After Diane, Katie, and I saw The Cher Show on Mother’s Day, we dashed through the rain to the ORSO restaurant for dinner. ORSO is known for their celebrity guests. When Diane and her sister went to ORSO a few years ago, they saw Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. Last year, Katie ate at the ORSO restaurant and saw Judy Collins just a couple tables away. We were half-way through our meal with no celebrities in sight when two elderly women entered and took a table a few yards away from us. One of those women was Glenda Jackson.

We were enjoying dessert (Diane had gelato and I had a delicious piece of chocolate cake) when Glenda Jackson got up and walked out of the restaurant. A few minutes later, we paid our bill, put on our rain jackets and prepared for a wet walk back to the Marriott Marquise. We stepped outside, and noticed it wasn’t raining. Glenda Jackson sat on the stoop smoking a cigarette. “Good timing,” she said to us. “The rain just stopped.” “Timing is everything, Ms. Jackson,” I replied. Glenda Jackson smiled and gave us a wave with her cigarette.

Have you met a celebrity?


  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    When I worked at the Birmingham Bookstore I saw a lot of celebrities who were staying at the nearby Townsend Hotel. Mostly B listers like Joanne Worley and Charles Nelson Reilly who were both very nice. Bob Seger whose managers office was a few blocks away, Stephen Stills, Van Johnson and Sandy Dennis. Also Elmore Leonard (a very nice man) who lived nearby.

  2. Deb

    Considering I lived in Southern California for 20 years (in the decidedly non-glamorous part of Los Angeles for seven of those), my celebrity run-ins have been few and far between. I saw Marty Feldman at a bookstore in Hollywood; I saw Wayne Rogers of “MASH” fame at a preview of “9-to-5”; we saw Howard Hesseman of “WKRP” at a movie theater; John saw Elizabeth Taylor at the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills. We’ve seen quite a few professional athletes—mostly baseball players who we’d see after games and/or walking the concourse, etc. The very few times I’ve seen a celebrity, I’ve always kept my distance.

      1. Deb

        I just want to add two more—although these were celebrities my parents saw. In the late 1970s, my mom was changing planes at an airport and Bo Derek was on the connecting flight. Her assessment of Bo: very beautiful, extremely tiny, with an overprotective and overbearing husband. Also in the 1970s, my dad was on a plane and the guy in the next seat was constantly being approached by people who wanted to talk with him or just shake his hand. At the end of the flight, the guy turned to my dad and said, “Thank you for being the one person on the plane who left me in peace.” My dad said he didn’t have the heart to tell him he didn’t know who he was! He later realized it was Dennis Weaver, around the time he was starring in “McCloud.” My dad said Weaver was very polite to everyone who spoke to him, but you could tell he would have preferred to be left alone. This story might have contributed to my decision to maintain my distance when inadvertently sharing space with a celeb.

      2. george Post author

        Deb, two great stories! I’m with you on keeping a distance from celebrities and not bothering them. They have a right to privacy, too.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Very cool! WE got her autograph after seeing her in John Webster’s THE WHITE DEVIL at the Old Vic in London.

    Celebrities? Well, living in New York, we see them on the streets all the time (it seems). But are we talking “seeing” (as in Deb’s comment) or “meeting” (as in yours)? OK, a few examples.

    When we were dating back in the late ’60s (yes, we’re old), we were out with friends of Jackie’s and were in a hotel lobby on the West Side when Woody Allen came striding through. I was the only one who recognized him. This was before TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN.

    England, 1972. We were driving around Britain going (eventually) from London to Edinburgh. In Bath, we had just walked out of the Costume Museum when a long car pulled out outside, and out stepped Katharine Hepburn! She was escorted into the museum and Jackie was carrying on, “Katharine Hepburn! What is she doing here?” In later years we saw her several times in the audience of the theater, twice at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), but always left her alone, as she had a reputation of not liking to be approached. We’ve seen many other celebrities in the audience at the theater over the years.

    Upper West Side of Manhattan, early ’80s. We spotted Richard Thomas pushing a stroller with a couple (I think) of his triplets. Jackie could not contain herself and exclaimed, loudly, “John Boy!” He smiled and laughed.

    Some of the celebrities we’ve seen in Midtown: Kirk Douglas (amazingly small), Nigel Havers, Darren McGavin. We saw actor Richard Herd – the Head Lizard in the original V miniseries – on the half-price TKTS line in Times Square. Jackie and her mother once stalked Harry Belafonte in Manhattan.

    My mother was a bookkeeper working for an accountant who was Billy Crystal’s uncle. Occasionally we would go to her office and you never knew who might be there. One was a young Marilu Henner (I always wonder if she would remember meeting Jackie, what with her supposedly perfect recall), who was making her first splash in the Broadway musical OVER HERE, with the Andrews Sisters (and John Travolta). Later Jackie met actor Michael Tucci (several TV shows and GREASE), who was the cousin of the guy a fellow teacher was marrying. He had strong words about Billy Crystal and especially Henner (he called her a “c-word”).

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, you and Jackie have an impressive list of celebrity encounters! I would have loved to have met Katharine Hepburn!

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    Jackie reminded me that she had a tete a tete with Cap’n Bob’s favorite celebrity. Yes, in 2000, when Hillary Clinton was running for Senator, local community school board honcho (and future Mayor) Bill de Blasio was her campaign manager, and he brought her to various schools in the district, including Jackie’s. As she was the union Chapter Leader, she got to quiz her about her support for teacher issues.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, one of Diane’s friends attended a teacher’s conference in Washington, D.C. in the 1990s. On the final day of the conference, Bill Clinton showed up and he got to shake Clinton’s hand!

