Mildred Natwick - It was 1985 and I was working as a supervisor in the gift wrap department of Bloomingdale's in NYC. My job had me on the selling floor and one day this very dignified and petite older woman (imagine a Fifth Avenue matron in a tweed suit) asked for directions to the department that sold fur hats. Then (and still now) being a struggling actor and devoted film and TV fanatic I immediately recognized this woman as being Mildred Natwick. I loved her in the 1970's mystery series "The Snoop Sisters" in addition to the movies she did it the '40s, '50s & '60s. I've encountered other celebrities and have always been a bit tongue-tied, but this time I very calmly said "If you follow me Ms. Natwick I'll show you the way". The look on her face was priceless...a combination of shock and surprise at being recognized, though I also noted she blushed and had a bit of a smile at the same time. I think she was delighted at my recognizing her and knowing her name since she hadn't been in any major productions for several years. I showed her the way to the fur department and told her that they should be able to help her there and wished her a pleasant day...It dawned on me awhile later that there was a separate department for women's hats. - Hal P.
Joe DiMaggio - Joe used to own a restaurant in San Francisco. My wife and I had just finished our meal and when the hostess asked us how it was, my wife jokingly said, "Tell Joe is was delicious." The hostess pointed a few feet behind us and said, "Why not tell him yourself? He's sitting right over there." I knew Joe was a private person, but he was very polite when we approached his table. We spoke for a few minutes, but NOT about the Yankees, Marilyn Monroe or Mr. Coffee. He posed with us for a picture and signed some autographs. A very classy and gracious gentleman. - BV
George Maharis - On a class field trip when I was in the 5th grade back around 1960 or 1961, we went into New York City, to the Diamond Exchange, Chinatown, nd Greenwich Village. In Greenwich Village, at an outside eating area of a coffee shop,we were told we'd meet a special guest;and the person turned out to be George Maharis, who was in a very popular show back then - "Route 66". I remember two things about that visit: He wore an ascot, and for about 15 minutes he was very cordial to a bunch of grade school kids. - JD
Ricky Skaggs - I work for Seminole Traffic Engineering and one day [while] I was working on the traffic lights at the control box on the side of the road, one of my fellow workers yells my name, "Hey, Ricky!" I replied, "What?" and he said, "No, not you." Ricky Skaggs was standing behind me looking at what I was doing with the traffic lights. He was doing a concert at the local hangout called the Barn. Ricky Skaggs asked me how do I make the traffic lights work & I told him all about it. The next person to perform at the barn is Mark Chesnutt. Maybe I can do the same thing & have Mark Chesnutt come out & ask me all sorts of questions too. - Ricky
Billy Martin - My brother in law was at a wedding reception when he spotted Billy Martin having a drink at the bar. He showed Billy his Yankee tattoo (the hat logo), which happens to be on his posterior. Billy gave him a big hug. He was probably the only person ever that mooned Billy Martin that didn't get slugged. - Tim H.
Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward - It was at the Botanical Gardens in Montreal, Canada in Aug. 1998 when my wife and I spotted Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I asked if I could take his picture and he was soooo nice about it and said yes. So I took it. He smiled and then waved to me as he walked away. He's one of the nicest people I have ever me.I couldn't get Ms. Woodward's picture, she was taking care of their grandchild. Two incredible people. Not Hollywood snobs! - Carl
Betty White - Anyone who watched Betty White as Rose on the Golden Girls remembers how she always referred to things that happened "back in St. Olaf...". In the early 1990s when I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, it was pretty common to have people joke as to whether we knew "Rose." Imagine my suprise when I attended a concert on campus of the famous St. Olaf Choir and who was in attendance but Betty White herself! She joined in the rousing chorus of our campus cheer "Um Ya Ya" at the end of the performance. Later, my friend and I went to get ice cream at the campus union and as we came out, we saw Betty White getting into her limo, not 10 feet from us. It happened so fast we didn't get a chance to ask for an autograph but the memory of Betty singing Um Ya Ya with us Oles is good enough for me!
Merle Haggard - We took my brother-in-law, Dave, to a Merle Haggard concert in Missouri about 15 years ago. Dave, a non-country fan, came into the theatre a little late, explaining that he was just out in the lobby shooting the breeze with "some janitor." When Merle eventually came on stage after the opening act, Dave said, "Hey, that's the 'janitor' I was talking to." - Chris
Walter Pidgeon - Many, many years ago, he was appearing on Broadway in "Take Me Along." I was working on Fifth Avenue and took my lunch hour at approximately the same time each day and would pass him on the Avenue. We developed a "nodding" acquaintance. I would go back to my office and report to my co-workers my meetings with Walter Pidgeon -- so many, they wouldn't believe me. One day, we had all gone to lunch together -- and along came Walter Pidgeon. My co-workers were visibly astonished; he realized this -- tipped his homburg hat, bowed from the waist and pronounced in his booming voice "Good afternoon, ladies!" What a guy! - Mary G
Edmund Hillary - I met Edmund Hillary when I was about 7 years old. My dad was working in New Zealand and I spent a few years there. My uncle had a property near to Edmund Hillary's and one day I was in the passenger seat of a 4-wheel drive and my uncle stopped at Hillary's place on the way to his. They made some small talk outside while I stayed inside the Land Rover reading a comic book. My uncle introduced me to Hillary, telling me he was quite famous. I said hello, then went back to reading the comic book without a second thought. If Edmund Hillary had, in fact, been Spiderman I would have paid more attention at the time. I had no real idea who he was.
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