I have been MIA from this blog for the past few months, mainly because we are in the middle of relocating from Dallas to the L.A. area. We are looking forward to many things about our new home, including the nice weather and being close to many interesting destinations. Another small perk of living near L.A. is that we are likely to spot the occasional celebrity. I’m not one of those people who worships actors and musicians, and I don’t believe that encountering them in public will somehow change my life. After all, they are just people. For me, it’s more of a fun game, to see if I recognize someone famous, and then to observe them to guess what sort of person they are. I’ve only been to California a few times, but since Brad has been out there for work several times a year for the past eight years, I will include his celeb spottings here, too.
- Noah Wyle – When I was in high school, ER’s Dr. Carter was on my list of attractive famous people (does every teenage girl compile such a list?) So I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed him sitting in first class on my flight to L.A. a couple of weeks ago. The man sitting next to him started talking to me about Peter, and Noah looked up and smiled at us. In that brief moment I observed that he has aged (he’s almost 40!), he was sharply dressed, and was reading a book called The War of Art. You can’t tell much about someone in a few seconds, but I will say that he had kind eyes. You can see Noah on tv again this summer on TNT’s new scifi drama Falling Skies.
- Thomas Hayden Church – While waiting to board my flight home to Dallas at the Burbank Airport, I recognized this Sideways star immediately. He was buying something at the snack/magazine counter, and appeared to be impatient with the lady behind the counter (I hadn’t been too impressed with her, either.) He is very tall, so it’s hard to miss him. Some of the other passengers started to point him out to each other. He never talked to anyone – he seemed anxious to get on the plane, and in fact was the first person in line for boarding. He was wearing a flannel shirt and cargo pants. I was sitting in the first row behind first class, so I had a view of him during the flight to Dallas. Whenever I looked up at him, he was either sleeping or reading what could have been a script.
- James Denton – On a previous trip to L.A., I walked past this Desperate Housewives plumber at LAX. He was dressed in a suit, and I was struck by how blue his eyes were!
- Mike Piazza – Going back about 18 years, when I was an avid Dodger fan, I spotted this Dodger catcher at the Galleria in Houston. My family was in town for an Astros/Dodgers game, and we were hanging out at the Galleria beforehand. Apparently the Dodgers were staying at one of the mall’s hotels, because while we were hanging out at the ice rink, Piazza strode past, looking nice in a suit. We tried to catch up with him for an autograph (of course! I was a teenage girl, and he was on my “cute” list), but he was already to the parking garage and out of sight. A bit later, my dad had a conversation with another Dodger player, Cory Snyder.
- Quincy Jones – My strangest celebrity encounter happened in June 2009, the day after Michael Jackson died. I was in L.A. visiting my friend Lindsay. We decided to have afternoon coffee and dessert at a popular place called Pan e Vino. You can read all the details here. We both recognized Quincy Jones sitting at a table with family/friends in the corner of the patio opposite from us. It was strange to see someone who was a known friend and associate of Michael Jackson, only hours after Michael’s death. Quincy was dressed in black, whether out of mourning or because that’s his normal thing I don’t know. We guessed that he was with a daughter, son-in-law, and grand child based on their interactions with each other.
Brad – I should ask him to give me some more details about these spottings, but for now I’ll just give a brief run down.
- Ted Danson – He shared a flight with him one time.
- Mario Lopez – This was probably the most amusing celeb sighting for Brad. He even took a few discreet pictures with his phone to prove to me that he was sitting next to “Slater” at the airport.
- Mike Tyson – He and his colleagues actually stopped Mike and asked for a picture at the airport.
- Coolio – Spotted him walking through an airport
- Blair Underwood – This has been Brad’s most interesting celebrity encounter. At the time Underwood was appearing on the now canceled show Dirty Sexy Money, and now he is somewhat more recognized as the president on NBC’s 24/Lost wannabe The Event. Brad didn’t just see Blair Underwood. He was actually sitting next to him on the flight to Dallas, and so he conversed with him periodically throughout the flight. As I recall, Underwood was going to Dallas for a funeral. 😦 Brad enjoyed talking with him about the ins and outs of the theater and tv industry, and to a certain extent about Blair’s efforts to remain successful. I would love to have such a conversation with an actor! Maybe one day I’ll have my chance. As someone pointed out to me recently, having babies or small children with you somehow makes conversations with strangers more acceptable.
If you could see or talk to a celebrity in person, who would it be? What would you want to talk to them about?