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What's the closest you've ever been to a famous person? When and where?

Me: a couple years ago I attended a Josh Groban concert in Tulsa. I wasn't close enough to feel his spit or anything but I could sort of make out his figure in the distance. That's my nearest celebrity encounter.  :p
 

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For my day job I'm a cashier in a grocery store.  It was time for my break one day, super busy, and Calista Flockhart came up to my line.  My closed sign was up.  She asked if I was closed and I said, "Yes." It took me a second to kind of process why she looked familiar.  I knew for sure it was her the next day when someone posted a picture of her mom and Calista Flockhart.  Her parents live in my hometown which is why I saw her.
 

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I've had a few. I met Dave Mustaine at a signing during the Cryptic Writings tour in 1998.
I met Jim Kelly when he was in town for his Hall of Fame induction (The year escapes me.  Must have been about 2003).  At the time, I worked at a restaurant that was sort of a meeting place for the Hall of Fame club that meets weekly and host sports figures as speaker (most of them local, but sometimes a big name like Jim Kelly).  
I also met Romeo Crennel there when he was head coach of the Browns.  At the time, I was doing my internship with a local paper and got assigned to write about his appearance, so I got to ask him some questions.
Just a month ago or so, I got to met Joe Namath.  He was touring the plant I work  at for reasons which I still don't know. 
 

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in my teens, I got to shake hands after a political rally with Senator and former Presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. I was one of hundreds who did so just at this one event. This was long after his Presidential run.  Not much of a claim to fame, but it is all I have!
 

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Milton Berle (I was in a play, he was in the audience and he signed autographs later)
Vaughn Monroe (book signing)
Frankie Avalon (book signing)
Buffalo Bob (my kids were in the Peanut Gallery on Howdy Doody)
Johnny Depp (his sister did my nails and I worked for his father)

 

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Sitting with Ted Turner at a table in a trailer, just the two of us, for a half hour. I was interviewing him for the Mobile Register. I stuttered and stammered but he was very cordial and cooperative and the story turned out well. This was back when he liked to wear an engineer's hat and chew tobacco. He was quite a character back them but seems to have left the stage.
 

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At one of the presidential parades.  Not sure of the year.  It was a Bush.  My kids were in the high school band marching in the parade.  My ex husband was a photographer for the band and we were given press passes.  We got to our positions early in the day and had a nice location.  We had walkie-talkies to communicate with other counselors.  NBC set up beside us.  At some point Ann Curry arrived.  She began talking to me because I was hearing about rioting occurring in other areas over my walkie-talkie. 
She gave me her umbrella.  It had started to rain. 
deb
 

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I got Darryl Dawkins' autograph when he came into the store I where I was working at the time. He was currently the starting center for the Philadelphia 76ers, and was tall, big, strong -- sort of exactly like a guy you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley -- and had a contagious smile and was very friendly with everyone who approached him. (Also known as "Chocolate Thunder", he was one of the main reasons the NBA came up with the collapsible rims, so that he wouldn't shatter so many backboards.)

I once answered a question for Joe Theisman: I was in the Miami U. marching band, getting ready to go on field for the halftime show at a Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals game. As the teams were coming off the field, Theisman looked in my general direction and asked, "You guys from Miami?". I rather tersely yelled, "Yeah!". He said, "You guys have a good team this year," which we did: we won the Tangerine Bowl that December. (I think this was before he became the starting quarterback for the Redskins, so he wasn't as famous then as he later became.)
 

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NogDog said:
I got Darryl Dawkins' autograph when he came into the store I where I was working at the time. He was currently the starting center for the Philadelphia 76ers, and was tall, big, strong -- sort of exactly like a guy you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley -- and had a contagious smile and was very friendly with everyone who approached him. (Also known as "Chocolate Thunder", he was one of the main reasons the NBA came up with the collapsible rims, so that he wouldn't shatter so many backboards.)

