I’ve Encountered Through the Years
~ Part Two ~
Last week, I posted Part One.
I’d love to hear what famous folks you’ve met!
TOM CRUISE, REBECCA DE MORNAY, JON VOIGHT:
Cruise was dating De Mornay when she and Voight were filming “Runaway Train” in Alaska. I was living in Anchorage, AK back then, and was the graphic artist for the ski resort – Alyeska.
I met them when I was paired up for a skiing lesson with Voight. He was a nice regular guy, as crummy a skier as I was, and gracious to everyone.
BRUCE WILLIS: In the mid-80s, I came down from Anchorage to visit my BFF, Nina, and spend a few days in the Hollywood/Beverly Hills area. One evening, around midnight, we were walking along Sunset Boulevard to our car after attending a comedy show in Hollywood.
Willis, who at the time had hit it big with his TV show, “Moonlighting,” pulled up beside us in his shiny black car, rolled down the window, and told us it wasn’t safe to be walking out there at that time of night. He offered us a ride to our car, but Nina had no clue who he was and refused, even though I told her who he was. So, Willis slowly cruised beside us until we got to our car. Gosh – he was so cute!
ANDY GARCIA AND PETER STRAUSS: Their kids played club soccer, and the teams would gather at our restaurant in Arroyo Grande, CA –Klondike Pizza–when playing in our area. Both were nice, regular dads.
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD: He used to stop at the Klondike when driving up or down the 101 and eat on the patio with his dog.
BURTON GILLIAM (actor—”Blazing Saddles,” among many) He used to host “The Burton Gilliam Celebrity Golf tournament” to raise funds for the Central Coast YMCA. My hubby, Mike, played in it many times. Afterward, there would be a big dinner at our South County Regional Center that I attended with him. Peter Bergman (soap star) sat next to me one year. Another year, John Madden sat across from us.
JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS and her daughter CAROLINE KENNEDY: My friend, Ginnie and I were enjoying an afternoon stroll in Central Park, when we met them walking towards us. Jackie, wearing her signature sunglasses, was pushing her grandchild’s stroller and gave us a warm greeting.
DAVID BOREANAZ (Bones TV show, Seal Team, etc.): My friend Jeri and I were given a private tour of Fox Studios. Jeri’s son’s partner, Dawn, worked for the head of Fox and, in those years, arranged many fun events for us. We met Boreanaz while we were on the set of the TV show “Bones.” The season had ended, and he was packing personal items in a cardboard box to take home. He was very friendly – but the big surprise for me is how small the sets are. They look so big on TV.
AMERICAN IDOL: Jeri and I went for many seasons while it was on Fox.
Ryan Seacrest—personable and focused. Glen Campbell sat across the aisle one year —he was on his last tour and suffering from Alzheimer’s. Scotty McCreery, a sweet 16-year-old at the time, sat next to us for a special promo. That night, we knew he’d win the season. Rita Wilson often sat in front of us and was a big fan, just like us. Chelsea Handler—very quiet and polite. Anthony Hopkins was a huge, boisterous Idol fan. Simon Cowell—super nice to everyone during the commercial breaks. Same for Keith Urban. Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson’s voice) sat near us and did Bart’s voice during a commercial break. Freaky-fun!!
PLANE RIDES: Oliver North (retired military and television political commentator) sat behind me on a plane. Martin Sheen sat in front of my husband and me on another flight and was friendly to everyone.
LOU FERRIGNO (The Incredible Hulk): He has a home in our area, and I often see him shopping in stores. The other day I waited behind him in the CVS pharmacy line. His son, Louis Jude Ferrigno Jr, is a successful actor and has posted about his favorite Klondike Pizza.
OPRAH: I met her while waiting in line at Whole Foods in Santa Barbara. She was behind me. Very sweet and very real. She was makeup-free and wore flip-flops because of her poor gnarly feet. She’s often talked about how her stylish stilettos ruined her feet. Her feet looked miserable and deformed by bunions. Ouch!
GORDON RAMSEY: Jeri, Dawn, and I went to a taping of “Hell’s Kitchen.” It was the second to the final show of that season, so it was the last show that had competition cooking in it. It was down to four finalists, and the food was terrific. We sat at the front table and wound up talking on camera. It’s a blurry photo, because I took it from the TV recording.
It was at least a four-hour session in a very hot warehouse made to be like an authentic restaurant. We even had a maître d’ and an excellent choice of beer and wine. I ordered Ramsey’s fish and chips and mushy peas (who knew mushy peas could be so delectable), and the others had his famous Beef Wellington. The staff was amiable and fun. Ramsey was usually nice and quiet, and then they’d cue him to start shouting. Pretty funny.
HUGH JACKMAN / MEL GIBSON / KELSEY GRAMMER: Dawn arranged for Jeri and me to go to a big Hollywood red carpet premiere at the Chinese Theater – where all the major movie stars’ handprints, past and present, are in the cement. We walked behind dreamy Hugh and other stars of the “Wolverine” film while the paparazzi took our picture—probably wondering who we were!
Before taking our seats, we hung out in the lobby with the star-studded crowd—all amiable because everyone there (except us) was in the industry, and no one was allowed in with cell phones or cameras— so no videos or photos. We watched Martin Scorsese empty his pockets for the guard at the electronic barrier entrance—just like we’d just done. After I got a box of popcorn, I was walking around a pillar, looking the other way (lots of stars to gawk at), and knocked Mel Gibson off his feet. Kelsey Grammer, who’d been talking to him, and I helped Mel back to his feet. They were laughing and made me very comfortable in that embarrassing situation.
PIER ONE ENCOUNTER: Several years ago, I was shopping in the Santa Maria, CA shop and met Cheryll Ladd and her husband, Brian Russell. We were the only customers, so we got to chatting. They were shopping for Cheryll’s daughter, Jordan, who was in the PCPA program at nearby Allan Hancock College. PCPA is a well-regarded theater program with some famous past attendees, such as Robin Williams, Zac Efron (a local boy from my town, Arroyo Grande, and pizza-eater at our Klondike Pizza restaurants when he was a kid), and Kathy Bates. I forgot about meeting Cheryll until I watched a Hallmark Garage Sale Mystery: The Wedding Dress, last night.
I have to say that I miss Pier One stores!
Some very important people I know and revere, run animal rescues and farm sanctuaries. My husband, Mike, and I are fortunate to be able to help raise funds for these organizations through our Klondike Pizza restaurants. Their names will not go down in history, but I consider them “important” and am privileged to know them.