CELEBRITIES WE'VE SPOTTED IN THE WILD
It's always a bit of a thrill to bump into a celebrity out doing normal person things. Here are some stories of our close encounters with fame. What's yours?
- •Warren Beatty and Annette BeningOf the many I’ve had, few can top the time I ran into Warren Beatty and Annette Bening shopping for snacks in a seedy East Hollywood liquor store. That night they looked like a couple of regular Angelenos to me. —@MaryMeltonLA, editor in chief
- •Bill MurrayIn 1989 I had a summer job pumping gas at the Malibu Texaco, and Bill Murray rolled up in a white BMW convertible. He gave me an expired credit card. I declined it, and as he looked for a new one, I asked what he was listening to. “Atlantic Rhythm & Blues,” he said. “You like the blues?” Sure, I said. “Tell you what,” he said, handing me the tape. “I’ll get it in a couple weeks.” I still have it. — Matthew Segal, executive editor
- •Orlando BloomI was on the phone with my best friend while shopping at Whole Foods in 2010. I started to reach for a carton of milk when I noticed another hand reaching for the same carton. I realized the hand was attached to Orlando Bloom. I was so excited that I ran away, whisper-screaming to my friend that “I almost touched Legolas!” —Marielle Wakim, associate editor
- •Richard SimmonsWhile checking out the fresh OJ at the West Hollywood Bristol Farms in 2004, I spotted this petite, fuzzy-headed man sashaying past me in a tank top and silky short shorts. It was Richard Simmons. He stopped, looked in my direction, and with a booming, sassy voice yelled, “Hey, giiiirl!” Then he continued power-stepping down the aisle. I said, “Hey!,” and quickly called my mom. Who else do you call when you have a Richard Simmons sighting? —@NancyMiller, former (😢) deputy editor
- •Robert RedfordBefore the last presidential election, I Netflixed All the President’s Men to remind myself of how unseemly politics has always been. The next day I was in our office parking lot when I saw Robert Redford. I said to him, “It’s so weird, because I just rewatched All the President’s Men. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies.” He looked surprised and chuckled: “It is? I love that! Have a great night.” And he walked to his car with a grin and a wave. —Amy Feitelberg, photo editor
- •Metta World PeaceI was trying to wash my hands in the Fogo de Chão bathroom, and so was the man next to me. No matter which direction we moved our hands beneath the spigots, the water wouldn’t come out. It was a full 90 seconds before we looked up and shrugged in mutual hopelessness. Then I blurted, “Oh, my God, you’re Ron Artest!” (This was before he changed his name.) And he said, “Yeah, man, these sinks are crazy confusing." We both left without washing our hands. —Josh Scherer, associate editor
- •Nigel LythgoeTwo year ago, when I was reporting on the Joffrey Ballet’s performance of The Rite of Spring, I happened to be seated next to Nigel Lythgoe from So You Think You Can Dance (his date was Priscilla Presley). I introduced myself, and throughout the evening he provided running commentary about the program. His reaction to the fertility ritual depicted in Rite? “Pocahontas on Ambien.” — Leilah Bernstein, associate editor
- •Charlize TheronBuying something I'm sure we didn't need and in the check out line at Bed Bath & Beyond in the Beverly Center, there was a tall blonde buying towels and in workout clothes in front of wifey and me. It took a second look but it was Ms. Theron.Suggested by @WhelmedDad
- •Dax ShepardAt an outdoor movie last summer. He was on his phone, going through all of the food trucks' menus. Possibly talking to Kristen Bell?
- •Samuel L. Jackson (and friends)I was at Spago back in 2000 or 2001. Sidney Poitier walked in and sat down at the table behind us, followed by Sally Struthers. And then Samuel L. Jackson sauntered in with his backwards newsboy cap and colored sunglasses and joined them. And Milton Berle was across the room, looking like he wanted to join the fun!Suggested by @meredithsb
- •Chad Michael MurrayIt was about 5 years ago in Paris. I was 18 and with friends in front of the Eiffel Tower when I saw him. He was wearing aviators but easy to recognize. Even though he was surrounded by people no one seems to notice him. We approached and I giggle told him we were the only ones to recognize as we were from the right country and right age group. He chuckled. In retrospect, I realize that might not have been the most sensitive thing to say to an expired teen heartthrob past his golden years.Suggested by @leahr
- •Adam SandlerAt Houston's a few years ago with his kids. He was very nice about people asking to take pictures with him. I was at the table next to him, and he commented on my hamburger.
- •Ben Affleck and Matt DamonMy mom was driving on Wilshire and Santa Monica in 2000 or 2001. Matt and Ben were jaywalking across the street to get to the Creative Artists Agency in its old location. She almost ran them over.