of the road yelled at us to turn around and go away. My mom swears it was Rose Kennedy.
  • Years ago, I met a charity event organizer who had nothing nice to say about Bill Cosby.  She said he was their featured entertainer one year and he was cold, arrogant and unfriendly .  A sportswriter and a major cyclist both told me a long time ago that Lance Armstrong was a jerk.  And when Tiger Woods was at the top of his game, all I ever heard about him (and I come from a golfing family with golf pros, college golf team players, etc.) was what unpleasant, arrogant person he was.

    Conclusion: bad people are mean long before they're discovered to be bad.

    Oh, and my brother once caddied for someone in Kevin Costner's foursome at a celeb pro-am, and said there were tons of women following them all day.  He said he had never seen so many tube tops in his life.

    Conclusion: you never know when you're going to meet a celebrity, so always wear tube tops.  
  • Oh right - with all the talk about Star Trek today, I just remembered that I met Marina Sirtis - Counselor Troi - at a WorldCon. There was a fee for pictures, but it was only two bucks and it was being donated to a local pet shelter, so sure, why not. She was very nice, and I remember noticing how different her natural English accent is. Not that this is anything unexpected, but after almost 20 years of of listening to her vaguely Americanized voice, it was a bit odd.

  • But this is my favourite celebrity meet:
    image
    Who is who?
  • HakunaLagatta - I wish I had known about Real Madrid before Xabi Alonso got traded to Bayern Munich. He is my favorite player and reasons I support Liverpool.

    Dangit!
  • Lilithcat, the one on the left is Nigella, surely?  And the one on the right must be Alicia!
  • I had dinner with Hulk Hogan and Brutus <somebody> at a tapas restaurant in downtown NYC. A friend had won dinner with him and Dennis Rodman in a celebrity auction, but Dennis had to back out and he was who she really wanted to have dinner with. He was LOVELY. I mean, he was an hour and a half late and went to the bar before he came to our table, but mostly he was lovely. He said hi and I said hi, and then he introduced Brutus, and Brutus is BIG. And I just looked at him and went, "Oh my gosh!" I mean, I practically squeaked it. And Hulk Hogan said, "Hey, *I'm* Hulk Hogan!" and we all laughed. I loved him, I'm quite sure he has no memory of the entire event. He was getting divorced from his wife, and he said that he had started the reality show because he wanted them to have to be nice to each other, and he had hoped that their marriage would work out. Then he found out that she already had a boyfriend. He seemed so sad when he said it.

    I was also waiting outside a theater after All My Sons to get John Lithgow's autograph, and all of a sudden this random door opens and out steps Kate Mulgrew! You want to see a person *babble* - I said, "Oh my God, you're Kate Mulgrew!" and she said, "Yes, I know," very tolerantly and sweetly, and I said, "OMG, I'm your biggest fan I've seen everything you've ever done since Ryan's Hope and I've loved everything you've ever been in and I don't even care about John Lithgow could I please have your autograph???" God. Then I couldn't find a pen for my life, and she had one, and she signed my All My Sons playbill even though she wasn't in the play. She was really nice.

    Meg Ryan came into the deli where I worked when they were filming IQ in Princeton, but I wasn't there. She called later that night and my uncle drove some sandwiches out to the hotel for her, he had no idea who she was!

    I met Brooke Shields when she did a book signing for Down Came The Rain, and Emeril Lagasse when his new cookbook came out in 2003. Brooke was nice - people were seriously creeping on her, she had two big bodyguards and I could see why. 

    Emeril was fantastic. He had been up all night, flown in from LA, it was his *birthday* and he sat there for six hours signing books and taking pictures with people. Then he signed a bunch of backstock too. 

    Rachel Ray was a stone cold bitch. She was an hour and a half late, people had been waiting since 2:00. There was a line all the way to the back of the mall. She signed books for 45 minutes, then said to one of her people, "Get me out of here." People were *crying* they were so upset not to get their books signed. They loved her and she really let them down. She signed 20 books for us to give to people that were really complaining, rolling her eyes the whole time.

    Nora Ephron or somebody like that signed books in August of 2003, and she signed one for my baby because I was pregnant, and she gave me a hug and said she hoped everything worked out.

    I shook Hillary's hand at a rally in downtown NYC - it was in a theater, the night Sully landed the plane in the river. I was sitting in the second row of the balcony, and a security guard came and told me I had to move back one seat. They were keeping the first row clear for ... wait for it... Bill Clinton and Chelsea!!!! I reached up (over the security guard, like a dummy) to try to tap Bill Clinton on the shoulder, and the security guard knocked my arm away so hard I thought it was broken. I think it was a reflex.
  • These are so fabulous!

