If you’ve ever met someone famous in real life, you know for a fact what it truly means to be star-struck. Your eyes twinkle. Your mind goes numb. Your palms get sweaty. And you suddenly forget your name as you try and think of a nice way to ask for their autograph. If only we were always cool, calm, and collected!

Some people definitely have the experience and the self-control to master their emotions and relax in stressful social interactions. That comes in handy when meeting someone famous. However, funnily enough, in some cases, this nonchalance is the result of ignorance rather than anything else, as the people in this Quora thread will attest.

They shared the times that they or someone they knew met famous people without realizing who they actually were. And it makes for a witty and refreshing read. You’ll find their stories below. Have you ever met any stars, dear Pandas? Who’s a celebrity that you’d absolutely love to have a chat with? Share your experiences, hopes, and dreams in the comments!

We reached out to entertainment, pop culture, and lifestyle expert Mike Sington, from LA, to hear his thoughts about interacting with celebrities: what to do and what fans should probably avoid. His advice is definitely something you should keep in mind for the future, dear Pandas. Read on to check out Bored Panda's interview with Mike!


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were No, but I remember hearing Pres. George H.W. Bush tell a story about vising an old folks home and chatting with a pleasant older lady in a wheel chair. After a while he asked her, “Do you know who I am?” She replied, “Ask at the desk. They’ll know.”

Ed McManus , Unknown author Report

Celebrity expert Mike told Bored Panda that it's essential to respect a celebrity's space and privacy. "Timing is everything when interacting with a celebrity or public figure. It’s probably best to not even bother if they’re dining or with their family. These are private moments that shouldn’t be interrupted," he warned.

"If you can catch them alone, or not doing anything, start with introducing yourself. Don’t forget, you know them, but they don’t know you. Then simply offer a sincere, non-personal compliment. Maybe about a project they worked on, but never about their personal appearance. This could start a very meaningful conversation for both of you."

According to Mike, there's really no need to feel anxious or stressed when meeting a public figure. "They’re someone that just happens to have a different job than you do. But you have commonality because you know their work. Rely on that to build your confidence," he explained to us.


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Yes, but not in so many words.

One early Saturday morning, I took our German Shepherd with me to get gas in the car and pick up a few picnic essentials while my husband was still asleep.

As I pulled up, I saw a fancy car and a couple of folks surrounding the driver, who was handing them over something. In a few minutes, they all left. As I was about to get back in my car, he walked up to me, and we exchanged trivial pleasantries. He complimented my dog for his looks, and asked: “Want my autograph?” Seriously!

“Only if you want mine" I responded.

He pulled a calling card from his pocket, asked for my name, wrote something on the back, and handed it over back to me. Without looking I put it on the dashboard

I gave him a napkin, with my name written on it, and we bid farewell.

At breakfast, I told my husband about my encounter with this chap and gave him the card.

“My God! Are you crazy… you met him and didn't even recognize him?”

With “Who HE?” look on my face, I stared at my husband.

The card was from Jamieson’s, the trendy bar and restaurant in the same block as our office, and the owner himself Sugar Ray Leonard … the boxing champion, had signed and written. on the back of the card:

“Admit Raji, husband and 10 guests for lunch/dinner/drinks. Carryout for German Shepherd.“

Rajyashree Tripathi , John Mathew Smith Report


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were A friend of mine told me about the time he saw Prince go through the airport TSA.

Prince was travelling with a gorgeous model. He was also wearing thigh high purple boots and purple cape type thing.

Prince had the special security stamp on his ticket that meant he had to get pulled aside and inspected.

The TSA agent was a 70 year old ex army vet. He rolled his eyes and said, “Step this way sir. And remove your boots.”

Prince unzipped his thigh highs and got the full pat down, all while his super model girlfriend looked on.

When he left everyone was starstruck, asking the old man “Do you know who that was?”

The old man replied, “Looked like a real fruit cake to me.”

RIP Prince.

Roving Mauler , Scott Penner Report

Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes, BUT the Prince of the Fruit Cake!

