True stories with a twist!


What would you say to a famous person if you saw one? Would it be something memorable, so the famous one would remember you? Or something controversial to engage the famous one in a discussion? Or just a friendly, “Hi, how’re ya doin’?”

Maybe this question wouldn’t occur to me if I didn’t live close enough to New York to occasionally bump into a famous face.

I saw Chris Rock at an art gallery with an agent, looking for artworks to buy.

I saw Robert Duvall standing next to me crossing a street in Manhattan.

Adam Arkin just strolling and chatting with a buddy after a matinee performance.

There was Geoffrey Holder paying his check at Balthazaar restaurant.

And Don Johnson having lunch at the restaurant as we were.

I saw Cher in the audience of a small off-Broadway production, calmly waiting for the rest of the audience to exit the theater.

When I was a teen-ager I had a crush on the singer Eddie Fisher.    Unknown-1One day a group of friends and I went into the city to see his TV show, after which we had snacks in the cafe downstairs from the NBC  TV studio. Eddie was sitting at a table, with lines of teenaged girls waiting for his autograph. How could I resist? So I joined the line, and when my turn came he looked at me, took a large photograph of himself, wrote something on it, and handed it to me. When I stopped shaking long enough to read what he wrote, I saw, “How Do You Speak to an Angel?” That was the name of his latest hit song.

The biggest star I ever saw close up and personal was John Wayne. We were in a small toy store and he was shopping, just as I was. There Unknownwas no mistaking him: He was huge! I don’t know what I should have said, but I still think that standing face to face with someone you recognize should elicit something. But what?

Once we went to a restaurant in Greenwich Village, “The Grange.” A familiar face was at the bar and I asked the waitress “Is that F. Murray Abraham?”

“Yes,” she said, ”He’s my father.” I enjoyed his performance in the film about Mozart, “Amadeus.” He played Mozart’s rival. I asked her to ask him a question for me. “Is it better to be hounded by fans or not to be recognized?”  images-2

When she returned she said, “Dad says he would rather be noticed by fans than ignored. And he also said that if you’d like to pay for his dinner that would be fine too.”

So be careful; if you pay attention to a famous person you might get stuck paying for their dinner!

Comments on: "FAMOUS PEOPLE" (25)

  1. A friend of mine–actually he was my classmate in secondary/high school–is now a music sensation. I remember running into him last year, but it took him a while to recall. I wonder if he did it on purpose. Anyway, I believe we basically the same. We all wear our clothes the same way, sleep the same way, etc. Life is like a prism; what we see or get depends on what part we are facing.

  2. What interesting stories. No personal experiences alas!

  3. Ronnie, I was born in the San Fernando Valley, making me a true Valley Girl, though I spent all of my life of choice in the woods and country (post-high school graduation). I grew up with some famous people; worked at a big radio station where I met more. My conclusion was that they were mostly spoiled narcissists, but that might be too narrow a description. They made their lives on their creativity, which is a sweet thing to do, regardless.

    Thanks for the fun story 😉

  4. Ronnie, your batting average is way better than mine. I’d have been delighted to have met some of those folks.

    As a reporter, I ran into a few celebrities while I was on duty. But, one time while vacationing in Baltimore, Maryland, my husband and I saw Andre Braugher who played Det. Frank Pembleton in TV’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.” He was in a coffee house, the Daily Grind, and reading his lines. I walked over and said something like, “I enjoy your work.”

    That’s all I could muster. He just nodded his head. Maybe he smiled, and we went on our merry way.

  5. The story goes that a woman, in the late 1940’s, was in the tea room at Fortnum & Mason’s in London. She saw a group of ladies at another table and one of them seemed very familiar to her, but she could not think of her name. She went over to say “hello” to the lady, who was in fact the Queen (not our present one), and, having said “hello” was lost for words as she still couldn’t quite place the famous face. She resorted to the tactic of asking “..and how is your husband” to which she received the reply ” Oh, he’s fine; still the King”.

  6. Brilliant story ! And now I believe that Salieri was as awful as he was portrayed – the old meanie !!!!

  7. I would never pay for a famous person’s dinner. Chances are, they’re already getting comped!

  8. I met JK Rowling at a book signing last summer. I was ridiculously starstruck and just squeaked “thank you” but I didn’t mean thanks for signing my book, but for making my childhood awesome. Haa. I don’t know how people can pluck the guts to talk to their idols!

  9. I would love to bump into some of these big stars.. me being me, I’d probably talk to much and they would tell me to push off… but I would still like to bump into one or two.. but in South Africa it’s not likely to happen…

  10. I saw Al Pacino in Central Park once. He blended in really well, and I wouldn’t have even noticed him had the person I was with not told me. He was standing about ten feet away.

  11. Good post– I forget how we take it for granted that we can see celebs sometimes doing normal things in NYC– I always wonder why people send hours standing on line outside stage doors. I sat in front of James Earl Jones a few months ago and did say something to him– they love to hear that they’re loved. I wrote about celeb sitings here:

  12. I came quite close to Sarah Jessica Parker once, when she came to the Philippines. Too bad I had no chance of taking a picture or say hi to her. Actually, I could only imagine myself being speechless in front of her lol.

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