Sunday, October 5, 2008

Celebrity Sighting

Fame is fickle and I know it. It has its compensations,
but it also has its drawbacks
and I've experienced them both.
~ Marilyn Monroe

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.

Seeing a celebrity in a normal, everyday setting is rather a surreal experience - like fantasy come to life. How about you? Have you ever run into someone famous? What was the experience like?

C'mon - dish!

Until next time...


Lora said...

My neice lives in Los Angeles and regulary sights I live vicariously through her...

I did see Robin Willimas once while I was in NYC. And of course there's my brief stint on Oprah. Other than that - my life is pretty much boring. I do have a good friend who is a pro-golfer (once won the PGA) if that counts.... probably not, huh?

nmburleson said...

OMG Samuel Elliot??? I've been in love with him FOREVER!!! Most times when I mention his name people don't know who I'm talking about. LOVE HIM!

My encounters include an old soap star, don't remember her name but she played Aunt Phoebe on AMC. When I was about 8 or so I met Scatman Crothers. He played Louie the garbage man on Chico and the man back in the 70's. He was also the voice of Hong Kong Phuey a cartoon also from the 70's!

OK, how old am I? Sheesh! :)

Needled Mom said...

We've had dinner twice at the same restaurant and both times we had Tom Sel*leck at the next table. What a hunk! I did impress my husband when I told him he definitely looked younger than Tom. (True statement too.) It turns out he is younger than Tom. Both look great!!!!

Kathy said...

Celebrity sighting in Indianapolis is pretty much limited to the race track, but the number of drivers and Hollywood types who come during May and July is pretty awesome.

wonderwoman said...

i think samuel elliot has the most sexy voice!
last year i booked my daughter theatre tickets for her 18th to see Orlando Bloomn in a play! she was over the moon and i saw him after when he was signing autographs!

jillytacy said...

I live in a rural area in the Northeast so celebrity sightings are very unusual. But I did just see Paul Bettany when I was visiting my grandmother in the hospital a few weeks ago. He was coming down the stairs talking to a few other people and I thought I know that guy. Then he spoke and I realized he had an english accent and was one of the actors from the Da Vinci Code. My sister was standing there too but hadn't seen the movie and didn't recognize him. I was too surprised to say anything to him but I'm sure it was him. I'm good with faces and recognizing voices. We just watched the movie Ironman over the weekend and I recognized one of the voices. It was the of voice the computer so there wasn't an actor's face to go with the voice but I knew it was Paul Bettany. Sure enough when the credits rolled I checked and it was him.
I also saw Rick Moranis from the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids in the Montreal Airport once about 10 years ago. Those are my only celebrity sightings.

grammy said...

How fun to see Sam. I like him. Well Tom too. Well Redford too! lol I did see some people (actors, but people) when I was in Malibu with my friend and her daughters. We saw people at the store and coffee shops. I am with your husband. I never know names but the rest filled me in. When I was in my early 20s(1973) I worked at a little tiny roadside icecream place on the way up to Estes Park. I was alone and had a man pull up in a fancy car. I am sure it was Wayne Newton. My son shook hands with president Clinton at the Brown Palace in Denver. He saw lots of famous people during the DNC.

Kathy said...

Sam Elliot - I've always had a huge "thing" for Sam Elliot and my husband knows it. If Sams comes on TV and I start to open my mouth my hubby always says - "here it comes, the drool". And Sam's voice, I love to hear him talk! Insert picture of star struck, dreamy eyed, teenager, and that is me over Sam Elliot.

Wendy said...

Not celeb sightings come to mind...

but just recently I had the Nester and Joelle Reeder (the author of the Blogging with Moxie book I talked about that day) visit my blog and leave comments!

Woo-hoo! :-)

Wendy said...

Ooops....typo! I meant "no" celebrity sightings...

Scale Junkie said...

We get the Scientology crowd in Clearwater and when I lived there I had several sighting and my bumper almost had a VERY close encounter with Travolta, lucky for him I was in a back alley and driving slowly, he literally ran right in front of my car. We also have the Hulk Hogan family in Clearwater and for a while I always seemed to run into Hulk at the GNC.

