Post your random celebrity encounters here


The Ted Turner encounter that I described above was probably the one with the most interaction, but living in NYC in the '80s, I encountered a lot of celebrities in various locations around New York. The ones I remember are:

Sen. Ted Kennedy at a political fundraiser

Jim Bouton, author of “Ball Four,” Edwin Newman of NBC News and Rupert Murdoch in the office building my company shared with King Features Syndicate

Gavin MacLeod, of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Love Boat” fame. I sat next to him at dinner in The Russian Tea Room.

And on the streets of New York: Diana Ross (she was rollerskating behind her limo up 3rd Ave. Really.), the late TV correspondents Tom Snyder and Ed Bradley, conductor/composer Andre Previn, legendary “Red” basketball coaches Red Holzman and Red Auerbach and, perhaps the most famous person in the world, Muhammad Ali.


I came within a few feet of Jeff Green at PAX.


Spooky timing on this thread. I saw this thread yesterday afternoon, and nothing came to mind that I would call ‘random’. My celebrity encounters had been at conventions or otherwise scheduled appearances (Playing a game of Magic with Richard Garfield at a convention, running into the Sharks’ TV announcer in the line for a bathroom at a game, dealing with some legal forms for Ozzy Osbourne backstage at BlizzCon, etc.).

But then just a few hours later, while I was waiting for a table at a restaurant, out came Dennis Rodman, saying hi to everybody waiting and taking pictures. I didn’t recognize him immediately, but my wife did, and we got a fun picture of my daughter sitting with him and really excited about his painted nails.


Random Celebrity Encounter Table

Roll Result Additional Notes
1 1d4 Hanson Siblings Each Hanson is a Lv 2 Banshee
2 3d8 Dallas Cowboys Each Cowboy is a Lv 3 Human Barbarian
3 2d6 Walking Dead Walkers Each Walker is a CR 1/2 Zombie
4 Attractive Chris Roll on “Attractive Chrises” table to determine Hemsworth vs. Evans vs. Pine vs. Pratt
5 1d4 Beatles Each Beatle is a CR 1 Giant Scarab with 1 Lv in Bard
6 Shia Labeouf Lv 8 Human Ranger (Tracker) with Cannibalism Condition


Oh - for all of you science nerds out there: I worked with Francis Collins for many years.

If you’re in medicine and don’t know who he is… for shame! :p


I used to work in Monaco and our office was the other side from the train station. I used to walk through the grand prix tunnel to get to my office everyday. On the other side I often passed by Roger Moore most mornings as he used to live next door our office building. I also saw Bono get out of his illegally parked convertible strolling around in a cowboy hat once.

I saw Madonna and Guy Ritchie who were in the same plane as me once on a flight from London to Toronto.

I met Roger Daltry’s son a couple of times as he was dating my cousin. My aunt and uncle had dinner with the Daltry’s a few times.

My mother spoke to Michael Caine once who was asking about his mother who was a patient at the doctor’s surgery she used to work at.

My wife has seen Anne Hathaway a few times recently as she bought a house a few minutes walk from ours in Connecticut.


If we’re going to add family encounters, my Dad’s outdo mine by a lot, except his encounters were far from random. My father was an accomplished freelance musician and he worked with some of the most famous singers and musicians from every genre, from Leonard Bernstein to Rod Stewart to Tony Bennett to Willie Nelson to Frank Sinatra. If I think back on it, I got to meet some of them when I was a little kid. I remember Bert Lahr from when I was very little, because he played the Cowardly Lion and Zero Mostel made an impression on me because he was so big and loud and larger than life. But Dad seemed to save the most famous ones until after I had gone off to college and he and Mom had moved from Cleveland to South Florida. Damn him. :)




Chapper’s plane reference reminded me that several years ago we shared a flight to
Florida with Alice Cooper, on his way to a golf tournament. By “shared” I mean that he was in first class, where we weren’t.


Pretty sure I saw Kevin Smith during a layover at Chicago-Midway. But there was no entourage so maybe it was just some guy wearing a hockey sweater.


We were staying at a Washington DC hotel and my partner swears that he saw Peter Dinklage walking a huge dog and surrounded by an entourage (huge bodyguards) walking on the street (from our windows). I didn’t see to verify, but I can’t imagine there are many men of his stature that would warrant an entourage.

My dad used to be the night auditor for a fancy hotel in Baltimore when he was young. He’s told a story for years how Dom DeLuise trapped him in an elevator, pawed at him, and tried to convince him to come up to his hotel room for free booze.


My aunt is a big player in the Pittsburgh autism charity scene. At an Autism Speaks event (back in the days when the organization had a different name and the local charity walk was called ‘Walk Far for NAAR’), I had a five-minute conversation with a guy who I only later learned was then-Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.


I remember when he played for Krypton U.