    I forgot that I have also been mere inches away from the Queen of Belgium.  We were travelling in Ghent when the King and Queen made an official visit.  We, being dumb Americans, had no idea.  I spent the morning at a laundromat and was walking back to the hotel with a backpack full of laundry, when I discovered that I couldn't make it across the big public square in front of our hotel due to the throngs of people and the barricades and police.  I stood at the edge of the barricade and talked with a local about the King and Queen and the politics of Belgium (because there were many protestors).  The King and Queen came out of the cathedral to much fanfare and walked along the barricade shaking hands with everyone.  I was so close, and she made eye contact with me, but I did not offer my hand because I felt as a dumb American I was not worthy.  She is so beautiful in person.  A true royal.  
  • I met Bobby Sherman back in 1970.... we were at a hotel and I saw his pic, made the connection in the elevator, my birth mom gave him a napkin to sign...I remember him being very nice (now I realize he was just thrilled to be recognize... I mean he was singing in a hotel bar... some career huh?)

    image
  • I think Authors count? I used to be a HUGE fan of Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City, etc). I was so THRILLED to meet him, he did a book signing where I worked and was just a total horses ass. The book store was in a former Car Dealership (don't ask) and the cash area was in an area that really echoed, BUT we had 3 lines deep of people buying book (and back copies, at that time I think it was his...4th? 5th? book). Well he insisted on doing a reading, but stopped suddenly to DEMAND we turn off the registers and the infernal 'dinging' as they were disturbing his reading!

    Talk about the mighty falling...I have personal sold ....a hundred? copies of his books but that image has stayed with me...ugh. what a jerk.
  • I was a theatre major in college and spent a semester studying in London at the same time The English Patient came out. I was totally in love with Ralph Fiennes, and he happened to starring in a production of "Ivanov" at the time. 

    My theatre class went to see the show, and I thought it was amazing. So for my 22nd birthday (yikes -- 18 years ago yesterday!), I decided to go early to the theatre and see if I could get a returned ticket. 

    I was camped out on the sidewalk, reading a magazine, waiting for the box office to open, when a car pulled up and someone got out and walked by me. I glanced up and saw that it was HIM. Squeee! A few minutes later, the box office opened, and they had a third-row seat for me. I ran into the pub attached to the theatre and called back to my flat to let my roommates know that not only did I have a ticket, but that I had actually seen Ralph Fiennes. At that moment, he walked into the pub and right by me again.

    I went back outside (thrilled about my luck so far!) and was milling about in the walkway between the theatre and the pub when he walked by again. Finally, he walked back one last time, from the theatre to the pub, and he stopped.

    And looked at me.

    Just me. And Ralph Fiennes. Alone. Standing there. About ten feet away from each other.

    And did I say, "I've seen this show once already, and it's such a strong ensemble piece." Or, "I'm a theatre major, and I have such admiration for your work." Or "It's my birthday. How about a little tongue?"

    No, I did not. I stood there, dumbfounded. In my defense, he was and still is the most beautiful human being I have ever seen up close.

    He took a couple more steps toward the pub, then stopped and looked and me again.

    I continued to be dumbfounded. 

    And then Ralph Fiennes shook his head, burst out laughing, and walked away.

    AND....SCENE.

    The only upside of the story is that several years ago, I got to tell the story on NPR. 
  • I meet Jon Stewart about 6-8 years ago.  The writing staff of the Daily Show was having a party/picnic at the beach restaurant where I worked at the time.  Stewart showed up for about an hour at the end to thank the staff.  He was incredibly pleasant to the servers, and graciously took photos with all the servers and quite a few of the waitstaff from the restaurant.

    When I was 10, I physically ran into Bruce Springsteen with my boogie board.  He was very understanding about it.  I know my dad hung out with him a few times when we went to the same beach club.

    I got to meet Geraldo when his son was a camper at the YMCA camp where I worked.  He was very loud, like someone told him once to project and he never forgot the instruction.  Son was nice, though.
  • I was in the produce section of a grocery store many years ago, and I looked up from the tomatoes at the man opposite me and was suddenly bathed in fear. And then I realized the man looking at me was not Norman Bates; he was Anthony Perkins, the actor who played him in Psycho. In my defense, I will say he looked pretty spooky in person, but I still felt sorry for him. I'm sure the look on my face was one of pure terror, and I doubt I was the first to react that way. I'm just glad the tomato I was holding didn't explode from the death grip I had on it. 
  • I had flown all the way to the Isle of Man for the wedding of my (now ex-) best friend.

    During the week I was there, it was rumoured that some members of my favourite boy band, Take That, were visiting the Isle, too.

    For the wedding, I got acrylic nails done, which I'd never had before. I still had them on as I found my seat on the teeny tiny propeller driven plane to fly to Manchester and then catch my flight back to Australia. I was trying to put my bag under my window seat when the person who was going to sit next to me rudely pushed me into the aisle seat and told me to hurry up and get into my seat. 