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"At a public event, a celebrity is working and 'on,' and is expecting people to approach them, so it should be fairly easy. If you catch a celebrity 'in the wild,' it’s a little more difficult, but can still be done with an introduction and sincere compliment. Don’t forget, celebrities know being recognized is part of the job. They’re much more open to meeting you than you may think."

It's incredibly difficult for celebrities to have privacy. If you're famous, it's generally best to assume that you're always seen. Blending in while in public is a tough call, too.

"The more a star tries to blend in, the more they tend to stand out. The best way to blend in is really to just live your life. If you’re doing that, the average star will hardly be recognizable, especially if no hair and makeup has been done," celebrity expert Mike, Hollywood's Ultimate Insider, told Bored Panda.

"For bigger stars, there are security concerns that come into play, and they will have a team escorting them in public, which gives them a bubble of privacy."


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were When I was 8 (1985), I was diagnosed with acute intermittent porphyria, and spent a couple months in Children's Hospital at Stanford the next year.

We were very poor, but had pretty good insurance (CHAMPUS — ,for military dependents, dad was Air Force) but it paid slooooooowly. And didn't pay everything. Since I was heathy looking, and when not having an acute attack could do most anything any other nine-year-old could do (it took several months from being first diagnosed to CHS admission) they offered to have me in a commercial to pay a large portion of what CHAMPUS wouldn't.

So, I'm in this studio set up like a test room, I'm going to be walking on a treadmill with a breathing mask thing, and in walks this pretty lady wearing the same jelly bracelets I'm wearing, in the same way. And I get VERY excited — she's the first adult I'd ever seen wear them that way. We talk about the bracelets, how best to wear them, then she asked, “What are you in in for?" and listened patiently as I tried to explain what porphyria was, what it did, and how much it hurt. She cried a bit, I hugged her, the director comes in and I'm expecting her to leave — I thought she was just a babysitter…

The lady doesn't leave. I say something like, “Oh, are you another patient?“

She looks very amused. “They didn't tell you who I am? You're probably a little young to recognize me.”

Maria Osmond. She was SERIOUSLY nice to a little kid in a lot of pain. She actually was a pen pal for the rest of the time I was in the hospital.

Elizabeth Barnett Report


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Back in about 1996, I was vacationing in Cabo San Lucas area. I got up early in the morning to go for a walk and went into town, which was largely deserted.

As I was walking by some different bars and restaurants, I heard music playing and was curious about what was going on, so I walked into the building.

Went I walked in, I looked further and saw about 20–30 really beautiful African American ladies that were dressed to the nines.

About that time, a young AA man walked out of the area and smiled at me and said “hello”. I said hello back and asked him what was going on with the music and girls…

He said, “we’re shooting a video for MTV”. I told him that I thought that was really awesome and that I was happy for his success. Then I asked him if minded me asking for his name. He said, not at all…

When he gave me his name, I thought he said 6-pack… I was embarrassed and admitted to him that I wasn’t familiar with his music. He said that it was ok and then he wished me good luck and an enjoyable stay during my vacation and left.

He was super nice, squared away and pleasant. Looking back, it kills me that I wasn’t able to get a selfie with him because I wasn’t familiar with his music. But I’ll never forget what a pleasant experience it was to chat with him. I wish he was still with us.

RIP Tupac

Mark "Stone" Atherstone , 2pac Report


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were I worked in a camera shop in my early years and someone came in to pick up a camera which was being repaired. I asked his name. It was Paul McCartney. He very politely gave me his name. No attitude whatsoever. I met him quite a few times after that and he was never other than a nice, genuine person.

Maureen Hughes , Wikipedia Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Paul was my first crush ever when I was a little girl. I have most of his records and yes, I'm a Beatles' fan as well.

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It’s usually easy to stay as cool as a cucumber if you think that the individual in front of you is a regular person just like you. You can chat about the weather. You can talk about your favorite recent films and TV shows. You can grumble/boast about how your favorite sportsball team lost/won. It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s small talk at its best.

