Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Celebrity Sightings

Having lived my entire adult life in West Los Angeles has given me the opportunity to see A, B and C list celebrities out on their daily business. My wife often teases me for my ability to recognize even the most minor of character actors, often stating that, aside from the actor's agent and mother, I'm the only one who would ever recognize them. (I like to think this comes from my work as an artist, which requires me to be very aware of faces!)

I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a kick out of it. By the same token, I'm no autograph hound and never try to bother anyone I see, drawing simple satisfaction from having spotted them. Nevertheless, I've made it a habit, when I remember, to note these sightings! So without anymore further ado, below is a list dating back to the mid-1990s. I'll post pre-'90s sightings in a future post....

Steve Hytner, actor, played recurring character Kenny Banya on "Seinfeld" (Jan. 4): Having breakfast with his family at Carrows Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA.

Mindy Kaling, producer, writer, actor on "The Office"
(Dec. 29): Lobby of the Bridge Cinema Theatre in Culver City, CA.

Tim Robbins
(Aug. 23): At a free outdoor performance of the Actor's Gang Theatre production of "King Lear," in Culver City. (Robbins is the founder and current artistic director of the theatre group. Robbins attended UCLA when I was a student there as well and founded the group immediately after college.) As noted below, this was the second time this year I've encountered Robbins.

Lee Arenberg, charactor actor, "Seinfeld" and Pirates of the Caribbean
(Aug. 23): In the audience for "King Lear." (I saw him in numerous student productions at UCLA when I was a student there.)

Simon Pegg (July): Walked past him on floor of the
San Diego Comics Convention.

Tim Robbins (July 14): Lobby of the Actor's Gang Theatre at the historic Ivy Substation in Culver City during the intermission of the group's production of "Gulliver's Travels."
Kate Hudson (June 22): Having lunch with a friend at the table next to me and my wife at Ford’s Filling Station Restaurant, Culver City. Taller than I expected in person!

Rosario Dawson (July): Working at a booth at the San Diego Comics Convention (see photo at the top of this post). Dawson spotted my daughter in her Batgirl outfit, and Dawson tried to get her to strike a pose for her! Of course my daughter suddenly developed a case of stage fright as a crowd of people looked on.

Parry Shen, actor (July): Stopped by my booth at the San Diego Comics Convention (see photo below).

B.J. Novak, actor/producer on "The Office" (July): Walked past my booth at the San Diego Comics Convention.
Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed (June 16): Along with their son, buying ice cream at the Century City Mall food court. All three are amazons in real life!

Daniel Baldwin
(Jan. 27): Having breakfast with a companion at the booth across from me and my family at Carrows Restaurant in Santa Monica. Remarked how beautiful our kids were, and talked with our daughter! (I blogged about it here.)
Colin Hanks, actor, son of Tom Hanks
(Aug. 18): Introduced to him on location while he was filming The Amazing Buck Howard.

Seth Green (July): Walked past my booth at the San Diego Comics Convention.
Bob Saget: Sitting with his daughters in the lobby of the Brentwood medical building of my dentist's office.

Larry David: At the Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles with his daughters.
Andy Richter: Stood next to us with his family one Sunday morning waiting for the pet store to open at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. I briefly said to him, "Love the show," referring to "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," which he thanked me for.

John O'Hurley
, "Seinfeld," "Dancing with the Stars" (Feb. 26): He and his wife were on my flight for a business trip to Florida; he was on my return flight as well.
Richard Simmons (Feb. 26): During the above-mentioned trip, Simmons was both in the check in area of my airline and in the same boarding gate area, though he was on a different flight. Simmons was dressed in his trademark short shorts and caused quite a stir!
Stan Lee, Publisher Emeritus, Marvel Comics
(Jan. 14): Sat next to me as a guest at the monthly meeting of the professional cartoonists' association I belong to (see photo below).

Spotted separately at a Starbuck's Coffee House in the San Fernando Valley in the space of an hour (spring 2003):
  • Robert Mandan, actor, played "Chester" in the '70s sitcom, "Soap")
  • Christine Ebersol, actor
  • Corbin Bernson
Tea Leoni (July): While my wife and I were vacationing in New York City, Leoni stepped out of an ice cream parlor in front of us on the sidewalk and hopped into a taxi (with, I presume, her daughter and parents).
John Waters (July): In front the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas (I was in town for my bachelor party).
Jamie Lee Curtis (Oct. 18): Walked past her on the street while visiting my dentist in Brentwood.

Jada Pinkett Smith
(July 22): With a girlfriend and their children at the Long Beach Aquarium.

Tanya Roberts
(July 25): The Beverly Center, Los Angeles.

Jane Krakowski
(July): At the UCLA Sculpture Garden during the intermission of a performance we were both attending of Bertolt Brecht's "Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui," at the UCLA Theatre, Los Angeles.

Lynn Redgrave
(July): Same as above, UCLA Theatre, Los Angeles.
Gillian Anderson
(Aug.): Sat behind her during a showing of the film The Imposters at the Laemmle Sunset 5 movie theatre on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood .

David Schwimmer
(March): Walked in then walked out like he was looking for someone at Le Petit Bistro Restaurant in Los Angeles. A lot taller than I expected!
John Tesch and Connie Selleca
(March): Cloverfield Park in Santa Monica at a family picnic.
Leonard Nimoy
(March): Attended the same movie showing as me of Kenneth Branagh’s film Hamlet at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles.
James Remar, actor (Dec.): Oomasa Restaurant in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

Ethan Hawke
(Dec.): Panda Inn Restaurant, West Los Angeles. 

Playwright Neil Simon (June): New York Stage Deli, Century City.

Updates and more to come in a future post!

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