  5. Michael Padgett

    I’ve seen a number of celebrities but only met one. In the early sixties I was eating lunch with a couple of friends in a Howard Johnson’s in Macon, Georgia. As we were checking out, Vincent Price was standing next to us in line. Price would have been at or near the peak of his fame because of his string of blockbuster horror movies, and he was in Macon to give a lecture on art at nearby Wesleyan College. He was extremely friendly and didn’t seem to have the slightest reluctance to stand around chatting with three scruffy college students who loved his movies.

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      Cool. I like it when celebrities are approachable and don’t take themselves too seriously.

      One more, George. There used to be an “eccentric” reviewer on local television here named (no relation) Katie Kelly. She always wore a bow tie on camera and had a big head of curly, graying hair. She reviewed movies and television. We liked her a lot because she had a good sense of humor. Anyway, in 1981 we were with our English friends Bob and Sue Adey on our one and only trip to Ireland. We went to the Gate Theatre in Dublin to see an O’Casey revival (probably Juno and the Paycock) and who is sitting right in front of us in the audience but Katie Kelly. Of course, Jackie approached her and said, “Katie Kelly!” And she responded, “Yes!” She was very friendly and signed our playbill and drew her signature bow tie.

  6. Dan

    I had a torrid affair with…. well I better not say.
    Forget I ever mentioned it.
    Just put it out of your mind & don’t pry for the name of this iconic star and international sex symbol.
    I’ll NEVER tell!

  7. Jerry House

    For my sins I have met more than a few politicians and actors. Happily I have also met a number of well-known authors as well as a few musicians.

    When I was a kid, local Boston television personality Rex Trailer stopped by the house one night to borrow a block and tackle he needed for a stunt on his Saturday morning children’s show. I was asleep so I did not meet him until many years later.

    Also when I was a kid, a good friend’s mother used to baby-sit Bobby (“Monster Mash”) Pickett. Never met him, although I would have loved to have met Leon Russell who was one of the Crypt-Kicker Five.

    Never met Nixon although I got a private tour of the White House during the last days of his presidency while he was hiding out in San Clemente. Just as well. BTW, they served the most sickening sweet lemonade I ever had.

    One world-famous notable I have never met in person is noted raconteur G. Kelley, who I understand is a much better person to meet than R. Kelly.

  8. Rick Robinson

    I’ve never been wild-eyed about celebs. I saw a few here and there while living in So Cal, and encountered Clint Eastwood in Carmel a couple of times, exchanging a nod. In L.A. / Hollywood / etc it was considered poor manners to make a fuss over a celeb, so no one but tourists did so.

  9. Cap'n Bob

    You’re welcome! As for other celebs, I was a couple of urinals away from Joe Garagiola at a men’s room in Rockefeller Center!

    1. george Post author

      Bob, my only urinal story goes back to the early 1970s. We were dining at CHEF’S restaurant in downtown Buffalo and I entered the Men’s Room. A few moments later O. J. Simpson (who was playing for the Buffalo Bills in those days) took the urinal next to mine. I didn’t say anything, just finished up, washed my hands, and got out of there! Simpson was an intimidating presence back then!

  10. Todd Mason

    The first mildly world-famous person I recall meeting was Francine/Penny Patterson, who taught Koko and Michael the gorillas a certain degree of hand-sign language. She was raising funds at the Ala Moana Mall in Honolulu one afternoon when I was taking a typical stop on my city bus ride home to check out the bookstore and possibly also the record store (the same record store where I might’ve crossed paths with Barry Obama, as we both checked out the new jazz releases at their listening booths in the summer of ’79; the Tower Records wouldn’t open till ’80, across the street from the mall). She seemed mildly perturbed by my wondering if bringing the gorillas into a safe presence with some of the signing chimpanzees might not be an interesting experiment.

    In DC, I met a lot of jazz musicians, punk rockers and even some politicians. I handed, in the course of passing them out generally, then-Sen. Joe Biden a flier critical of his less useful activities I’d put together on one of his trips to George Mason University in 1990. Boy did Young Democrats scream at me for that. Boo-hoo. Didn’t I realize I was putting their internships and entry-level clerkships at risk? Keep your eyes on the prize.

    In my Philadelphia-area years, It’s mostly been writers and comedians I’ve met, a number even non-virtually. And a panoply of very infamous bloggers.

    1. Todd Mason

      I’ve spoken with Abbie Hoffman (we were on C-SPAN at the time, I was at one of his last speaking engagements) and Roger Wilkins and Noam Chomsky (I was in the raw footage, as a result, for MANUFACTURING CONSENT). Thelma/T. Z. Lavine (who wrote the book and did the television series FROM SOCRATES TO SATRE) was a professor of mine. She had some funny notions about the Beatles, amusingly enough. The first time I was on television, it was as a member of the student government at the University of Hawaii, meeting with Gov. George Ariyoshi in hopes of trying to encourage some movement toward reconciliation with the professors’ union at U Hawaii. Don’t know why Ariyoshi was willing to have us by to just say Ha, Screw You, in so many words, but he did. I guess he Could Relate to the Kids. Then again, the first elected City Prosecutor in Honolulu, Charles Marsland, once, after a 1981 visit to my high school, put his arm around my shoulders and cheerfully told me about how he’d, in his lower-ranking career in the agency, had put away some homosexual men, who’d never been happier than when they were imprisoned.
      This wasn’t my first unsavory view into the kind of mind that tended to get elected, but it was one of the creepier ones to be experiencing as a 16yo.


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