I had many celebrity sightings when living in the UK, especially when in London.

Honestly, I'm not very star struck and there are very few celebrities I'd go out of my way to say hello to.

ptg said...

Wow...I've never seen a celebrity in person or "in the flesh" as it were OTHER than seeing them in concert or other paid venue.

I'm so jealous. :o)

Deborah said...

SAM ELLIOT!!! OMG!!! Sure glad I wasn't there because I'd probably have fainted on the spot. He is my all time favorite heart throb!!!

My late hubby had a voice like his. He would discourage me from watching any movies with Sam Elliot in them unless he was in the mood know what.

debbyweighsin said...

Hi Pattie, I'm still stuck on the Sam Elliot sighting....yumm. Pretty funny, your husband thinking it was Wilford Brimley. I didn't know so many other women had the same reaction to Sam Elliot...

lahodges said...

Well, since we live very close to each other I have to admit I see celebrities in my Gelson's here regularly. Let's see, off the top of my head I have seen:

Kelsey Grammar
Denise Richards
Charlie Sheen
Muriel Hemmingway
Charles Martin Smith
Heather Locklear
Maureen McCormick
Will Smith
Jada Smith
Frankie Avalon

I guess everyone has to shop for groceries, huh?

RunningNan said...

Nothing much in Cleveland. Although, the Cleveland Clinic gets it's share of celebrities. I think the last I heard was courtney and david arquette were there last year with someone in his family I believe.

Somewhere down the family line, I'm cousins with Nick Nolte. Yes, it's true.. ANd sometimes when I wake up, I look like the famous mug shot!

Manuela said...

I'd probably gush especially if it was someone I really liked (George Clooney or Clive Owen!)

I'm back at school and will be pretty crazy with stuff but want to try to post later on this week when my life settles down a bit.

Sherre said...

We have Sam Elliott in common! He's from Sacramento and years ago I worked for a Ford dealer where he would get his Bronco serviced. When Halle Berry was married to David Justice (Atlanta Braves outfielder), she and I sat in the same row at a Braves/Giants game in SF. She was rude and very much a prima donna. I was not impressed.

PEA said...

Omigosh, be still my heart...SAM ELLIOT!!! He has got to be my very favourite actor...swoooonnnnn! That voice of his...those looks...oh boy! lol

I need to move to California! I've been collecting celebrity autographed photos for many years and have over 6,000 already:-) To be able to see some of them in person would be a dream come true!!

How exciting that you actually were in Larry Hagman's home!! WOW!

The only celebrity meeting experience that I've had is going to see Sonny & Cher in concert in Toronto in 1977 and Ricky Skaggs in concert back in the 1980's...never met them face to face though as the line for autographs was a mile long.

Loved this post:-) xoxo

JC said...

Nope!! Never but I love hearing your stories.

Tracey said...

Sam Elliot is a great movie guy, Years back he played alone singer Cher , that was a long time ago now, phew time fly`s

Karen said...

It sounds like Sam was looking pretty scrappy when you saw him but I would have to admit that if I heard him talk I would MELT!!!! There's no mistaking his deep velvet voice!

Gene Black said...

Let me see. As far as "in the wild" sightings -Zero!

But, I have had my arm around Reba McEntire - yes she is really nice - so is her husband Narvel. I have spoken to Dolly Parton once and she spoke back - She was riding a carousel horse. I yelled "Hey Dolly, I have never seen a fox riding a horse before." She laughed that delightful laugh she has and said "I never thought of it that way" (yeah, it made my weekend!)
I did see her brother in law Richard Dennison, out jogging in Pigeon Forge that same weekend. As he went by, I said "Hi Richard" ha ha, he said "Hi" but looked puzzled. (I knew his face from concert videos.)

My other celeb experience happened MANY years ago. I was working at the airport in Talladega, Alabama during the race. I got the job of driving Bobby Allison to pit row. He was nice. During the ride over the told me to "cut that guy off" So I did. Can I say I had a driving lesson from Bobby Allison?

Everyone of them was just a normal person. And, lucky me, they were all nice.

Debi said...

I love Sam Elliott, and my DH knows it! HE is staring in a new movie, but the name escapes me now.