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    Memorable Meetings With Famous People

    In 1998, I found out that Charlton Heston was coming to Scottsdale for a book signing, and my wife and I decided to go and meet the man. In addition to getting his new book signed, I had a couple of others that he'd authored that I brought along, including one of the best and most honest "show business" biographies I've ever read, 'The Actor's Life'.

    The bookstore was located in a large mall - younger members may not remember when every large mall had at least two - and in addition to the signing line that had formed and was winding out of the store and down for some distance, a large crowd of probably a couple of hundred people had formed around the store's mall entrance to see him. As the scheduled time for the signing approached, I assumed that they'd be bringing Heston in through a back door...but instead, he suddenly appeared, with an escort of course, on the far side of the crowd, and then something remarkable happened. Suddenly and silently, that big crowd parted, and it was like a reenactment of the Red Sea parting in The Ten Commandments, in which Heston starred as Moses. I'm not kidding at all - it was a little eerie.

    Although he would live another nine-and-a-half years, Heston was already rumored to be in ill health at that time, but he looked quite good. As he passed by, I encouraged my wife to shake his hand, which she did. I wanted to shake his hand, myself, of course, but I could see that, at the pace he was taking, only one of us would have time to do so and I deferred to my better half.

    When we finally got to the signing table, I saw that CH was using some kind of calligraphy pen to sign the books, and putting a beautiful, unique signature on them. As he was signing my wife's and my copies, along with some others we'd bought for relatives and his earlier books that I'd brought, I had time to ask him a question. I'd thought ahead of time about what I wanted to say or ask, of course. I'd always been a fan of Soylent Green, so I asked him about that. I mentioned the two big fight scenes that he had with Chuck Connors in that film, and asked whether either of them had actually gotten hurt during the filming of them.

    Heston told me that no, they'd had some very talented and experienced stunt men to help them choreograph and shoot those scenes, and also that both he and Connors had done a lot of that kind of thing before. Then he looked up from the table, directly into my eyes, and said, "Thank you for remembering."
    "It is a foolish man who believes that he possesses all of the answers unless he is absolutely certain that he has heard all of the questions." - me

    "All three of my kids are adopted, and I'm always telling them, 'Don't ever get high and sign things'." - Paula Poundstone

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    Not all actors are douchebags. There are some genuinely nice ones. Its seems to more secure they are in their craft the more humble they are in dealing with the public. I have met Bob Denver, Martin Milner, Dana Andrews and a couple others at various plays they were doing in their later years. Denver was an ass, the others were very nice people.
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    I also met Ted Nugent , Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Of the three Richard Petty and Ted Nugent were outstanding. I also met Isaac Hayes when I was a kid. He was under contract to my fathers recording interests at the time. I was a young punk kid and he was a huge black dude. Scared me to death lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanbforrest45 View Post
    Not all actors are douchebags. There are some genuinely nice ones. Its seems to more secure they are in their craft the more humble they are in dealing with the public.
    ....
    Being a huge Sons of Anarchy fan, I'm always alert to any cast members from that show doing signings anywhere close to where I live.

    Ron Perlman, of whom I have been a fan for a long, long time, was at Phoenix ComiCon a few years ago, and I got to meet him there and get some stuff signed. The young man ahead of me in the line was severely physically disabled; he had a difficult time walking, his face and one arm were contorted and frozen in place, and he was unable to speak. A friend or caretaker was accompanying him. The signing tickets were, as I recall, $50 each, but Perlman spoke to his aide or assistant, waved at all the photos that were for sale there on the table, and said, "Give them anything they want" and signed the photos for free. I don't know for certain whether it entered into his reaction, but I know that Perlman suffered greatly because of his "non-traditional" looks when he was growing up, and spent many years either out of work as an actor - despite being an extremely talented one - or being cast in roles (Quest for Fire, The Name of the Rose, 'Beauty and the Beast' on t.v.) where his face was obscured with a lot of makeup. He was very nice to me, as well, and we joked around about my request that he sign a baseball. One of those guys with whom you talk for two minutes and you feel like you've known them all your life.

