A list of the famous (or infamous) people I have met ... along with my thoughts on the experience!
Sally Kirkland, BEST Actress Oscar Nominee, Golden Globe winner, Independent Spirit Award winner and veteran of over 200 films. Feisty, hard-working, famously liberal, with the trademark blonde hair, actress Sally Kirkland has certainly made an indelible mark on Hollywood history. Born in New York City...
“ One of the sweetest ladies I have ever met; saw her outside the Coronet Theatre in West Hollywood, she was in a play and asked for my help carrying stuff in. Warm, friendly, and treated me practically like an old friend. Loved her - still do ” - redwriteandblue
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney
, a former anchorman and game show host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney
). He has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Clooney spent most of this youth in Ohio and Kentucky...
“ Doing extra work on "ER" as a patient, I watched him shooting hoops outside with the tech crew, Clooney dressed in tennis whites. After, when they called him to the set, he went past me and - remember, I was dressed as a patient - I just stuck out my hand and said "Thank you, doctor - thank you very much!" and he smiled, shook my hand, and was into the studio. Very nice man, and the smile seemed genuine. Great memory, and would love to just shake the man's hand again. ” - redwriteandblue
Richard Dreyfuss is an American leading man, who has played his fair share of irritating pests and brash, ambitious hustlers. He was born Richard Stephen Dreyfus in Brooklyn, New York, to Geraldine (Robbins), an activist, and Norman Dreyfus, a restaurateur and attorney. His paternal grandparents were Austro-Hungarian Jewish immigrants, and his mother's family was Russian Jewish...
“ Did NOT look incredibly happy to be spotted at Borders books near the Beverly Center (this was years back, and the store was still there), but still nodded and smiled a bit, shook my hand and said thanks when I told him I was a fan. ” - redwriteandblue
A Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee, Dylan McDermott has proved his talent in film, television and theater. He was born Mark Anthony McDermott in Waterbury, Connecticut, to Diane (Marino) and Richard McDermott. Diane was 15 and Richard was 17 when Dylan was born. Richard earned money by hustling pool...
“ Doing extra work on an early episode of "The Practice" back in 1996, I took the risk and chatted for a few minutes with Dylan McDermott ... though he was distracted the entire time with a game (can't remember if it was baseball or basketball) on the TV, in between takes. A running joke among the crew was, like, "good luck getting Dylan away from the television" so it must have been a hell of a game - but he was cool with me, typically distant as celebs need to be, but not at all unfriendly. Have actually met him twice, pleasant guy. ” - redwriteandblue
Werner Klemperer, everyone's favorite TV German Air Force colonel, was best known for his role as the bumbling Col. Wilhelm Klink on the comedy series Hogan's Heroes
. Although he'll forever be known as the blustering but inept German commandant of Stalag 13, Klemperer was in fact a talented dramatic actor...
“ SWEET, generous, kindhearted and charming man - one of my personal favorites, and a true gem of a person. At a TV memorabilia show in Chicago, he was there signing autographs and radiated such terrific, warm energy you couldn't help chatting with him. God really got a good angel in his care when this sweet man passed. ” - redwriteandblue
Lana Turner had an acting ability that belied the "Sweater Girl" image MGM thrust upon her, and even many of her directors admitted that they knew she was capable of greatness (check out The Postman Always Rings Twice
). Unfortunately, her private life sometimes overshadowed her professional accomplishments. Lana Turner was born Julia Jean Mildred Francis Turner in Wallace...
“ At a book-signing (her autobiography) in Chicago years back, Ms. Turner was close to a half-hour late (befitting of a Hollywood legend), and the place was PACKED - but you never felt rushed through, not with one of Hollywood's royalty; she came from the golden era when actors actually appreciate and knew the importance of their fans, and when in front of her you never felt rushed and she gave you her full attention. I shook her hand, it felt so tiny and fragile. One of my fondest "celeb-memories". ” - redwriteandblue
Jeffrey Lynn Goldblum was born October 22, 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of four children of Shirley (Temeles), a radio broadcaster who also ran an appliances firm, and Harold L. Goldblum, a doctor. His father was of Russian Jewish descent and his mother was of Austrian Jewish ancestry. Goldblum began his career on the New York stage after moving to the city at age seventeen...