However, the moment you realize that you might be speaking to someone incredibly influential, wealthy, and successful, your mind can short-circuit. The feeling is not unlike having to go on stage and say a speech. Or how everything goes blank when you sit down to write a test, and oh Lord, none of the questions make sense. Nobody wants to make a fool of themselves. Especially if they think that the stakes are high.

Probably the best piece of advice that we can give, when it comes to calming your nerves, is to remind ourselves that everything will likely be all right even if we mess up, atrociously. Sure, you accidentally gripped Brad Pitt’s hand too hard or you tripped over your tongue when talking to pop legend Britney Spears, but it really isn’t the end of the world. You were genuine. You were human. And so are they.


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Yes indeed, I was at an atm waiting with a few people in an orderly line. When a luxury car pulls up behind and the driver leaves the car running. Out pops out a scary looking lady with large shades. She some how stumbles towards the front of the line and says, “excuse me, I’m very important and famous, you all don’t mind me skipping to the front?” No one answered and some even looked away ignoring her. I was second to last and she comes up to me. Takes her shades off and says, “you look like a gentlemen, you know who I am, may I just get some quick cash…” I politely replied, “No idea who you are mam, but I’d be no gentleman if I’d let you go in front of all these people patiently waiting.” She storms off and gets back in her lux car then proceeds to flip me off.

The lady behind me then asks, “ How do you feel being flipped off by Courtney Love?” I replied, “Like a gentleman.”

Alex Capio Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Another episode of "Celebrities behaving badly".

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30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were In college, I worked in the electronics department at Macy’s.

This dude with long hair came in one day and asked me about the data cable for either the Sharp Wizard or Casio Boss. For those who aren’t old, these were electronic organizers that were the predecessors to the Palm Pilot, iPhone, etc.

It was on sale, but he asked me if it was cheaper anywhere else. I replied that I didn’t know. He decided to buy it.

While I was ringing him up, he asked “do you know who I am?”

I turned to look at this dude with long blonde hair and replied “no.”

“You really don’t know who I am?”


“I’m Michael Bolton.”


He looked completely shocked. “You don’t know me?”

“I have no idea.”

“What kind of music do you listen to?”

“College radio, alternative, punk.”

“Like 10,000 Maniacs?”

“No, but sure.”

“What planet are you from?”


“Do you know ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’?”

“You aren’t Otis Redding.”


We talked some more and he started asking questions about computers. I mentioned that my friend Randy worked at a computer store that was just a couple miles away.

About two hours later, Randy called me laughing hysterically. Randy was working in the back room and one of the sales guys was super excited and came running back:

“Randy, Randy, Michael Bolton is here and he wants to speak with you.”


Bruce Gutman , Wikipedia Report


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were I dated Jennifer Lawrence in 2008. I met her at a yoga class in Santa Monica. I had no idea who she was when I met her. I just thought she was cute and I started talking to her. She said I shouldn’t watch a lot of TV, and that she was on a crappy show on TBS. She ended up giving me a ride home from the class, and then I asked for her number. We went out a couple more times after that, but soon I learned that she was only 17 at the time. But it was cool to get to know her anyway. I lost touch with her after a few months since her career was starting to take off. Now it’s kind of a trip when I see her in movies.

Dodi Zaku Report

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The Bill Engvall Show was on TBS (2007-2009) and she played the role of Lauren Pearson.

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Moreover, if you actually own up to your sense of awkwardness and embarrassment, you’re bound to leave the interaction as someone to be respected rather than looked down on. We’ve written on Bored Panda before that being honest about our sense of embarrassment and embracing those uncomfortable feelings can help us connect with others.

When people see that we accept that we’ve made a mistake and we don’t shy away from whatever embarrassing thing we might have said or done, they’re much more likely to sympathize with us.

However, this also works in reverse. People are put off when someone tries to hide that they’ve missed up. In short: do your best to always lean into your embarrassment. It’s the mature thing to do. And it works whether you’re talking to Keanu Reeves or a complete stranger.

Running away from embarrassing situations and our mistakes can eventually turn into deep-seated feelings of shame. That’s something that you really want to avoid if possible. Otherwise, you might find your entire sense of self being undermined. You might start wondering if there’s something ‘wrong’ with you and may shy away from social interactions in the future. This leads to missed opportunities and less overall happiness.


