Stars! They’re Just Like Us! [NOT 23/5/23]

Remind me to tell you the story of when a friend of mine was ahead of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis at the women's room at Lincoln Center

I have no idea who any of these people are...

You know, so I do these Sunday Celebrity Matinee FYCE posts, which I hope you all enjoy. If not, don’t read them, because you get what you pay for, which in my case is nothing. In fact, I’m still waiting for George Soros to cough up because I eventually ended up voting for Hillary in 2016.

Anyway, I pick my subjects somewhat at random. Attentive readers will know that sometimes a celeb’s birthday will fall on one of my Sundays, and I will wish them the very best and pass along a recipe that they, or their publicist, has shared in the past. But recently I started wondering, like fellow New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City,” if any of you had any celebrity run-ins you’d care to share.

I’ve had tons, but here’s just one example. Better Half and I were in the business class section of an American Airlines flight from New York to LA. That is PRIME celeb-spotting territory. It’s like going to a watering hole in Africa and looking for hippos. A very reclusive Joan Rivers was with us. She spent the flight reading what looked like a script, or scripts. There were only 16 seats on that flight’s business class section, 4 rows, 2X2 with an aisle in the middle, and we all knew to keep our distance, and the seat next to hers was empty.

When we landed, we got up, and Better Half gushed something like, “Ms. Rivers, I just wanted to tell you I’m a huge fan.” She replied, “Well, that makes one of you.” Then BH ran down the gangplank but that left Joan Rivers in front of me struggling with her wheelie suitcase. She turned to me and said, “Well, I guess we’re in LA.” And I said, awkwardly, “Um, yes, we are. Do you need help with that suitcase?”

So Joan Rivers and I, with me wheeling her carry-on, walked together to the baggage claim area, which at LAX is not small, where I was practically assaulted by whoever was her driver/handler, who took it from me. I skedaddled and joined BH to await our own luggage. Travel tip: the Business Class luggage normally gets unloaded first, but not always. On that flight it was.

My question/plea is this: If you have had a celebrity run-in, please share, and it will guide me maybe to future Celebrity Sunday Matinees.



  1. I have a bunch, but let me give one. I worked in a bookstore right out of college and Pat “Great Santini/Prince of Tides” Conroy came in after doing an interview at the radio station across the street. He was a real pro at exuding Southern grace and manners, just what you might expect from a guy who sold millions of those kinds of books. Can’t complain about that.

    • See, he might be a good subject. I wonder if he has any good Low Country recipes. I bet he does. My book club picked one of his books and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

      • I never read The Water is Wide but I did see Conrack and remember liking it a lot. It’s too bad Jon Voight became such a nut.

      • Also I shook James Brown’s hand once at a Hot Dog Association of America event, not long after he got out of prison.

        There might be an angle there for you.

        • That sentence is pure poetry.

        • Did he feel good after eating a hot dog?

          • He seemed checked out. But in those circumstances, I could dig it.

  2. Martin Landau was the best celebrity I ever met on the SF fan circuit. Friendly guy who  enjoyed talking about his favorite moments.

    The less spoken about William Shatner and Bruce Boxleiter the better…

    Non SF celeb… Monika Deol of Much Music fame. I bumped into her at the Vancouver Bay store and ended up talking with her about weddings as we were waiting for our packages. My friend was dumbfounded I didn’t recognize her until someone went over to her and asked for her autograph.

  3. Oh, two for me.

    Harrison Ford while he was filming Witness, touring a store where I worked.

    And Barack Obama. I was an early local organizer, helped with the initial database and hosted out-of-town door knockers. So we had great seats when he spoke locally. Keitel dragged me through the crowd (that mosh pit skill came in handy). Anyway, I was standing on a chair in order to see, and the secret service wasn’t pleased…made me get down, but moved me up so I could shake his hand. I have pictures!

    • My wife and my sister both met Obama for a second on separate occasions and both said he had that kind of “it” that only some politicians can manage.

    • I have shaken hands with two Presidents: Ronald Reagan (!) and Bill Clinton, while he was President. This was in San Francisco, not New York. I was walking down California Street and his motorcade got stuck at a traffic light. This was probably a mistake on someone’s part, but he saw that we pedestrians had all stopped to gawk at this motorcade, so he took the opportunity to jump out and start pressing the flesh. I’m sure his Secret Service detail was thrilled.

  4. My sister used to drag me to Waikiki beach all the time as a kid where she would play volleyball with Wilt Chamberlain.  She also introduced me to Richard Dawson, Jim Neighbors & Brian Keith who also lived around there part of the year.  I sat next to George Lucas once on an airplane but was too afraid to talk to him.  Sat next to Phyllis Davis from the show Vegas but didn’t know who she was, my dad sure did!  I made eye contact w/ the Beaver’s mom at an airport as a kid & she just gave me a knowing smile.  But my greatest moment was as an infant I pee’d on Jane Russell when she held me so my mother could have a break.