“ At a stage door in NYC, only really long enough to get his autograph but the man had such insane, frenetic energy - bouncing around the small crowd outside the stage door more like a circus clown than an actor. Crazy, loony, and a lot of fun. Have loved this guy since I was a little kid and watched "Tenspeed and Brownshoe" on TV. ” - redwriteandblue
Taye Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was raised in Rochester, New York. He is the son of Marcia (Berry), a teacher and actress, and Andre Young, a visual artist. When he was a child, his mother married Jeffries Diggs, whose surname Taye took. He received a BFA degree in musical theater from Syracuse University...
“ I had heard so, SO many negative things about this guy, and how he treats fans ... and it was no exaggeration. Waited over an hour at the stage door of the Second Stage Theatre in NYC, only to have him walk past me, headphones as big as hubcaps on his ears, and dismiss me with a royal wave when I asked for his autograph and held out a photo to sign. Very much like royalty dismisses a peasant - and though I was a stalwart fan before the experience, I've never quite cared for watching his work since. ” - redwriteandblue
Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Marie Rose (Hebert), a stylist and hairdresser, and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, a construction painter. His father's ancestry is Italian, and his mother is of half French-Canadian and half Italian descent. Mark moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia...
“ Another NYC stage door experience, this time the reverse of Mr. Diggs at #8; Mark Ruffalo is one of the kindest, nicest, most humble actors I have ever met - and a guy who seems to not only appreciate but rely on his fans for support. Can't say one bad thing about this bighearted, extremely talented actor, except before I met him I was a fan of the actor - after, a fan of the man. ” - redwriteandblue
Born in New York City and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Catherine Mary Hicks was a cheerleader at Gerard Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated in 1969. Hicks attended Saint Mary's College-Notre Dame University and studied English literature. Moving east from South Bend, Indiana, she began her acting career at Cornell University...
“ Waited at the stage door, at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, for the "Seventh Heaven" mom just so I could get her autograph for one of my dearest friends, Karen. She arrived plenty early enough to stop and sign, but instead pretty much hid her face and skirted past me at a run, saying she was late and not even listening to what I was saying. No (attempted) good deed goes unpunished! ” - redwriteandblue
Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson
, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson
(née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together...
“ One of the biggest shocks of my life, running into him at the Samuel French bookstore in Hollywood! Coming from NW Indiana originally, he and the Jackson 5 were such a huge part of my growing up, I had to tell him so! Bypassed his security guard and approached him, saying I was a fan; he asked if I worked there and I said no, told him about growing up with his music. He shook my hand, signed an autograph, and was so gracious and soft-spoken and humble, it was actually touching. Say what you want about him and the rumors, I will never, ever forget the kindness he showed me in person. ” - redwriteandblue
Multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Martin Sheen is one of America's most celebrated, colorful, and accomplished actors. Moving flawlessly between artistic mediums, Sheen's acting range is breathtaking. Martin Sheen was born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estevez in Dayton, Ohio, to Mary-Ann (Phelan)...
“ Another L.A. stage door experience, the outspoken and hugely talented actor was just like any other guy when you meet him, shaking hands and signing autographs and posing for photos - usually cutting up and joking around the entire time. VERY nice man, seems like he's make a great buddy to share some brewskies with. Great experience. ” - redwriteandblue
Edward Walter Furlong was born in Glendale, California. His mother, Eleanor (Tafoya), is from a Mexican family, and worked at a youth center. Furlong had no acting ambitions until he was approached by casting agent Mali Finn
, who was looking for a young actor to play the role of John Connor in what turned out to be one of the the biggest box-office hits of the 1990s...
“ Met him at a memorabilia show in New Jersey, he seemed kind of spacey and unfocused, eyes half-open the entire time I was there, but overall a friendly guy and he seemed cool with meeting/signing autographs for fans. ” - redwriteandblue
Bradley Charles Cooper was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother, Gloria (Campano), is of Italian descent, and worked for a local NBC station. His father, Charles John "Charlie" Cooper, who was of Irish descent, was a stockbroker. He has a sister, Holly. Immediately after Bradley graduated from the Honors English program at Georgetown University in 1997...
“ Not to sound gayer than a picnic basket, but NOT ONE photo of this man does him justice - he is that phenomenally good-looking in person, so much so it's almost dizzying. Happily, he was also a very nice guy when I met him and shook his hand, all smiles and with none of that closed-off, invisible walls many celebs put between them and their fans. Not Bradley - he was friendly and genuine, and I hope to meet him again one day to tell him so. ” - redwriteandblue
America Georgine Ferrera (born April 18, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the American Broadcasting Company's comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty (2006-10). Her acting garnered critical acclaim, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy...
