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Question Of The Day


Do you have a personal brush with fame (either with a famous person or yourself)?

[This answer is slightly longer than the one posted at blackfolks... naturally!]

I've stood in line and gotten autographs from a most eclectic group of people (mostly book signings): Joe Bob Briggs (see the icon picture!), Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Bruce Campbell, "Weird Al" Yankovic, La Toya Jackson (bless her heart!), Anne Rice, Tori Amos, Robert Townsend, Brooke Shields.

I met director Bill Duke back when I was in film school at USC. My first day at USC, I hadn't been at the school an hour when I went to the little store in the basement of my dorm and standing in the doorway sucking on a popsicle was Ted Lange (Isaac from the "Love Boat"!). I also got to meet Pam Grier, who was terrific! I've got her autograph around here too, somewhere.

And I sorta met rapper Rakim, who I ran into one night at USC, when he and his friends asked me where the parties were that night on campus. I kept thinking that the guy looked familiar, but at the time, all I could think about was how clueless I was about the whole USC party thing. I honestly didn't remember who he was until he walked away--and so my already considerable embarrassment easily tripled!

Speaking of cluelessness, it wasn't until I saw the late Charles Nelson Reilly at an event that a gay organization threw at my dorm that I put *that* together--and now all those jokes on "Match Game" make a ridiculous amount of sense and geez, were the networks clueless about all that stuff back then, but I digress...

Also at USC, I got to meet the late Ernest Lehman, who was a GOD to me for his film script adaptation of "West Side Story," plus he did the one for "The Sound of Music." The late Abraham Polonsky, a screenwriter and director, was one of my professors, as was the unforgettable Drew Casper, who released the book, "Postwar Hollywood: 1946-1962," earlier this year.

In a kind of "before they were *really* famous" deal, I met and got the autograph of Karl Urban while at a Xena convention. He played Julius Caesar and Cupid on "Xena" and "Hercules," and he was Eomer in the "Lord of the Rings" movies. And he was just cast as Leonard "Bones" McCoy for the upcoming "Star Trek" movie. Really nice guy.

And in that whole discussion upthread about "The Wiz," I can't believe I forgot to mention that I got to meet Derrick Bell, who played one of the scarecrows. He was a friend of one of my high school teachers and he came in and visited the class one day..