Bob Denver, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise - In 2000, I was working for a federal government agency in Washington, D.C. My work station was near a gift shop where tourist bought various souvenirs. I was taken by the attractiveness of a lady in the line and I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Not only was she elegantly beautiful, but she looked very familiar. When I turned in the other direction, I saw a small crowd around a man whom I immediately recognized. It was Bob Denver from Gilligan's Island fame. He was clearly recognizable and was graciously talking to my coworkers. Quietly waiting in the hallway was Russell Johnson (the professor); no one recognized him! I later read that the cast was in town to accept an award. The beauty in line was Tina Louise.
Phyllis Diller - My husband is a limo driver and one day he called me to tell me that he was taking Phyllis Diller to a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hilton which was across the street from my office. She was 83 at the time. I was able to stand with her at curbside while my husband brought the car around for her. I told her that she was always one of my favorite comedianne's. She said, "Thank you dear. That is so sweet of you to say." When my husband got home from work that day he handed me her luncheon program that she autographed, "Dear Paula, Stay sweet. Yours Truly, Phyllis Diller."
Nelson Mandela - I worked as a banquet server at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel in the 90's. I had been watching and listening to Nelson Mandela from the back of the room. As he prepared to leave, I realized I knew the exact route his group would take out of the back of the ballroom. So I positioned myself there and waited. He walked by, shook my hand, and said "Thank you all for your wondeful hospitality." Mandela's a great man and that was a great thrill. - Jeff
William Windom - Back in the '70s I was in college at Indiana State in Terre Haute, Indiana. My then boyfriend and now ex went to see Mr. Windom perform "An Evening with Thurber" that was being held at the university theater. After the show, we ran around to the side to see if we could get a glimps of him. He came out with a small entourage and looked at us and a few others who were waiting and said, "Anybody need a ride?" We were too dumbstruck to say a word or ask for an autograph let alone accept a ride. I would go back in time and kick myself if I could. - SM
Don Ameche - I was working gates for a local airline when a skycap brought this frail man to our boarding area. I walked over to see if there was anything I could do to assist him in boarding. I quickly realized this man as Don Ameche and struck up a conversation with him. After a few moments, I realized that he had similar vision problems to my mother. He provided me with imformation about support groups in the area which I contacted to my mother's aid. I found a man who was so gentile and personable. A year later, he died and I was saddened, remembering my experience. Years later, through a friend on mine, I came in contact with his son, Jim, recounted my experience & found a deeper respect for his father, who protected his family by not bringing his work home & kept his family separate from the spotlight of fame.
Jay Leno - My husband and I were in line for the dinner buffet at the Harrah's Lake Tahoe and Jay comes walking out of the restaurant alone, obviously from just finishing dinner. (He had a show in the area later that night.) He was trying to walk out of the restaurant quickly but discreetly. But when people started to recognize him, he slowed down a bit to shake a couple of hands and then smiled, waved, and said hello to everyone before exiting. He came off as friendly yet humble. And yes, he does have a big head (and is shorter than you think).
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Back in 1983 I was working at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah. While I was in the stall filling the toilet paper dispenser in one of the bathrooms, the stall door suddenly opened and standing there in a very stylish ski outfit was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He very politely responded in his heavy Austrian accent "pardon me". I was finished so I left him to his business. - SR from MN (Too bad he didn't say "I'll be baack!" - Ed.)
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