My Photo

December 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

« Some Enchanted Yom Kippur | Main | A Hundred Million Miracles »

September 28, 2007


That picture could be the cover of every Russian novel ever written! May I just say, my darling, that if LL had known a good thing when she saw one, she would have married him, just like I did... of course, maybe your recognizing me had more of a personal impact since you're the only one who ever has! Awfully glad you didn't leave me stranded like Sammi Davis, alone on La Brea. She could have been the third Mrs. Miller!

Danny, I understand your dilemma about how to treat a celebrity. It reminds me of an experience that John and I had at LAX many years ago. We had just arrived at our gate when we saw Dustin Hoffman. I went with my instincts and said nothing to him, even though we were close enough to say hello, or at least smile and nod. While Dustin stood outside the women's bathroom waiting for his traveling companion, a man walked by, did a double-take, and doubled back. "Mr. Hoffman," he said, "I loved you in that movie."

Like you, I've been around entertainment "folk" for most of my career. I find, as I've gotten older, that I'm less and less likely to approach anyone "famous" I happen upon and I never was one for interrupting meals and discussions they were having with associates. I used to work out at the same health club as Mr. [Fred] Rogers and Dr. Cyril Wecht (coroner to the stars) and never spoke to either one of them, though I ran into them several times a week for about ten years. Once a friend of mine tried to pay a small polite compliment to a locally known stage actress using an adjoining treadmill and the woman refused to acknowledge her at all . . . except for a "looks-could-kill" glare like you wouldn't believe. We would hate to see what she would have done to those not praising her!

Covering the arts, I've also seen all sorts of fan silliness from screaming tearful girls pulling at the clothing of Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz a few weeks back (but happy I was--sort of--that youngsters were so into his work!) to an elderly woman who grabbed Jack Klugman and repeatedly tried to kiss him on the mouth during a book signing two years ago. Some people just lack common sense and if I were famous these sorts of things would certainly scare me.

Here's a funny one: About two years ago I was headed to the ladies room in a posh Pittsburgh hotel after the Mary Cleere Haran cabaret concert. I spotted Ms. Haran and nodded but kept on walking. *She* followed me into the restroom, shook my hand vigorously, and said, "I saw you sitting in the front row. How did you enjoy my show?" Likewise, Lee Lessack, music producer and singer, tapped me on the arm in the bar of the same hotel a few weeks ago and said basically the same thing after his performance with Stephen Schwartz. Gee, I guess these singers are really interested in who would sit front-and-center for their shows! We ended up having a lovely chat about the cabaret scene around the country but I was a little taken aback at first.

Yet I couldn't imagine Jack Nicholson, whom I watched filming Hoffa here many years ago, approaching me in a local pub with the greeting, "Say, I saw you standing across the street an hour ago. Did I nail that scene or what?"

Regarding Joan Crawford, when I was working at Filmland Journal in the late 1970s, many people who knew her said that they thought her slavish devotion to answering fan mail and "keeping up her image" was an extension of her mental illness. I felt sad for all the fans who took this differently when "the truth" came out.

I also loved your comment on John Slattery. I thought I was the only one who adored and remembered Homefront. Mad Men is my new favorite show, too, and his character makes me so uncomfortable at times but it looks like more nuances may be in the works for Mr. Sterling!

Gee, my response is almost as long as your entry. Maybe I should get my own public blog instead of "hijacking" yours, eh?

I have seldom had the opportunity to run into celebrities and, frankly, have no desire to communicate with them, even with my favorite ones - ever. Perhaps it's by fear of being utterly disappointed. I am not sure.

OMG!!! You are deliciously creepy! This entry made me really laugh. Best ice breaker to use with the famous or nearly-so..."Do you know who you are?" xo

That picture is priceless. My parents ran into Louise Lasser once too, and found her equally anxious. Maybe it had something to do with being Louis Lasser's daughter?

Another wonderful post. I too loved Homefront. I watched it religiously when I was living in New Mexico and pregnant with my first daughter.

I live in a big writing town and have approached several authors about how much I liked their work. It may be a little different with writers, because they aren't as easily recognized, but none of them seemed to mind the intrusion.

I waited on Robin Williams once when I lived in San Francisco, but didn't say anything to him about his acting. He was clearly there to enjoy a pleasant brunch with his family.