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were A few years back we took my horse mad daughter to the Royal Windsor horse show for her 8th birthday.

We spent the morning watching various showing classes, watching army & police horses strut their stuff much to the enjoyment of my daughter.

I noticed one of the showing classes had a little more audience than most so we wandered over.

As we got closer I saw standing watching was Queen Elizabeth, Prince Andrew & her daughter Princess Anne. All three were dressed down for want of a better description wearing wax jackets, Wellington boots with both the Queen of UK & her daughter Princess Anne wearing their typical country headscarf. It turns out one of the Queens own bred horses was in said showing class.

I leaned down to my daughter & discreetly pointed out “look over there babe, that is the Queen. Go and stand a little closer so I can get a picture”. My daughter looked to where I was pointing rolled her eyes and said in her loudest voice “what that old lady? Don’t be silly mum that’s not the Queen! She isn’t even wearing a crown”!

needless to say we didn’t get our picture but we do still laugh about it to this day.

My daughter is now 22, still horse mad with 4 horses of her own and half way through a masters degree training to be an veterinarian equine physio.

Kelly Evans , Reagan White House Photographs Report


One day back in the 90s, I happened to be sitting next to Billy Joel. A stranger walked in and started to strike up a conversation, apparently without any clue about whom I was sitting next to. They chatted briefly about the pop music that was playing overhead. At the end of the conversation the man turned to Mr Joel and said, “Hey, by the way, has anybody ever told you, you look kinda like Billy Joel?”

Mr. Joel grinned and nodded politely, then coyly responded, “Ha! Yeah, yeah! I get that a lot!”

The other man smiled and then followed: “Well, I bet you WISH you were Billy Joel…. ‘Cause then you’d be married to Christie Brinkley!”

Without missing a beat, Mr. Joel simply played along and let out a thunderous laugh: “Ha! That’s right! Wouldn’t THAT be something! Sure wish that was me!!!”

I so wish Christie Brinkley had walked in at that moment…

Douglas Chin Report

Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love how Billy played off on it. It would have been epic if his wife walked in at that moment though.

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30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Oh, I have the best response to this question! This actually happened to my uncle, not me, in the late 1970s. It’s become a legendary story in our family, and I’m thrilled to share the anecdote here now…

My uncle worked for PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) in NY and would often hop on free flights to CA (on other airlines) to visit us whenever the mood struck him. It was one of the perks of working in the air travel industry, but the caveat was that he could only fly stand-by if there was actually an empty seat available; no one was ever bumped in order to make room for him.

One day he managed to secure a seat for himself in first class. As he settled in and got comfortable, he noticed that his young, handsome seat-mate was attracting a lot of attention from the flight attendants and from other passengers. People were asking for his autograph, shaking his hand, complimenting him, smiling at him. My uncle had no idea who he was.

He finally decided to just ask him: “Excuse me, are you someone special? Why does everyone seem to know you?”

The gentleman informed him that he was an actor who had recently been in a film that had done very well. He told my uncle his name and then asked him, “Now do you recognize me?”

My uncle told him, “Nope. I only watch Indian movies. Do you know who Amitabh Bachchan is?” (Amitabh was - and still is - the biggest actor in Bollywood with a worldwide following. To this day, we crack up at my uncle’s response.)

The actor answered in the negative, and my uncle gushed, “Oh, he’s the best! You should watch his movies! You will love them!” And then, intrigued, he pushed further: “So are you famous?”

The fellow passenger smiled and responded, “Tell you what. When we land in Los Angeles, you tell me if you think I’m famous or not.”

When my uncle saw how excitedly people at LAX reacted upon seeing the celebrity who disembarked his flight with him, he became convinced that the man was indeed famous.

So who was the man?

None other than John Travolta.

And his movie that had recently been released to great acclaim?


(By the way, my uncle STILL has not seen any of John Travolta’s movies, even though he will loudly and proudly repeat this story to anyone who will listen - he just gets a real kick out of seeing people’s reactions when he reveals whom he was trying to convince to become a fan of Bollywood King Amitabh Bachchan! Lol!)