I once answered a question for Joe Theisman: I was in the Miami U. marching band, getting ready to go on field for the halftime show at a Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals game. As the teams were coming off the field, Theisman looked in my general direction and asked, "You guys from Miami?". I rather tersely yelled, "Yeah!". He said, "You guys have a good team this year," which we did: we won the Tangerine Bowl that December. (I think this was before he became the starting quarterback for the Redskins, so he wasn't as famous then as he later became.)
Speaking of quarterbacks, when eldest DD was in 8th grade, they went to the Dophins training camp. A couple of the boys came back all excited.

"Dan Marino talked to us!"

"Wow! What did he say?"

"Get off my car."

I guess it's not what the celebrity says but the fact it was the celebrity that said it. :D
 

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Ellen Degeneres (before she was famous) and Robert Klein at a fourth of July party we put on for the advertisers when I worked at a TV station.

Penn & Teller at a college event - we were their go-fors (not gophers) making sure their dressing room accomodations were just so and they got soda and water when they needed it.

Bill Romonowski (49rs/Broncos/etc) - went to high school with him and did a phone interview on my blog.

David Morrell - at a Backspace Conference - had a nice long conversation with him about him getting his pilots license.  

Mika Breshinski (Morning Joe) - Worked with her at the same TV station cited in the first one above before she went to national television.

Mcclain Stevens (M.A.S.H.) when I worked as a intern at a local radio station.

In all cases, I had more than a passing conversation with the person...




 

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Being in the first caucus state of Iowa, I have met, shaken hands with and talked with pretty much every presidential candidate for the last 20 years if we are counting politicians as famous people...

I was close enough to Michael Bolton at a concert in Charlotte, NC to get a kiss from him!

I have a picture somewhere taken with Rev. Billy Graham.

I have met and talked with several baseball players - Mark MacGuire, Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson and Albert Pujols.
 

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This is a fun thread!  As I'm reading everyone else's stories, I keep remembering more of my own stories.

Julianne Moore (actress) She came to my 6th birthday party.  I was best buddies with her younger sister and they lived down the street from my family.  She is 1 year older than me.

Alexander Payne (director)  He is also 1 year older than me and he went to my elementary school.  We were both in the orchestra.

David Naughton (actor) I spotted him at a casino in Reno.  I think it was in the mid-90s and I just kind of followed him around.  I had a huge crush on him when he was the Dr. Pepper guy

Tony La Russa (baseball coach) My husband and I lived in Oakland, CA when he was the coach of the Oakland A's.  We were eating dinner at our neighborhood Italian restaurant and we spotted him a few tables away eating dinner.
 

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Harison Ford, visited our small town seen from across street, Santana, came to visitor center I was working, and Sherman Alexi, I spoke with at a library conference.

Most the time I like to keep famous people at a distance, my imagination is usually better😋.
Sylvia
 

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I guess I should add I went to high school with Tom Arnold and had dinner with he and Roseanne Barr when they were married.
 

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My first experience was REO Speedwagon I guess. My then boyfriend, now husband was part of the radio station putting on a concert in Oklahoman, years ago. I don't know if they count as famous.  :D It was after their initial success.

The next was when I moved to San Antonio. Mind you, I am not into many sports. I only love Tennis. Know nothing about Basketball, Baseball or football. So I moved to SA and worked at a hobby store. Some guy comes in with his kid and I help him in my department like I do anyone else. I get him to the register and some of my coworker "ladies" start screeching at me. Don't you know who that is? He is with the Spurs. Now the only spurs I knew at the time where the actual spurs I sold in the doll house miniatures.  :D. Told you, know nothing about those sports other than Tennis. They swarmed him, asked for autographs and all I felt was embarrassed for the guy and his kid. I can't even remember his name.  :p

For me they are just all people. Like anyone else.

 

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About 20 at book signings and autograph events. I did go to an Elvis Presley concert. Seat was back considerably in the old Chicago Stadium. Elvis was a bright speck of white in the distance. Two big names I just happened to be at the same place at the same time -- Ernest Borgnine in the airport in Madrid and Muhammad Ali in downtown Chicago. I did get their autographs. Waaaay back about '70, a co-worker told me that the previous day when I walked out of the building in downtown Chicago Hugh O'Brien was behind me on the sidewalk so I missed seeing him. (I just looked on the IMDB. He's 87 or 89 [birth year is questionable] and married for the first time in 2006?!)
 

