Warning: I'm about to indulge in some shameless name-dropping...
...which, by L.A. standards is kinda vulgar I suppose, but I've learned that friends actually like hearing the list of famous people I've met. Nowadays I'd jump at the chance to meet Alicia Paulson and I just missed an opportunity to meet Holly Becker at her L.A. book signing. But Robert de Niro? Yes, I've met him. It was so glamorous. He spoke to me, which is more than most people get ~ he is a notoriously shy guy. But the truth is, I was very young, I was working the front desk at Beverly Hills Mercedes Benz, and he walked in. He had to speak to me. He was wearing a cardigan and he reminded me of my grampa. Maybe not a very impressive story, but hold on, I've got better ones...
I returned a movie to the library the other day, a movie called, "An Education." It's based on the experience a woman had when she was very young, meeting an older charming con man who whisked her into his glamorous world for just the briefest moment. She returned to her "normal" life and never spoke of it 'til she was much older. Everyone, I think, has within them the things they do not speak of, right? Either because it's something embarassing, or unacceptable, or simply has no place in their current day to day life. The latter applies to me. I'm not "out there" anymore. I stay home with my kids and sew stuff. It doesn't matter to them that I once met Fabio. Ha ha! It was fun searching through my memories for the things I'll share in this post. Here's a little list:
- I once sat at lunch, there were 4 at our table, across from Charlie Sheen. He seemed a little tired.
- I had a date with John Cusack. "Johnny" is what he calls himself. He was feeding me pie and the fork somehow got stuck in my back teeth. Lovely.
- I went to a dinner party and was seated next to Steve Guttenberg. He was quite amusing. Strangely enough that was the moment I was most star-struck. I think it's because I hadn't heard anything about him since I was a kid, but I remembered him vividly from so many beloved childhood movies.
- I've sat with Ed O'Neill (Married with Children) and a few friends an entire night ~ drinking beers and talking about favorite authors, Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
- I've had drinks and hung out with David Spade, Benicio del Toro, Michael Madsen and his beautiful wife, I can't remember her name.
- I've cooked dinner for and eaten with Robin Wright (The Princess Bride). Later, I met Cary Elwes several times, work related.
- I worked for Mark Burnett (Survivor, Apprentice).
- I've met Shannon Doherty, Martin Lawrence, Neve Campbell, Michael Bay, all the Baldwin brothers (very charming), Gary Busey.
- I literally bumped into Axl Rose (Guns n Roses).
- At Toys 'r' Us, Ben Stein stood behind me in line, looking on at my crying, screaming baby (Anne) and said in his deadpan voice, "she's cute."
- One night at a club, an invitation came from the VIP room... when I entered the room I was introduced to Sean Penn, Chris Penn, Harry Dean Stanton (whom I loved), and others. Chris and I became very close friends though he passed away recently. I miss him still.
There's been a ton of people I've seen out and about, but didn't meet. My standard operating procedure when I see a celebrity is to look away quickly, then, all excited, whisper to whoever I'm with, "OMG! That's ___ over there!" Backstage at a Sting concert, I saw Gwyneth Paltrow (without makeup), and of course, Sting himself, but I didn't get to meet them. I just remembered I went backstage and met John Oates, of Hall and Oates. Met him and his pretty wife, Amy, and their adorable son ~ they were super nice. I saw Brook Burke shopping for hats at Fred Segal (she is sooo skinny in person). Saw Shaquille O'Neill in Las Vegas. I was hanging with my friends in the same room as Leonardo di Caprio at a club. Was on the same flight as Jason Alexander. And then I met Nick Sinibaldi. Have you heard of him? I married that guy ~ brightest star in my sky. ;)
Well if you're still reading this, thanks for coming down memory lane with me. Have you got any fun celebrity encounters to share? Gimme the dish! Here are a few lovely "stars" I found on pinterest to inspire...