Hina Khan-Mukhtar , Paramount Pictures Report

Robert T
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Has anyone asked John Travolta if he now knows who Amitabh Bachchan is? LOL

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30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Well, I met one celebrity, and he didn’t quite say, “Do you know who I am?” Instead he just introduced himself.

It was in the early 1960s and my father had driven 300 miles in the winter to see this man perform in the nearest “big” city to our small town. He had brought my brother and me with him. At the city, we stopped to get something to eat in a diner and, lo and behold, the man was there. My father, never shy, went over and asked him to say hello to my brother and myself.

So he came over and said, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

My brother and I were quite shy at that age, and couldn’t look him in the eye. He reached into his pockets and pulled out two guitar strings and gave one to my brother and one to me.

So, I never got the chance to say I didn’t know who he was — he pre-empted that possibility. That’s my one fleeting moment of a meeting with celebrity.

Douglas Boulter Report


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were I was about 18 working at a store in Carmel Ca. This was 30 years ago. A guy came in brought his stuff up to the counter to check out. I asked for ID when he gave me his credit card to pay and I said thank you, he said “you don't know who I am do you?” I said no sorry. I read his name again, Sean Connery, went home and told my mom and she freaked out! She had a huge crush on him! I had no idea. He was a good looking older man tho

Marilyn Hagar Report

Marcellus II
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hm... Carmel 30y ago? Then Clint Eastwood was the mayor, seriously! So that would be a frequent encounter, the sheriff weighing in on small-town disputes.

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30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Back in the early sixties in England, I was a receptionist in a high end car showroom. One day a gentleman strode up to my desk and I greeted him with a smile and said “Good morning.” He didn’t return my greeting but said in a very terse manner. “I want to see Mr. Xx” Mr. Xxx was the sales manager for the Aston Martin. His rudeness irked me so I smiled at him and asked for his name, knowing full well who he was. He said. “Don’t you know who I am?” He was obviously cross that I didn’t recognize him, smile got wider as I told him I had no idea who he was. “I am Peter Sellers.” “Do you spell that with a C or an S?” I asked as l picked up the phone to ring Mr. Xx. Mr Sellers didn’t reply.

Maureen Shaner , Allan Warren Report


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Brad Pitt and I happened to catch the same elevator. His appearance was different than I had remembered from Ocean's Eleven. He said "hello" and asked how my day was going and we made small talk about the weather. We got off on the same floor and he wished me a nice day.

Awkwardly enough, we were headed the same direction, got tied up by security, and walked up on some women self detonating. Shortly after, a few paparazzi ran up and began snapping pictures. I immediately covered my face because I've had groups of people behave like that (from China/Korea/Japan) by walking up to me, touch my hair, and take pictures without asking. I knew I was absolutely not important and was puzzled by the situation. I just don't understand the unnecessary hype of "celebrity gossip." Being nosy and making small talk, I asked security what was going on as Mr. Pitt stood there. The guy didn't respond and seemed taken aback by the question.

I heard some more women sprinting up to Mr. Pitt and screaming his name. He ignored them, looked at me and said "have a nice day" (fist bump included), and darted off. After Mr. Pitt left I was asked if I "knew who that man was" and I said "not at first." Offended, the women huffed away and the scene became peaceful.

*I live in L.A. Maybe it's a big deal if you don't live where "famous folk" live, but I don't get the hype. If Mr. Pitt opened his wallet and handed me $1000 risk-free, maybe I would detonate. Until then, I'll mind my own business.

Nicole Shankar , Toglenn Report

Katy McMouse
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If anyone hands me a thousand dollars, I'll gladly detonate for them.

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See Also on Bored Panda

30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were My wife did. We were staying in Vancouver, BC for a short vacay at a nice hotel where a lot of celebrities apparently stay when they’re filming. She went down to the hotel gym and rode the elevator up with Jeff Goldblum.