“ Over a year before "Ugly Betty" made her a star, I met her - briefly - at a stage door in NYC. Nothing good or bad, particularly, she just gave the impression that she just wanted to sign autographs and move on. ” - redwriteandblue
Ian Somerhalder was born and raised in the small southern town of Covington, Louisiana. His mother, Edna (née Israel), is a massage therapist, and his father, Robert Somerhalder, is a building contractor. He has Cajun (French), English, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Boating, swimming, fishing and training horses filled much of his recreational time growing up...
“ Love, love, LOVE this man; you meet him, and he makes you almost feel like you've been his buddy for years. Another NYC stage door meeting, we chatted while he smoked, then he had to run to his car for something, before coming back and doing the autograph/take a photo thing. Very cool guy, even in a hurry he took the time to stop for a fan. ” - redwriteandblue
He breathed life into Batman. Adam West was born Billy (William) West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington, to parents Otto West Anderson and his wife Audrey. At age 10 Adam had a cache of comic books, and "Batman" made a big impression on him--the comic hero was part bat-man (a la Count Dracula) and part world's greatest detective (a la Charlie Chan and Sherlock Holmes)...
“ Have met him a couple of times, at various TV memorabilia shows, which was especially exciting as I was a "Batman" ADDICT as a kid! Okay experiences, he was fan-friendly but somewhat guarded; there, I think, to collect his fees and sign autographs, and not a lot more - though not, by any means, unfriendly at all! ” - redwriteandblue
“ He was still a teen, maybe around the middle of the HP series, when I met him at a memorabilia show in NYC. Very down-to-earth and friendly, much like Neville but not so geeky. Hope his career as an adult blooms, he deserves it! ” - redwriteandblue
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock
(née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of Irish, English, French, and German descent. Sandra grew up on the road with her parents and younger sister...
“ Another 'celebrity' I was warned about - told over and over again she was NOT nice to fans - and brother did I get that proved. Ran into at the Coronet in West Hollywood maybe around 1996-1997, she was hurrying into the play with a much-younger blond guy, and when asked for an autograph on a simple piece of paper she actually asked "Are you going to sell it?!" in a nasty, accusatory tone. Ill-tempered, rude, and more unpleasant than a rabid pitbull, I've not watched any of her films in the approximately 15 years since meeting her. Horrible experience, etched into my brain for life. ” - redwriteandblue
“ Crashed a TV-pilot set in Houston to meet one of my favorite actors at the time - and he remains a favorite, as he was so freaking friendly and took the time to step out of his dressing room to meet a fan. One of my few truly nice memories of living in Texas! ” - redwriteandblue
“ Met her back when she had her real face, years ago at a book-signing in Chicago. She is EXACTLY, in real-life, as she is on-stage; funny, outrageous, and speaks her mind without inhibition or censorship! She keeps it real, I loved her then and love her now. Always! ” - redwriteandblue
Betty White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Christine Tess (Cachikis), a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a lighting company executive. She is of Danish, Greek, English, and Welsh descent. Although best known as the devious Sue Ann Nivens on the classic sitcom Mary Tyler Moore
and the ditzy Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls
“ Just met her a couple years ago ... and it was meeting royalty. I was humbled and in awe, with cotton-mouth and everything. SUCH a sweet lady, tried to sign for all her fans even as they were rushing her into the Beverly Hilton for an event. Only had a few moments with her, but it was humbling. Long live Betty! ” - redwriteandblue
Frank John Gorshin Jr. was born on April 5, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father, Frank John Sr., was a railroad worker and his mother, Frances, was a seamstress. While in high school, Frank worked as an usher at the Sheridan Square Theatre and began doing impressions of some of his screen idols: Al Jolson
“ Another favorite television actor from my childhood - though if you can, see 'Bells are Ringing' as well, he's brilliant! Was just like meeting a toned-down version of The Riddler; he was much older when I met him, but still so full of life and energy and laughter. Truly a sad day when he passed ... ” - redwriteandblue
Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner
(née Lebost) and Emmy-Winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner
. Robert as a child often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show which Carl Reiner created and also starred in...