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Bruce Springsteen Charlottesville, VA in October last year. Best concert I've ever been to. Got an amazing spot in the pit and had a fantastic time. I've seen him 6 times, but that one was the best. I've also met several horror genre celebs at the few cons I've been to, like Bruce Campbell and George Romero.
 

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1992, Charlotte, North Carolina. Both presidential campaigns hired the store I worked for to do balloon decorations. The night of the Democratic primary our crew was done after a long day and resting in a hallway. Bill and Hillary Clinton came up the freight elevator with secret service guys. We shook their hands. Hillary went to the bathroom. Later I blew up balloons all night and dropped them from a net on Ronald Reagan after he made a speech, and fired a confetti launcher at an outdoor rally for George H.W. Bush. The secret service made me fire the gun ahead of time to make sure it didn't sound like a gunshot.
 

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Stepped on Jim McMahon's foot in Provo.
Saw several of the Osmonds there, too.
Was at BYU the same time as Steve Young...didn't know him but saw him a lot.
Walked right past Robert Redford outside the SLC airport, close enough to almost brush shoulders...didn't click who he was until I was several steps away.
Walked right past Dan Rather in the Houston airport once. Again, didn't realize who it was until my son pointed it out.

If online counts...I was mentioned in the acknowledgments of Wil Wheaton's book "Dancing Barefoot." At least in the first edition (which I have signed WooHoo.)
 

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Lots of concerts.. Willie Nelson, Alabama, Ingrid Michaelson, Joan Baez, Peter Paul and Mary, Ian & Sylvia (THAT was really close, very small venue), Juice Newton, indeed close enough for sweat :), Tina Turner (alas, not close), Gordon Lightfoot, Big Mama Thornton (very small venue, and later at a Blues festival, larger), Don McClean, Men at work, Everly Bros, American Idol tour, so many more.  Last year at one of the Men Alive (Orange County's Gay Men's Chorus) concerts, Nicki Blonsky was featured and she came out to the lobby with all the guys to mingle and I got to talk to her.. she appreciated how short I am, though she is even shorter! (I'm 5').

Other celebs..  I've sat a couple of feet from Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Aranxta Sanchez' mother and dog, ran into Venus Williams in a garage and talked to her, been in an elevator with Black Eyed Peas and also Conchita Martinez.. not the same elevator or even the same city or state) , waited to get into a tennis match a foot away from Wilt Chamberlain (REALLY tall!), a couple of feet from Joan Baez at a press conference, almost knocked over by Gloria Allred at a demonstration, next table at restaurants with John Wayne and another place, Danny Thomas (John Wayne lived in the same city we did, Danny was eating there on the way to Laguna Beach, when Marlo was in a play there)..  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (lecture and talked but didn't bring a book to sign.. she thought getting signatures was a colossal waste of her time.. actually she said she would rather have time to smoke a cigarette! 

Book signing, Mary Engelbreight, Jon Archabault (he was the fantastic illustrator for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.. and he drew a coconut palm with his signature.. very nice guy), Ozzy Osbourne, quite a few writers of books on trauma and abuse, also labrador books, and talked to those authors.

I went to high school with Paul Le Mat who was in American Grafitti, Melvin and Howard and other movies, and Greg MacGillivray who was half of MacGillivray-Freeman (IMAX film process)

Almost forgot the Nixons!  I was working at my first job as a programmer trainee and one of the older programmers was all excited because the Nixons were all coming to the courthouse nearby (Santa Ana, CA) to register to vote and she was really hot to go over, and dragged me along.  So we were mere feet from Dick, Pat, Trisha and I think Julie was there too. Pat and Trisha were so tiny.  The other person with me got to shake his hand.  She was excited.  I was interested, but not that excited.
 
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