Liberace - When I was working for a radio station in Georgia, I was scheduled to interview Liberace. I went to the Regency Hyatt House for the appointment and saw Mr. Liberace on the sidewalk about a half block away. He was very obvious in a nice gray suit, with a large diamond brooch on the lapel. I reminded him that we had an appointment and he apologized, but said he had an appointment and to come backstage after the show. I went back to see him and he said he was tired from the concert and autographed an album I had brought along. Then he paused, looked at me and said, "I'll put something special here," and he wrote "Love!" above his name. He was showman!! - Gordon
Mel Brooks - Circa 1981, I was walking down Madison Avenue in New York City with my cousin -- we had just come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I saw this familiar looking man walking towards us, but I couldn't fetch his name from my head. I got a little flustered, thinking he was a friend of my parents and that I was going to embarrass myself by forgetting his name. So I took charge as he walked by, thrusting out my hand for a shake, stating, "Hi, I'm Michael. Tom and Maria's son." He didn't hestiate. He shook my hand and said with a smile, "Hi. Mel Brooks. Max and Kitty's son." Then he kept walking along with his friend. I guess he'd been through stuff like that before. Anyway, the cape he was wearing should have been a dead giveaway. Cheers. - Michael
Art Linkletter - We were waiting for a flight to Hong Kong (as I recall) in the LA airport when Art Linkletter sat down next to me. "Hello, Mr. Linkletter," I said.... and for the next 35-40 minutes, he entertained us with stories of his sheep farms and other investments in the Far East. He hadn't changed at all since I last saw him on TV - years ago. His wife, he said, can't/doesn't travel, but he seemed very chipper. - clt
Robert Goulet - Growing up, my father was a stagehand on Broadway in New York City. When I turned 13, my mother took me to see the play "Camelot". At that time, my dad was working that show. Before the show, we went backstage to Robert Goulet's dressing room. My dad had made arrangements for me to meet with him. He greeted us in his Sir Lancelot custome and invited us into his dressing room. What a thrill that was for me. I have several pics of him and I together on that memorable day. That was 43 years ago, Dad is now retired, and I am married to a stagehand and my son-in-law is also a stagehand. I have met the biggest and the best and have many, many stories to tell about each and every one. maybe next time I'll tell all about Steve and Eydie. - L.C.
Joe Theismann - I was working for a rental car company in Sterling, Virginia in 1978. One day, during the "gas crisis" of that year, Joe Theismann walked into the gas station portion of the shop and asked if he could get a fill up. The mechanics and I were only too happy to help him out, assuming he would just pay and leave. After he paid up and just as he turned to go, one of the mechanics asked him a question about something he had done during a game. Joe stopped, thought about it, and then said: "That's a good question!" He then sat down in the lobby, and for the next half hour or so gabbed about his career, answered questions, and got to know all of us. It wasn't until we had run out of things to say that he finally gave us each a warm handshake and went on his way. Thanks, Joe. You made every one of us feel pretty special toward "our Redskins." - Mister Ed
Pat Nixon - As a pre-adolescent, I was in the National Spelling Bee in 1971. The spellers were treated to a whirlwind week of Washington, D.C. sightseeing before and after the bee, including tours of the U.S. Mint, all the memorials, a session of Congress (bonus dead person: I also shook hands with Shirley Chisholm), and the White House and handshaking with the First Lady. Mrs. Nixon, at the time, was less than two weeks away from Tricia's wedding, and boy, did she look stressed. She wore an aqua skirt suit and a frozen smile on her face. Even though I was 12, I could tell as she shook my hand that she would rather have been any place else. (No sign of Dick that day.) - B.W.
Shelley Berman - I was attending the Lucy-Desi Festival in Jamestown, NY...among the featured guest stars were Ronnie Schell, Tom Poston, Shelley Berman, among others. When I went up to shake hands with Mr. Berman, he had a diabetic attack and threw up all over my shoes! I felt so sorry for him. - WJR
Joe Louis - The Brown Bomber. One of the best heavyweight boxers ever to enter the ring. He had the largest hands I have ever seen on a man. When he shook mine, it disappeared in his. I was absolutely stunned when he walked up behind our foursome on the first tee of the Meadowlark Golf Course in Huntington Beach, California back in 1963. He was playing with one of golf's first black professionals, Charlie Sifford, and two other black men. He was one of two people I have ever personally asked for an autograph and I regret to say that I have somehow lost the golf card that he signed for me that day. The first hole is fairly short at Meadowlark, just 340 yards and we were awed when his drive rolled up at our feet on the green as we prepared to putt. His drives were to follow us that closely all day long. - Edward
Mickey Rooney - Mr. Rooney and his wife recently performed in St. David's Hall, Cardiff in Wales. He performed songs and entertained the audience with stories from his amazing 70+ years in show business. Great stuff! After the show, Mr Rooney signed autographs for a very long line of people. Near me in the line was a blind gentleman and, as he reached the table, Mickey stood up, grabbed his hand, and introduced himself and his wife, to the delight of his blind fan. Probably the most famous man I've ever met - classy too! - Steve
Robert Reed - In 1990 or 1991, when I was working at Sears in Pasadena, California, he bought a convection microwave oven from me (top of the line) and he bought the extended warranty, too. I remember I kept thinking, "This can't be 'Mr. Brady' I am waiting on," but then he handed me his charge card and of course it was him. I played it cool and was treating him like a regular guy. Then my co-worker came over and practically screamed "YOU'RE THE GUY FROM 'THE BRADY BUNCH'". He was really nice and mentioned he had just finished filming "A Very Brady Christmas" and that "as long at they keep paying me I will keep doing them." Nice guy...sadly he died a about two years later.. - CDR
Linda Ronstadt - I was heading into Central Park to see "The Pirates of Penzance", starring Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Kline, in the early 1980s. I was walking fast with my head down, as New Yorkers often do, when I bumped hard into a woman walking in the opposite direction. I said, "Excuse me." She said, "That's OK, I'm in a rush, too." That was my first and only meeting with Linda Ronstadt. - David
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