    The trouble was, I'd been holding onto the seat rest with my hand, and the way they pushed me, I ended up catching my thumb on the chair arm and bending that acrylic and the real nail under it back so far, it snapped backwards, in half, exposing the nail bed. I can't even describe the excruciating pain, plus, it bled quite a bit.

    Once I got into my seat, I felt a tap on my shoulder and this voice behind me spoke, asking if I was all right. and I instantly knew that voice.. Sitting right behind me was my favourite Take That band member, who then offered me a band aid if I thought that would fix it, or did I need him to grab the flight attendant for first aid purposes. I said I thought the band aid would work, and he recognized my Australian accent, saying "You're from Australia. aren't you!"

    He then proceeded to tell off the rude person who pushed me, said person was beet red by the time he finished, then he made them swap seats with him, and he sat next to me and we talked for the entire flight.

    I did not say anything about knowing who he was and while the band had been quite huge here in Australia he probably thought I did not know who he was.. :)
  • @Lilithcat yes, as @DaveinHollywood said, on the left is Nigella Lawson and on the right, looking totally starstruck and bewildered is me.
  • Lilithcat, the one on the left is Nigella, surely?  And the one on the right must be Alicia!
    Couldn't prove it by me.  I don't know.  Nigella who?
  • @Lilithcat yes, as @DaveinHollywood said, on the left is Nigella Lawson and on the right, looking totally starstruck and bewildered is me.
    Okay, thanks.  Next time, I'll read all the responses before posting again!   

    That or not post until I've had sufficient caffeine.
  • I work in the industry so it's quite a long list which I won't go into, but I will say that my tweenage god daughter is massive Hunger Games fan and I was working with Liam Hemsworth, who was sweet enough to not only sign a Hunger Games book for her but wrote a lovely message in it too. I totally won Christmas that year!
  • Snoskred said:
    He then proceeded to tell off the rude person who pushed me, said person was beet red by the time he finished, then he made them swap seats with him, and he sat next to me and we talked for the entire flight.

    I did not say anything about knowing who he was and while the band had been quite huge here in Australia he probably thought I did not know who he was.. :)
    Awww! What an excellent story. 
  • @snoskred: oh please tell us which one it was! (I'm rooting for it to be my fave...)
  • Remembered a couple of other encounters.

    Met James Doohan (Scotty from Star Trek) once. He was really thin and weak, and had people hovering over him all the time. One of them asked me if I wanted to say hello, but I had a cold and was in some way worried that considering how frail Doohan looked, if I accidentally passed him something, that would be the end of him. So I explained I was sick and just waved at him from afar. The lady passed on what I'd said to him and he smiled back. A month or so later, he died.

    If there are any NHL fans among the kittentariat, I've met Teemu Selänne twice. Once, he and his then-girlfriend (later wife) were vacationing in Portugal at the same time as my family. They flew there on the same plane, but stayed at a different hotel. But then we decided to go to a water park one day, and Selänne was there. Muscular, and in a speedo. He was constantly surrounded by kids asking for autographs. I waited until he got off a waterslide and asked him to sign the baseball cap I was wearing to try and stave off a melanoma (being a pale redhead). A year or so later, I was hanging near the locker rooms at our local ice rink (where Selänne's team at the time played their home matches) with my friend, whose dad was the guy in charge of maintenance. We passed the locker room and glanced in just as Selänne was toweling himself off, completely naked. I was thrilled at our timing.

    Back in my political youth, I was at a conference in Brussels, and the then-Crown Prince of Belgium was the official opening speaker. He had quite the reputation as a ladies' man, and he was rather handsome in person.

    Finally, for a near miss: An earlier conference in St. Andrews and Edinburgh was to be visited by Prince William (and either Prince Philip or Harry - can't remember which, because I was rather more keen on William being there). A few months before the conference, the tragic death of Princess Diana occurred, and the royals naturally cancelled. In my more flighty moods, I'd like to think that my tween self could've charmed tween Wills if given the chance. But let's face it, that was never going to happen.
  • edited February 2015
    Many years ago, back before security was a thing we thought much about, I ducked a police line to get an autograph from Bobby Kennedy.  (Sadly, I don't know where that book disappeared to.)

    Once I was in London, and saw this gorgeous woman dashing about.  It took me a minute to recognize her, as she wasn't wearing a leather jumpsuit.  Yes, it was Diana Rigg.

    I met Jimmy Smits at a post-play reception a few years back.  He is also a really nice guy.

    I've met a lot of authors at readings.  Tony Kushner was the nicest guy (on top of being brilliant).  Chatted up everyone in line, and gave career advice to the aspiring actor in front of me.   Alan Hollinghurst gave a talk that was very poorly attended.  Less than a dozen people, and this just after he won the Booker Prize!  Well, it was the night the White Sox won the World Series.  But he was incredibly charming and gracious about it.   Author Rosellen Brown is a neighbor, and I've met her at social gatherings.