LOVED this post Danny...!
OKAY! Let's talk about MAD MEN...! I THINK IT IS INCREDIBLY BRILLIANT! Slattery brought me to tears on Thursday...He was so awful with thoe twins and so creepy and then...when he got so frighened by his possible demise...He broke my heart. you know that the actress that plays 'his wife' on MAD MEN is his Real Life Wife, and further...that she is Joyce Van Patten's wonderful daughter--Talia Balsam? So Slattery is less than six degrees of separation from you, dear Danny...!
You should have spoken to Sammi Davis. She would have LOVED it....She is more from that older time and given her profile is not as high these days...These things truly do mean a lot to a people like her--I mean people who have had some celebrity and often feel forgotten....At least, that is my thought....
I understand your reticence but also, I think trying to "act cool" can sometimes be a missed opportuity, you know?
Louise Lasser was certainly on the Cocaine-Paranoid side of life at the time that you mention and paranoia would certainly be a HUGE part of what she was going through...

I have been with Betty G. so very many times---over these 45 years, hundreds, probably, when a "fan" comes over to her and she is so gracious with everybody. And every person I have seen approach her in a public place---Restaurants, etc. is so respectful and caring--I realize she engenders that and I think therefor people see her as approachable, and she is...I'm sure you've seen that too....

I also think the tabloid horrors now---TMZ, etc...are incredibly mean and insulting...I don't understand this horrificly painfyl attitude...And I saw one of those Entertainment Tonight/Access Hollywood type shows on late night CBS the other night and was shocked that THAT is all they are now too....OY OY OY!

Anyway....I urge you to follow your instincts---now that you are more mature---and you can size up a situation and tell if the person is approachable or not....I think it would be a lovely experience for both you and the particular "celebrtity/Star/Actress/Actor"....Let us know, my dear!

Some years back, I saw something about the Judds, either on Biography or True Hollywood Story. It consisted of a lot of scenes of Wynonna and Naomi walking about the towns where they are playing shows, and Naomi accosting people, demanding to know "Do you know who we are?", forcing people to take autographs, all the while swathed in head scarf and large classes like Jackie O. It was creepy. Cut to Wynonna lamenting the weirdness of her life on stage at the most awkward time in a girl's life, puberty, and feeling like her Barbie doll look-a-like mom was competing with her (ya think?)

Thinking of Joan Crawford and Louise Lasser, it occurs to me that the line between talent and mental illness is so thin. It gives me a bad feeling that we have some of the most fragile members of the human race entertaining their hearts out for us.

I can't remember now how I found your blog. Looking for something else, I'm sure, and stumbled upon it. In any case, I enjoy your writing and check in from time to time. Here's the odd thing: My aunt and uncle are actors in L.A. and I finally realize who your mother-in-law is. I sat next to her at a dinner party at Barbara R.'s house several years ago that my relatives had taken me to. I really enjoyed that conversation (we talked a lot about Dallas where I live) and still regret that I didn't tell her how much I enjoyed her book "A Woman of Independent Means". Didn't want to be a fawning fan. Weird, no?

Years ago, in Paris, my husband and I found ourselves in a Lalique store with Andy Williams, who was with POST-Spider Sabitch Claudine Longet. Awkward! I mean, what does one say?! In this case, discretion was the better part.


6 degrees of information. Sammi Davis was forwarded your article and was very flattered.

Wendy Phillips has an actors studio/theatre at 130 S. La Brea, The Lost Studio. Many times when we do production there, actors from Home Front will show up.

Wow. Ya know, I used to want to be an actress. I remember telling all my friends and family that I was going to be a star someday. Then I grew up and I really started to think about it. Mostly about how my life would never be private again, and that thought scared the crap out of me. (Or in this case, the dream.)
I have a very famous third cousin who my family is always trying to get to come to one of our reunions. Every year, we are disappointed. Well...THEY are. I think they're all delusional. :) This guy has no idea who we are, hasn't known us since he was a child. I don't blame him for choosing not to come. Even though we are his family, we are still rabid fans and the reunion would most likely turn into a long, drawn-out autograph signing! Not really a typical day of QT with the fam...

Hey - I've been reading your posts on and off for a couple of months. I really liked this one for a couple of reasons. First, I thought I was the ONLY person who loved and rememberd Homefront. I am 34 and was a Senior in High School or College Freshman at the time. Even though the show took place in such a different time (especially given that it aired in the early 90's), I found it captivating and relatable. Second, I find myself resisting the urge to do my own celebrity stalking. We live in Chicago and used to live 2 blocks away from Billy Corgan. He eventually moved from our neighborhood due to the high incident of fans showing up and camping out around his home. He termed it a "disservice" to his neighbors. Three plus years ago we moved to a new neighborhood and guess who lives 2 blocks away from us now? Another one of our favorite musicians of all time - your brother in law! I have not had the nerve to say anything when I see him, but am dying to say *something*....maybe some day.

The comments to this entry are closed.