On Friday, hubby and I were at the Do-It Center, a home-improvement chain here in southern California. We were getting ready to leave when he came up and whispered in my ear, "You know that actor with the handle bar mustache - the one in all those westerns?" I thought for a minute and said, "You mean, Wilford Brimley?" and hubby says, "Yeah! I think I just saw him!"
So I wandered past the isle of the "sighting" and there stood a very tall, skinny man. Ok, that let out Wilford Brimley (celebrity names are not hubby's forte!) But the fellow I was seeing bore a striking resemblance to another actor we both enjoy. Except this man had on glasses and was very disheveled, with gray hair standing up all over his head. He was wearing a baggy t-shirt, shorts and sandals. I thought that if I could just hear him speak, I'd know for sure if he was who I thought he was.
As the man was leaving, another gentleman came up and spoke with him, and then I knew for sure...
It was Sam Elliot. There is no mistaking that "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" voice of his (cue the Aaron Copland soundtrack!) He was buying home improvement stuff at our local store. Shh... don't tell hubby, but I've always had a secret crush on Mr. Elliot!
I must admit to still being slightly star-struck. We didn't see too many celebrities in Utah, where I grew up -- although I did see and speak to Robert Redford at Sundance, back in the late 1970's. Rather, he spoke to my friend Jeanne and I: we were awestruck and just stood there with our mouths hanging open! He was shorter than we'd realized, and so incredibly handsome.
But here in southern California, celebrity sightings happen much more frequently. My girls have told stories of seeing Will Smith playing basketball with his buddies at a neighborhood park. Gosh, I guess they're real people, just like us!
I literally ran into Heather Locklear a few years ago. We were both getting our hair done at the same salon, and I bumped into to her. We both said, "Excuse me," and she went on to sit in her stylists' chair. My first impression of her is that she's very tiny, and extremely pretty - even without makeup. I couldn't help stealing glances at her as I got my hair done. That must be so disconcerting if one is a celebrity, don't you think? I can't imagine living life in a fishbowl like that.
Another friend and I were leaving a restaurant one night in Hollywood, headed to a production at the Pantages Theatre. As we were coming out, Quentin Tarantino was coming in.
I excitedly commented on this to my friend and she said, "Who's Quentin Tarantino??" I guess 'celebrity' is a relative term, eh? This same friend and I saw Kristin Chenoweth in concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall a few years ago (she is an incredible performer, by the way.) There were all kinds of celebrities in the audience that night, coming to see her show. It was fun sitting in the cheap seats, pointing down on the floor and going, "Oh looks, there' so-and-so. And there's whatshername."
Lastly, I have to admit to having been inside Larry Hagman's home. No, really. He and his wife Maj love the arts and support local arts organizations. I was working for a museum in Ventura at the time, and somebody who knew somebody who knew Maj Hagman arranged for our museum to hold a fundraiser at the Hagman's hilltop home in Ojai. Hubby came with me and we both had the opportunity to meet old JR Ewing, who spent a good deal of time in his den, watching whatever sporting event was on TV at the time. In-between, he'd come out and pour drinks for the attendees and talk about the art that was for sale... he seemed like a very nice man.
C'mon - dish!
Until next time...