  5. Halle Berry and James Marsden on separate occasions at YUL. They were filming X-Men in Montreal. Both are smaller than I expected. Halle Berry is the definition of petite! Her body guard was huge in comparison and intimidating looking. John Malkovich in the streets of Old Montreal (he was filming RED and staying at the St- James). Jack White, of The White Stripes, on busy St-Catherine Street near HMV no less. I saw him in concert later that evening.

    I approached none of them because we Montrealers DGAF are classy that way. Only James Marsden was flagged down for a selfie while buying Starbucks at the airport… presumably by an American (see previous statement).

  6. i havent had any….that im aware of

    but i barely recognize people ive known for years when im out and about…even if you are waving at me i’ll probably do a look behind to see who you are waving at before the penny drops oft as not

    sooo…odds are ive seent a few and never noticed

    cant navigate the streets and notice people at the same time me…

  7. I once was given the task of picking up William Burroughs at O’Hare when he was in Chicago for a reading.  It was a very interesting interaction and he did ask me to assist him in committing a felony.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

    Then a few years later, I had a really nice conversation with three of the members of The Cramps.  It was at Wax Trax records on Lincoln Avenue the morning after one of their shows.  It was Lux Interior, Poison Ivy and drummer Nick Knox.  They were extremely decent people.  We hung out in front of the Biograph Theater and drank beer and smoked cigarettes.  They knew about records, that’s for sure.  It was funny seeing them in broad daylight.

  8. Cousin Matty, you’ve sent me down a rabbithole, looking up my old Summer-Stock actors!😆😂🤣💖

    I’ve told y’all before, about the time Stephen King showed up at the tiny little bowling-alley/theater/restaurant where I used to work the box office, a couple decades ago…

    Back then-really, a couple years before then–those two summers i spent doing summer-stock out in Utah, it turns out I worked with quite a few folks who plenty of you have seen or heard.

    Ty Burrell is probably one of the biggest that I worked with–he was just a grad student at Penn State, back then.

    Matt Bomer was also out there back then–but he was over in the other theater more, so I didn’t interact with him much, if at all…

    Rick Wasserman was pretty much universally beloved–he’s gone on to be a pretty impressive voice actor, and if you’ve caught any of numerous commercials & movie trailers, video games, or watched AMC, you’ve definitely heard his voice😉

    Annie Wersching was out there back then, too…

    Ngl, she was a complete PITA for many of the folks working on the tech side of things back then–although from what the folks who knew her in her more grown-up years had to say about her, after her death last winter, she became a total dear, and was well-liked by the folks who knew her during the last couple decades.

    She also ended up becoming a really great actress, and I feel terrible for her husband & boys, at having lost her so young.💔

    It was a bit wild to look back through the old cast lists in those programs, when I looked at them a few years back–so many of the folks who were just grad students–or even undergrads–had gone on to some pretty neat stuff.

    So many of our musicians & actors from back then are now instrument builders, instructors, performers, & basically experts in their fields😉


    • Summer-stock is a great breeding ground for up-and-comers and allows for choice viewing of all kinds of actors you’ve heard of but have aged out of their prime years. I have friends who have done summer stock but damned if I can remember who they’ve worked with over the years. I know (for some reason) that Sally Struthers is a regular at the Ogunquit Playhouse up in Maine. The Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey is another good one.

  9. We were in NYC for the marathon maybe 10 years ago. Leaving a restaurant after having breakfast, the guy holding the door for our group as we exited turned out to be Jake Gyllenhaal. I thought he looked kind of familiar, but every woman in our group knew immediately who he was.

  10. I used to go to sci-fi conventions, so you couldn’t swing a light saber without hitting a B-list to G-list celeb. In the good old days they’d just wander around, but as the cons got bigger, they would employ handlers, or stick behind their signing tables. Some of them definitely have better personalities than others.


    David Carradine: I didn’t care about this person but my friend at home LOOOOVED him. I tried to get an autograph when he was out and about (I guess, when he was “off”) and his pit bull told me to go away. He didn’t even look in my direction.

    David Faustino (Bud Bundy): I invited him to a party that my costuming group was throwing, and he flirted with me a little and yes, did come to the party.

    Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon): I just got a picture with him (at the same party actually). He’s very nice and doesn’t mind people coming up.

    James Marsters (Spike): My friend and I were stepping into an elevator with just James and his handler. I had no idea who he was but my friend was GEEKING. The handler stopped anyone else from getting on at every other floor, so just the four of us rode down like 40 floors in silence.

    Mankind: told me he liked my t-shirt

    I probably have more but it has been a while since I’ve been to a con.

Leave a Reply