She knew he was some actor, but all she managed to say was, “You’re the guy from the Apple commercials, right?” (this dates the encounter). He said, “Yes, I am.” And she said that her husband (me) would be frustrated that she didn’t get a name (this whole time she’s showing him around the hotel gym). To which he resopnds, “Jeff…….” and then she says, “Yeah, sorry…….” And then he tells her the full name.

The kicker to this story is that she comes back up to the room after her workout and says to me, “I met a celebrity in the gym!” I’m like, “ok, cool. Who was it?” And then says, “Jeff GOLDMAN.” I’m like, “Who?” “JEFF GOLDMAN.” I’m all, “Yeah, I don’t know who that is.” And then she says, “The Apple commercial guy!” And then I’m like, “You mean JEFF GOLDBLUM.” “YES! THAT’S RIGHT!”


Jim Hong Report

Marcellus II
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can imagine Jeff Goldblum in the gym making sarcastic remarks about the futility of the others doing workouts; I cannot imagine him wanting to be there tho.

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I used to run a restaurant in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. One Saturday afternoon, Terry Bradshaw came in with 2 friends. He went to sit at the bar and demanded that all the tables behind him be kept open while he was there.

Being a college football Saturday, the bar tends to get busy with TVs to watch. When some new guests came in they were allowed to seat themselves in the bar area. They chose a table behind Bradshaw, not knowing who he was. He demanded to speak to a manager. I approached him and asked how I could help. He said “Do you know who I am?” Humoring him, I said “No. Should I?” He said I’m Terry Bradshaw. I extended my hand to shake his and said “Hi Terry. I’m Bill” He slapped my hand away and repeated that he wanted the area kept clear for him.

I explained that paying guests can sit where they choose. He got more irate and demanded to speak to the General Manager. I explained that I was the GM. He started going on about how he’d have my job, he could buy this place, etc. I told him the people could sit where they chose, and he could deal with it or leave. He tried to leave before his food came and said his drinks should be comped because he was “treated so poorly.” I said “Well if you can afford to buy this place, you can surely afford the drinks you drank.”

He threw some cash on the bar top and stormed out with his friends. He was a total douchebag. There was a strip of restaurants along the road mine was on. Word from other manager is that he was an ass at all of them.

Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you are a good person. Some famous people remember where they came from. Not Terry.

Bill Widmann Report

Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Was he drinking martinis with his three best girlfriends? Or wait... I'm thinking of a different Bradshaw.

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30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were I was getting my hair cut at a Fantastic Sams in a small town in Santa Barbara County in CA. The girl who cuts my hair is originally from Mexico and obviously must not ever have listened to rock music. She told me that this man came in to have his hair cut. He was very nice she said. After he paid, he went outside and returned with a guitar. He started singing to her. After he left, she couldn’t figure out what the big fuss about him was. Her co-worker asked her if she knew who he was. In her heavy accent she said she was told he was someone very famous. “Hees name is Meek Yagger”. That would be Mick Jagger. She said she was very embarrassed that he sang to her in front of her coworkers. He didn’t ask her “Do you know who I am” but I think he could tell she didn’t know and it was likely a rare moment for him. Just a guess on that though.

Julie Hyde , Wikipedia Report

Jay TheSaltLord
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I met Kirk and Tim from INXS in an irish pub on the gold coast, qld, around 20 years ago. Had no idea who they were, just had a lovely chat with a couple of guys who were also enjoying the music. Wasn't until after one of my starstruck friends confronted me later that I found out who they were.

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Yes. We were following a friend up into the Hollywood Hills to his home after the funeral of his fiancée. He was distraught and we were concerned that he had insisted on driving home himself. He rounded a curve but went off the downhill side and his car was balanced mid-air with back wheels on the berm and front bumper in scaffolding where there was construction in the home. It was a dramatic vision.

A Rolls Royce (Silver Cloud) coming downhill stopped and a dapper, bearded man emerged, wide-eyed. Our friend was fine and able to climb out a back window after which we had an awed but friendly conversation with our friend, the onlooker and the the home builder. No major damage but we pondered about the vehicle removal (eventually a crane was used). Before the onlooker departed he said he thought I looked familiar and did I remember him. But I did not.