    Another one like that is Kim Coates, who played 'Tig' Trager on Sons. He was also in Assault on Precinct 13, and - according to IMDB - about 134 other things. He made an appearance at the grand opening of the Scottsdale Harley Davidson store (I say "store", but it's more like a huge fortress/compound, with multiple showrooms, an onsite tattoo parlor and many other amenities) a few years ago. They had a table set up for him to sit behind, but he ignored it and stood out in the open where he could greet each person as they came up, hug all the women - he did - and schmooze with everyone. I told him that I really enjoyed watching his performances, and he responded by saying that that was "very important" for him to hear, and asked what else I'd seen him in. I mentioned Waterworld, in which he played "Drifter #2" - the insane guy who jumps around muttering to himself in an Irish accent and wants to buy the character played by Jeanne Tripplehorn; he ends up dying in a knife fight with Kevin Costner - and he laughed and said "That was so much fun. I really freaked Jeannie Tripplehorn out".
    "It is a foolish man who believes that he possesses all of the answers unless he is absolutely certain that he has heard all of the questions." - me

    "All three of my kids are adopted, and I'm always telling them, 'Don't ever get high and sign things'." - Paula Poundstone

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    My memorable meeting would have been more memorable had I known who I was talking with at the time. My dad and his drilling partner had a rig in Rifle, CO. and they kept a work trailer there and would stay there during the week, coming home (90 mile drive) only on weekends. My mom had papers I was supposed to take to my dad, and I was happy to go since I'd just got my license and was itching to drive somewhere.

    I got to the drilling site and my dad, his partner, and another guy were sitting on lawn chairs eating their lunches. The other guy looked vaguely familiar but I didn't watch much TV. He had white hair, a beard and was wearing a cap. They were all eating their lunch. I stayed and talked maybe 30 minutes. The man was congenial, polite. He handed me a can of soda from a cooler as I left. I didn't think too much more about it.

    When my dad got back on the weekend, he asked me if I knew who the man was. It was Denver Pyle, the guy who played Uncle Jesse on the Dukes of Hazzard. He'd invested in an oil well nearby and it was common for him to stop by my dad's well when he was in the area. The show was still going at that time, so I made a point to watch it a few times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FindersKeepers View Post
    My memorable meeting would have been more memorable had I known who I was talking with at the time. My dad and his drilling partner had a rig in Rifle, CO. and they kept a work trailer there and would stay there during the week, coming home (90 mile drive) only on weekends. My mom had papers I was supposed to take to my dad, and I was happy to go since I'd just got my license and was itching to drive somewhere.

    I got to the drilling site and my dad, his partner, and another guy were sitting on lawn chairs eating their lunches. The other guy looked vaguely familiar but I didn't watch much TV. He had white hair, a beard and was wearing a cap. They were all eating their lunch. I stayed and talked maybe 30 minutes. The man was congenial, polite. He handed me a can of soda from a cooler as I left. I didn't think too much more about it.

    When my dad got back on the weekend, he asked me if I knew who the man was. It was Denver Pyle, the guy who played Uncle Jesse on the Dukes of Hazzard. He'd invested in an oil well nearby and it was common for him to stop by my dad's well when he was in the area. The show was still going at that time, so I made a point to watch it a few times.
    It is a shame you didn't know who he was at the time. Pyle led a pretty colorful, even an amazing life.

    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0701500/..._=nm_ov_bio_sm
    "It is a foolish man who believes that he possesses all of the answers unless he is absolutely certain that he has heard all of the questions." - me

    "All three of my kids are adopted, and I'm always telling them, 'Don't ever get high and sign things'." - Paula Poundstone

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    I met Jim Nabors and Joey Bishop one year at the Indy 500. Jim Nabors while having breakfast at the Speedway Hotel and Joey Bishop at the airport while I was getting a soda. Our plane was being fueled and me and a friend were in a lounge area waiting for it when him and his people walked in. They were both very polite. I didnt recognize him at first and oddly enough it was Joey that struck up the convo.
    "I stand alone and take back something worth remembering"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Wolf View Post
    In 1998, I found out that Charlton Heston was coming to Scottsdale for a book signing, and my wife and I decided to go and meet the man. In addition to getting his new book signed, I had a couple of others that he'd authored that I brought along, including one of the best and most honest "show business" biographies I've ever read, 'The Actor's Life'.

