People I have met (but don’t have pictures)
Before the days digital cameras and cameras in phones, I met some famous people with nothing to show for it. Here is a list of some amazing people that I met, spoke to, shook hands with, but with no pictures. In many cases, I had autographed photos that after 4 moves, have been misplaced. Hopefully they are buried in a box in storage somewhere…
Probably the first famous person I ever met. This was after he was vice president and before he became president. I was in high school attending a luncheon back in the late 60’s. They had invited honor students from schools accross the city. Nixon was the guest speaker. When it was over, we were taken up to his table and introduced to him. I got to shake his hand.
Chicago news anchor and legend. Saw him on the street. I said hello and he said hello back.
Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry aka “Stepin-Fetchit”
I was doing a live audio recording of a band that was performing at the Roberts Motel on the South Side back in the 1970’s. During a break in the show, the host told the crowd that famous movie actor Stepin Fetchit was in the audience. The response was less than enthusiastic. I went over to meet him. I think he appreciated being recognized and appreciated by an actual fan. We spoke for several minutes. His is the first celebrity autograph that I ever got. You can see that autograph here.
Ouida Lindsey was a talk show hostess, a newspaper columnist, and an assistant dean at Columbia College Chicago. I appeared very briefly at the end of one of her shows to announce the upcoming live presentation of one of my radio dramas in the late 1970’s. She committed suicide in 1981.
I was walking through the airport (don’t recall which one) and I saw Mr. Young standing there, waiting. I walked up and said hello and he shook my hand. He thought I was the person he was waiting for; I explained that I was just a fan.
You may recall Mr. McNee fron the British TV show “The Avengers.” I happened to see him on the street downtown. He was in town starring in a play. I walked up and “You’re Mr. McNee, aren’t you?” He seemed pleased to be recognized. We shook hands and spoke for a few moments.
Father George Clements
I actually don’t recall exacty where or when I met Father Clements. I’m sure it was at some event where he spoke. I got to shake his hand and he autographed my copy of the program, which I have since misplaced.
I visited Walter Peyton’s restaurant shortly after it opened. A friend took me there. Turned out Mr. Peyton was there and I got a chance to shake his hand as we left.
Met and shook hands with Jim Rose at a charity golf event back in the late 2000’s. 20 years earlier, a South Suburban real estate agent tried to sell me his house, assuming I was a sports fan. I was not a sports fan, and the house was too big for us.
I was working as a cable TV technician. I was with a partner at the Drake Hotel in Chicago to do some work. As we were waiting in the lobby, Sid Ceaser walked in. He must have been in his 80’s. He was talking and kidding around with the doorman, whom I knew well. I walked over and said hello to Sid and shook his hand, telling him I was a long time fan. We rode the elevator together and discussed the state of modern comedy.
Several years ago, I was at the airport with my wife and 18 month old daugher. My brother-in-law worked at O’Hare airport and often told us of the celebrities that came through that he got to know. While we were waiting in the terminal, he spotted Muhammad Ali at a snack counter. He went over and asked him to say hello to us. He was very gracious and picked up my daughter and tried to play with her. She was only interested in the snack cake he was eating, so he share it with her. This was 1984, and Ali was beginning to slow down. After we all chatted for a few minutes, he pulled me over and said quietly, “I sound really bad don’t I?” Yes, his speech was slurred but I told him “No, you sound great!”
It was one of the most memorable and heartbreaking celebrity encounters I ever had.
Ms. Height was speaking at an event that I was videotaping for a cable access program in the mid-80’s . Afterwards I met her and shook her hand. I got an autograph that I have since misplaced.
“Counselor Deanna Troi” From “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Got an autograph from her at a Trek convention and has been misplaced after several moves. Along with other autographed photos as noted below.
Bobby Clark – “The Gorn”
Bobby Clark was the man in the Gorn costume in the Star Trek episode “Arena.” Met him at a small Star Trek convention.
Met Mr. Shimmerman at a small Trek event. He played Quark in “Start Trek: Deep Space Nine”. Another autographed photo that I cannot find.
Mr. Darrow played the part of Avon on the British Sci-Fi TV series “Blake’s Seven” Yet another missing autographed photo.
She played Seven of Nine on “Star Trek: Voyager” and in the Picard series. Met her at a Trek convention. The character she plays is actually named Annika; she was was kidnapped by the Borg as a child. When I asked her to autograph the photo, I requested she make it out to Annika. She asked if it was supposed to be some kind of joke. I explained that my daughter was named Annika. She got excited about that and signed the picture “From one to another.” Really wish I could find that photo.
Terry Farrel played the part of Jedzia Dax on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” Met her and got an autographed photo at a Trek convention. Another photo misplaced.
Sometime in the 90’s I attended a Sci-Fi Convention where Peter Davidson (Dr. Who #5) was a guest. Part of the cost of admission (which I sure was only $20-$25) was an autograph and photo op with Mr. Davidson. Yes, there was a time when you could get autographs and photos without paying hundreds of dollars. Anyway, the deal was you got the opportunity to stand next to the star and a convention staff member would take your camera and get the photo. This was before smartphones and even practical digital photography. So I had a film camera. Flash was not allowed, which made sense, the stars would be half-blind after a hundred or more photos. Even though we were brightly illuminated, the photo did not come out. Just not enough light. I do still have the autograph!
Lou Gosset, Jr.
Mere happenstance. I was at a comic con, and everyone was packing up to leave as it was about to close, I saw Lou Gosset at a table putting things away. I walked up and introduced myself as a fan and got a handshake. Mr. Gosset played Father Clements in a made for TV movie.
A heartthrob of mine from the days of the great blaxploitation films. Ms. Grier was sitting next to Lou Gossett when I walked up. He got her attention for me and I got a nice hello and a smile.
When I was a kid back in the 60’s, I used to tune my trusty 2-transistor radio between the Black pop radio stations and the White ones. One of my faves on WLS back in the day was the legendary Dick Biondi. He was still going strong in the 1980’s. We were listening on the radio one night and came across his program and found out that he was broadcasting from a local car dealership. We got in the car and rushed over to see the man in action. My daughter got an autographed photo and a chance to announce a song on the air.
Somewhere I have a photo of me petting K-9 at a Dr. Who convention. It was one of the models actually used in the show. Not a working model; I was told it was the one they would “throw over a cliff” when the story called for it. Wish I could find that photo!
|Pictures I took of Donna with Celebrities
(Hey, I was there!)
Played Jackson Montgomery on the soap opera All My Children. Met him at a local restaurant (he was a friend of the owner).
Starred in “In Living Color” and “Living Single” on TV. Met her at the Chicago Black Women’s Expo in 2013.