A thrift shop in Belgium has caused quite a stir on the Internet. People at Opnieuw & Co, a local establishment in Mortsel, discovered an old photo album where a woman posed next to the biggest stars in Hollywood. After they shared some of the pictures, the online community immediately started their investigation. Who was this woman hugging Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Bruce Willis, and other A-list celebrities?
After a while, someone noticed a tag she had in one of the photos. Turns out, the 'mysterious' woman is actually Maria Snoeys-Lagler, a former member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). It's a non-profit organization of journalists and photographers who report on the entertainment industry. The HFPA consists of about 90 members from around 55 countries, and they're the ones conducting the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Los Angeles every January.
Looking at these pictures, it's clear that Maria Snoeys-Lagler has met virtually everyone dominating the biggest screens and stages. Or is it the other way around? Maybe, just maybe, there's a secret club in Hollywood of all the celebrities who have had their picture taken with Maria Snoeys-Lagler?
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"We still have no idea how the album got to us," a spokesperson of Opnieuw & Co told Bored Panda. "We are a thrift store and we rely on donations to fund our social workplace (we provide refugees and people who can’t find a job with work). That means someone probably dropped it off at one of our shops in a box full of other stuff as well."
"One of our people browsed through the album and realized this was not something that someone would get rid of voluntarily," they said. "We figured out the lady’s name through her press badge in one of the photos. Then, one of our country's national TV stations used their contacts and located her daughter in California. Nobody has any idea how the album ended up here."
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"Maria died in 2016 after being a Hollywood reporter until the age of 87. We have now contacted her daughter to make sure we can return the album to her."
Judging from the photos, it's clear that her job had meant a lot to her. Let's hope they reach California safely and Maria's daughter gets to keep these tributes to her mom's work.