    Speaking of neighbors, we have a lot of illustrious folks around here.  Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling lived across the hall from me (and baked cookies for me as a "welcome to the building" treat).  And, of course, POTUS, who used to live around the corner; I met him back in the day when he was still a state senator.
  • All of mine happened when I lived in LA for a year...

    Kal Penn at The Container Store in Century City trying out office chairs. It was incredibly amusing to watch Kumar bounce up and down in chairs to see how squishy they were. 

    Scott Bakula at Lowe's in Burbank with his family. Apparently he needed Christmas lights as we stood next to each other for a few minutes trying to decide on the ones we needed. He walked away and my husband passed him as he walked by and said "That's the guy from Quantum Leap!" 



    The best of all... George Clooney at an Italian restaurant on Sunset Blvd. I walked in the door and he was about 4 steps in front of me at the maitre d' stand. I nearly had a heart attack but kept walking forward. When I got there, he was just chatting with the host but saw me and said "Oh, am I in your way? I'm sorry!" and then he stepped aside. 

    I wanted to die right then. He really is that gorgeous in person and despite the fact that even he had to wait 20 minutes for a table, he was so nice to everybody. I did feel bad for the guy as he was gawked at the entire time he ate by everybody in the restaurant. He's my mother's #1 celebrity crush and she was so jealous when I called her and sent her a picture I had taken on the sly. 



    This one happened to my cousin, not me, but I thought it was so cool. We both go to the comic con in the area and a couple of years ago, Adam Baldwin came. I didn't get a chance to make it but she called me freaking out. She was the last person in his autograph line and got to chat with him for a few minutes. He asked if she was going to his Q&A which was about to start and she told him the line had been capped and she couldn't get in. 

    He tells her "You're going to be in there." and proceeds to take her to the back hallway, leading her to the side door of the room by the stage and told her to go find her friends. She is a massive Firefly fan so she was over the moon... and I was jealous that I missed it.


    Finally, a girl I went to high school with is a painter and she had some of her work in a gallery in Santa Fe (we're from Albuquerque) and one day Bryan Cranston came in and bought one of her paintings. 

  • When I was a freshman in college, I took off for a weekend in Minneapolis with a group of friends. At one point, we were shopping in a mall, joking around and not paying attention to where we were going. We rounded a corner and I ran smack into someone, knocking us both to the ground. It was Prince. His body guard picked us both up (one in each hand), set us on our feet, and then they just kept walking.

    Way back when I was in girl scouts, we took a trip to Mackinac Island. It happened to be during the filming of Somewhere In Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. We went into a sandwich shop one day for lunch, and there sat Christopher eating his lunch. The whole lot of us were completely star struck - even our chaperones were speechless. He was unbelievably handsome in person. Practically glowing with awesomeness. I can't even remember if we ended up eating or just stood there staring at him. I fear it was the latter.
  • This isn't my story, it's my dad's. Like @offtoseehim, my dad went to a Rachel Ray book signing. This was in a Costco or BJs in the NJ suburbs so it was PACKED. She was super late, they ran out of books, and she did not smile at anyone. She would not personalize any of the autographs and wouldn't even look at the people who waited hours to meet her. Pictures with her were out of the question, as were pictures OF her. He doesn't buy any of her cookbooks anymore.

  • edited March 2015
    I just remembered another one, it's kind of sad though. When Ted Kennedy died they had a public wake for him at the JFK Library and my mom & I went. We were in line for three and a half hours before we even got into the building. Anyways, apparently for the entire time the wake was going on at least one member of the Kennedy family would personally greet and shake the hand of every single person who went to the wake once they got into the building. When mom & I got to the door it was Bobby Shriver, the oldest of Sargent and Euince Shriver's children. He had the thick Kennedy head of hair and was pretty handsome. And I admire the fact that the family even bothered to do that, particularly any of the Shrivers considering their mother also died not long before. I didn't get the sense that he was at all put out by being there, it seemed like he genuinely appreciated that all those people came.
  • Snoskred, just wondering, how come she's your ex best friend?

    @Twigg, I forgot that part - no pictures with Rachel Ray - just a complete douchey bitch all around. Emeril, whose star was brighter than the sun at that point, posed for pictures with 700 people the night he was there. Every single person in line who wanted one got a picture. 

    I forgot this, I met Melissa Ethridge at a book signing when she was doing a show for some Blue Water Project with Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter. Melissa was getting horribly divorced at that time, and she was lovely, and AMAZING in concert after that. Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter was just so sweet. She was about 30, carrying on his work, and when I told her what a big part of my childhood her granddad's TV specials were, I thought she was going to start crying.
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