    The bookstore was located in a large mall - younger members may not remember when every large mall had at least two - and in addition to the signing line that had formed and was winding out of the store and down for some distance, a large crowd of probably a couple of hundred people had formed around the store's mall entrance to see him. As the scheduled time for the signing approached, I assumed that they'd be bringing Heston in through a back door...but instead, he suddenly appeared, with an escort of course, on the far side of the crowd, and then something remarkable happened. Suddenly and silently, that big crowd parted, and it was like a reenactment of the Red Sea parting in The Ten Commandments, in which Heston starred as Moses. I'm not kidding at all - it was a little eerie.

    Although he would live another nine-and-a-half years, Heston was already rumored to be in ill health at that time, but he looked quite good. As he passed by, I encouraged my wife to shake his hand, which she did. I wanted to shake his hand, myself, of course, but I could see that, at the pace he was taking, only one of us would have time to do so and I deferred to my better half.

    When we finally got to the signing table, I saw that CH was using some kind of calligraphy pen to sign the books, and putting a beautiful, unique signature on them. As he was signing my wife's and my copies, along with some others we'd bought for relatives and his earlier books that I'd brought, I had time to ask him a question. I'd thought ahead of time about what I wanted to say or ask, of course. I'd always been a fan of Soylent Green, so I asked him about that. I mentioned the two big fight scenes that he had with Chuck Connors in that film, and asked whether either of them had actually gotten hurt during the filming of them.

    Heston told me that no, they'd had some very talented and experienced stunt men to help them choreograph and shoot those scenes, and also that both he and Connors had done a lot of that kind of thing before. Then he looked up from the table, directly into my eyes, and said, "Thank you for remembering."
    That's a nice memory - I remember Solyent Green, vaguely, but not the fight scene. Heston was an industry giant - it's nice he went on a book tour and met his fans. I'll have to put "The Actor's Life" on my to-read list. It sounds like a good read.
    I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.
    ~Leonardo da Vinci

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    Quote Originally Posted by FindersKeepers View Post
    That's a nice memory - I remember Solyent Green, vaguely, but not the fight scene. Heston was an industry giant - it's nice he went on a book tour and met his fans. I'll have to put "The Actor's Life" on my to-read list. It sounds like a good read.
    If you enjoy well written, quality show business autobiographies - not the trashy, ghost-written kind - you should also check out Ron Perlman's 'Easy Street: The Hard Way', Katey Sagal's 'Grace Notes' and Linda Ronstadt's 'Simple Dreams'.
    "It is a foolish man who believes that he possesses all of the answers unless he is absolutely certain that he has heard all of the questions." - me

    "All three of my kids are adopted, and I'm always telling them, 'Don't ever get high and sign things'." - Paula Poundstone

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    I also met a couple of famous motorcycle racers from the 60's. I was connected to a local motorcycle shop and was always able to get into the pits and wander around. I met Mike "The Bike" Hailwood who was very nice since I was a fifteen year old kid asking silly questions and I also met Dick Mann in a restaurant in Daytona but I just sat at the table next to him and did not speak to him. I had heard he was always very uptight before a race so I didn't want to disturb him. The last National motorcycle racer I met was Josh Tournett in Maryville TN. He was sporting number 55, also the number of the deceased Roger Reiman, the first person I ever saw win the Daytona 22 in 1961. I asked him if he knew the history and he said of course, that's why he picked the number. After the race (which he didn't win) I saw him and said I was cheering you on out there, did you hear me? He said yeah, I didn't know that was you!! Really nice guy.
    Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
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