“ Just ran into him, briefly, outside Spago's - so while quick, he was very kind and thanked me for being a fan, shaking my hand. He radiates a genuine pleasantness, though underneath has a strength and intelligence that comes from being one of the best directors of the last three decades. Great accidental meeting! ” - redwriteandblue
Carl Reiner is a legend of American comedy, having achieved great success as a comic actor, a director, producer and recording artist. He has won nine Emmy Awards, three as an actor, three as a writer and two as a producer. He also won a Grammy Award for his "2,000 Year Old Man" album, based on his comedy routine with Mel Brooks
“ Waited at an event at the Beverly Center for Rob's dad to show - and, thankfully, he finally did! Like his son, he waved and signed autographs and quickly hurried into the event - doing his 'duty' as an actor, but still smiling for and greeting his fans all the same. A class act. ” - redwriteandblue
“ A genuine clown, a true goofball - and a true pleasure to meet, when I saw him at an event at the Biltmore in downtown L.A. years ago. Played up his Long Duck Dong celebrity for three very beautiful young ladies, really one of those 'do anything for a laugh' guys who seems like a sweet man at heart. ” - redwriteandblue
Paul Stephen Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey. His parents, Michael and Gloria, both from Jewish families, were born in the U.K. He has one sister, Julie, who is three years younger than he is. Paul traveled with his family during his early years, because of his father's airline job at TWA. His family eventually settled in Overland Park...
“ Another stage door meeting in NYC, he stepped out and immediately started talking and joking around with fans, wearing shorts and flip-flops and looking so relaxed and pleased to see everyone there. Signed autographs and took photos and appeared so happy to do it, you couldn't help but love the guy. HUGELY underrated as an actor, too! ” - redwriteandblue
Veteran character actress Linda Hunt was Born April 2, 1945 in Morristown, New Jersey to Raymond Davy Hunter and Elsie Doying Hunter. She attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago (now part of DePaul University). Her film debut was in Robert Altman
“ Very reserved and quiet woman, I had the chance to say hello on a TV set. She wasn't unfriendly but didn't encourage attention, either; I just expressed myself, being a fan, and she nodded and said thanks and I walked away. ” - redwriteandblue
Annette Bening was born on May 29, 1958 in Topeka, Kansas, the youngest of four children of Shirley (Ashley), a soloist and church singer, and Arnett Grant Bening, an insurance salesman. She has German and English ancestry. Her family moved to California when she was young, and she grew up there. She...
“ Was actually a bit intimidated when I saw her approaching outside the Geffen Theatre - somehow, she's just one of those ladies that seems like she'd be a bit aloof or imposing in appearance ... so was surprised when, though in a hurry, she stopped to chat for a few moments with a fan. ” - redwriteandblue
Paul Reubens was born Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952 in Peekskill, New York, to Judy (Rosen), a teacher, and Milton Rubenfeld, a car salesman who had flown for the air forces of the U.S., U.K., and Israel, becoming one of the latter country's pioneering pilots. Paul grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where his parents owned a lamp store...
“ Another memorabilia show, he was in full regalia as Pee-Wee, and totally in character, signing autographs for fans and posing for photos ... so can honestly say, I guess, that I met Pee-Wee instead of Paul Reubens, as he remained fully in character the entire time I was there. ” - redwriteandblue
Mark Richard Hamill was born in Oakland, California, to Virginia Suzanne (Johnson) and William Thomas Hamill, a captain in the United States Navy. He grew up in California, Virginia, New York and Japan. He majored in drama at Los Angeles City College and made his acting debut on The Bill Cosby Show
“ It was June 1987, my first trip alone to NYC and I wanted to see some plays. Hamill was starring with Robert Joy in 'The Nerd' and - being a HUGE 'Star Wars' fan - I had to hang out at the stage door after (the play was GREAT, and he was great in it!). There were only a few of us there, after the matinee, and he was VERY happy to see all of us; chatted with me, took a photo with his arm around my neck, and I was so freaking stupid and naive, enthralled with him as I was (I mean, this was LUKE SKYWALKER!), I even asked if I could buy him lunch (I know - DUMB)! He was so kind, though - said he would, but it was Father's Day and he had to get home. Super-dumb, on my part, but he was such a great guy I've NEVER forgotten that day. ” - redwriteandblue
Although primarily known for playing Hikaru Sulu in the television series Star Trek
and the first six features, George Takei has had a varied career acting in television, feature films, live theater and radio. He also is a successful writer and community activist. George Takei was born Hosato Takei on April 20...
“ You gotta love a man who loves his mom so much; have met Takei twice, actually, he's the consummate gentleman, and the first time was at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A., where he was attending an East West Players banquet, years ago, with his wife and mother ... whom he escorted in and out with tender loving care, as if she were a piece of crystal he was afraid to break. He's been a favorite of mine, even beyond being an actor, ever since. ” - redwriteandblue
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis (Lowe), from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University...