He really went downhill playing in a city where it’s so frequently cloudy during football season, separating him from the nourishing, empowering rays of our yellow sun.


That is awesome.

Nothing random for me. Worked with Harrison Ford a lot, but not randomly.


Not to be a downer, but for someone who was such a great athlete it is terrible to read that he has had trouble walking and cognitive issues in his mid-30s.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be football players.


Christ, I live in North Dakota, a celebrity wasteland, so I got nothing on any of you. All of my celebrity “encounters” were done via email, or, as in the case of the following story, via telephone. Just go ahead and skip this entirely if you’re anticipating something really cool.

Back in the 1970’s, I was a huge fan of the band Starz. Link to “Cherry Baby”, their only Top 40 hit. I believe it hit number 39 IIRC.

Anyway, about two decades later, I was a member of the fan club’s mailing list, so once in a while I’d get a mailing with all of the current items for sale, mostly stuff like shirts and re-released “bootleg” CD’s. From somewhere in New Jersey I think.

I ordered a whole bunch of stuff over the years from there without incident. But when a certain specific CD was announced, I just had to have it, and mailed a check immediately.

The CD did not come. I waited like two weeks, and then finally called the phone number on one of the mailings to see what went wrong. I got an answering machine, and left a detailed message. Then we left on vacation for a few days.

When we returned, I checked my answering machine for messages. There was one. Some guy stating he was from Collector’s Items Incorporated, and telling me to return his call. I then also checked the Caller ID, which was a brand new thing at the time. The name that popped up was R. Ranno. Richie Ranno is lead guitarist for the band Starz. Apparently the message was left by him. I called the girlfriend over to the Caller ID unit. “Hey, check this out!” It was a big deal to me.

Naturally, I called him back, even though it was late evening. But he answered.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m returning your call in regard to…” etc.
“Oh, uh, yes,” he replied. “I just wanted to let you know that I did receive your payment, but that I have not yet gotten the shipment of CD’s into my offices, but I expect them by next week.”
I could hold back no longer. “Is this Richie?”
“Is this Richie Ranno?”
“Uh…yes, in fact.”
I then went on about what a big fan I was, and asked if he remembered anything about when they played in Bismarck, North Dakota back in 1978.
Amazingly, he did. “Bismarck…Yeah, I remember looking out the windows of the bus and seeing nothing as far as the eye could see in any direction…until we hit Bismarck.” Then he asked, “Did you enjoy the show?”
“I didn’t go,” I said.
“Why not? You just said you were a big fan.”
“The tickets were $8, and I didn’t have $8.”
The conversation kind of dwindled from there.


Before I moved to Los Angeles and the rampant celebrity scene here, I worked the 1995 MLB All Star Game in Arlington, TX, as a suite attendant for two nights. First night was great, my friend and I were in charge of two adjacent suites that had a total of 1 guest. The reporter that attended invited us out onto the balcony and we had awesome seats for the home run derby.

Next night I had a big party in my suite for the actual game but they didn’t really need my help. So I hung outside the entrance for a bit until a guest showed up and approached me. He was a bit shy and sheepishly asked me if I could let them know he was here. I went inside, found the suite owner, and mumbled something about how their friend was here. I can’t remember whose suite that was or exactly what all I said to the guest but I definitely won’t forget meeting one of my all-time favorite hockey players: a relatively newly arrived to the area Mike Modano.


Living in LA I’ve seen a bunch, but the stand out for me is when I went to dinner with my siblings and our spouses and Antonio Esfandiari (a famous poker player) sat at the table next to us, we said hi and he was so down to earth that the rest of the night we just had full on conversations like we were one table. Very cool.

The rest of the times it’s me seeing actually big celebrities and not bothering them in public. Going back to Ben Stein, I saw him twice actually. Most recently was like a month ago (at Century City coincidentally) he looked really old. Made me sad.


Not really a celebrity but more of crossing paths with greatness.

I had several memorable professors in university, but there was one that stood out. I first encountered him in my second year. As a computer science major at the University of Waterloo, I had to take a lot of mandatory math courses which included graph theory. I was complaining about how awful it was after two lectures when some friends suggested I just go to their class instead. Regardless of the professor / class, the introductory course in second year had a standard mid-term and final exam. The change was amazing, this professor was a very good communicator / teacher, and I ended up enjoying the course and getting a decent grade. I had him as my actual official professor in fourth year when I took an advanced graph theory course. I knew he was an important person in the field. He held the title of Professor Emeritus and he had a theory named after him. How awesome is it to be taught a theorem by the guy who cane up with it!?!?!?

However, I did not fully realize how great he was until many, many years after I graduated. I was watching a PBS documentary about Bletchley Park and his name came up. I had been taught by a Bletchley Park code-breaker! William Tutte provided some of the fundamental insight that led to breaking the Lorenz Cipher.