“ Outside a theater in NYC, and just long enough to get an autograph - the crowd was outrageous and it was more planned-out than D-Day; you marched up, got your Playbill signed, he nodded, and that was that. Seemed like a nice guy, but hell - blink once, and you missed the whole thing! ” - redwriteandblue
Oprah Winfrey was born Orpah Gail Winfrey in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to Vernita Lee, a former maid, and Vernon Winfrey, a coal miner, barber, and city councilman. While Winfrey has been cited as the richest African American of the 20th century, she does not come from a rich, or even middle class, family...
“ Over the years, I'd had the chance to be in the audience of Oprah's talk show, in Chicago, three times. Each time, you could tell she was a bigger powerhouse in the industry more than the last; the first time, each audience member marched by her, as she sat on a stool and she shook hands with (and thanked) each and every person who came to the taping. The second time, she just waved as we were all herded out. Third time, they MADE SURE to get her off the stage and away from the area before even letting the first audience member out! Ahh, fame ... ” - redwriteandblue
Robert John Wagner, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Thelma Hazel Alvera (Boe), a telephone operator, and Robert John Wagner, Sr., a traveling salesman. His paternal grandparents were German and his maternal grandparents were Norwegian. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was seven. Always wanting to be an actor...
“ He was doing the play 'Love Letters' with Stephanie Powers in Chicago (she'll be on the list, in time, as well), they were GREAT and it was a pleasure to meet both of them at the stage door and tell them so. They were EXACTLY like Jonathan and Jennifer Hart in person; great-looking, obviously close, and totally at ease with both each other and fans - Wagner maybe just slightly more distant than Powers, but still cordial/friendly. ” - redwriteandblue
As enigmatic as he is talented, Kevin Spacey has always kept the details of his private life closely guarded. As he explained in a 1998 interview with the London Evening Standard, "the less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen. It allows an audience to come into a movie theatre and believe I am that person"...
“ Brief but memorable, Spacey was actually in the audience of a play I saw in West Hollywood, years ago. Saw him in the crowd of theatergoers afterward and approached him long enough to say hello and shake his hand (okay yeah, I also got his autograph - I mean, this was Spacey!) ... but it was, like, as soon as he realized he was being recognized he sort of disappeared into the crowd! ” - redwriteandblue
Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy, who owned a barbershop. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Raised in a tenement and acting in community theaters since age eight, Nimoy did not make his Hollywood debut until he was 20, with a bit part in Queen for a Day
and another as a ballplayer in the perennial Rhubarb
“ Another chance encounter, when Nimoy and his wife were exiting a theater after seeing the play. I was in awe of actually running into Spock, did ask for an autograph but really wanted a photo with him; he signed the autograph, but held up on hand like a traffic cop when asked about the photo, gently shaking his head. And of course, being Spock, I did the logical thing and backed off. ” - redwriteandblue
John Mark Galecki was born in Belgium where his dad was stationed while serving in the U.S. Air Force. When he was 3 years old, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he grew up along with his sister Allison (1980) and brother Nick (1982). His father then became a teacher for blind veterans in a VA hospital outside of Chicago. When Galecki was 16, his father died in an accident...
“ I knew he was short, but was still surprised when I met him. Literally rushing out of a theater in NYC, he stopped to say hello and was a very nice, mellow guy. It was a great surprise, and he gives off a very warm, friendly energy. ” - redwriteandblue
“ No other celebrity I've ever met has made me laugh so much, or been so outwardly friendly and inviting, as the late, great Mr. Miyagi. The photo I have of the two of us shows him with a goofy smile and giving a 'thumbs-up' for the camera, me standing sort of behind him and smiling with laughter. I treasure that photo, and this experience, running into him after an East West Players awards banquet in Los Angeles. ” - redwriteandblue
The youngest of five, David Arquette was born in Winchester, Virginia and is part of the illustrious Arquette family, whose work has spread over several generations. His parents, Lewis Arquette
, an actor, and Brenda Denaut
(née Nowak), an acting teacher and therapist, had 4 other children: Rosanna Arquette
“ The guy has such a big heart, you can just feel the vibe when you meet him. Ran into him at the Coronet Theatre - twice - and both times he ALWAYS takes the time to talk with fans, sign autographs, and take photos. While so many other actors of his generation seem to do it as part of their job, barely acknowledging their fans, Arquette will let you engage him in conversation and goes overboard to please everyone. ” - redwriteandblue