Turns out I had met him twice before. Once, many years earlier when his band rented a beach house next door to my friend’s parents’ home. And a second time also several years earlier when his wife invited me for coffee in Westwood Village and he was with her.

It was Ringo Starr.

Ann Palmer Report

Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

hmmm...Interesting recall. Now I'm wondering who you are.

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Not to me but to a friend of mine. Many years ago this friend got a job working in the gift shop at The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

one day a gentleman walked in and looked around a bit, then he went over to the elevator and pressed the button. She said “Excuse me sir but that elevator is for members only, do you have your card?” He looked slightly uncomfortable and then said “ Im sorry, I don’t have my card, but I just wanted to have a look at my collection”. It was, of course, Nelson Rockefeller. My friend suddenly realized that and was mortified, but, she said he was really very nice about it.

Catalina Montalvo-Meders Report


30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were Not EXACTLY… but fun memory.

I was studying in the park at Washington Square in Manhattan. Two GORGEOUS women, one a blonde and the other a super tall black woman, just stunning and OBVIOUSLY both models or something, walk by pushing a baby stroller and sit in the grass nearby.

I notice everyone staring at them and all I can think is “damn, people suck, just gawking at these two women who are just minding their business playing with their baby.” At one point a guy passes on his bike, nearly crashes, stops and literally takes a picture. WTF? Anyway…

The blonde starts walking over to where I am smoking a cigarette and studying my flashcards. She asks if she can borrow my light, and sits on the wall next to me. I am friendly of course, wanted SO bad to chat with her, but didn’t want to join the ranks of these other clowns that I’m SURE she saw gawking, that day and every day.

She does this a couple times over an hour and a half or so, obviously getting away from the baby to smoke, so we chat a little here and there but I leave it at that. On the way home, I’m sitting across from my roommate on the subway, telling her about this crazy attractive blonde I “sort of” met in the park, laughing a little wondering who she was. Then my roommate opened the paper and there she was, a full spread on the back of the paper. Cameron Diaz! I didn’t have a clue, lol.

Michael Walrath Report

Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think Cameron probably thought this person was pretty cool.

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It's actually worse than that. I had a friend who ran a shop called Judith Stiles Pottery.

At the time, I was about 26, barely surviving in NYC, working as an actor in experimental downtown theatre pieces. I never had money to buy any of Judith's pieces, but I lived in the neighborhood and used to hang out at the store. One day, she had some errands to run and asked if I would watch her ten-year old daughter.

So I'm talking with her daughter, who tells me she wants to be a movie star. Having been rejected multiple times auditioning, I tell her that while that's a wonderful goal, it's very very hard to do, and maybe she should find some other things she likes just in case. She got very indignant and told me she was going to be a big star.

Yes, I spent the better part of an hour being patronizing to Julia Stiles.

Brad Rothbart Report


Not exactly, but in the early ‘80s I took up fencing (the sport) and was chatting to a new fencer to the club at the bar of the “leisure center” (public sports facility) where the club met.

I asked if I could buy him a drink, as we were all very friendly to newcomers. His face kinda said “Oh FFS!” and I don’t remember exactly what happened next because it wasn’t at all memorable. I may have bought that round, but his expression stuck with me.

Then, when a group of us fencers were sitting around one of the tables, a couple of girls also in the bar came up to him and asked him to sign their jeans. I leaned over and said to him, “You don’t work in an office, do you? What do you do for a living?”

Bruce Dickinson (lead singer of Iron Maiden) warmed up a bit to me after that. He always beat me in a fencing bout, though, he was quite good.

Philip Kisloff Report

Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's funny. I don't work in an office either, but when I did for a couple of years, our office manager was Iron Maiden's ex-Tour Manager (allegedly; I never confirmed this with her.)

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I was drinking in a bar on a private island in the Caribbean over the Christmas break and Keith Richards walked in and sat down next to me. I’m 22 at the time and Keith is one of my idols but I was also nursing a terrible hangover. About 12 hours earlier, after blacking out at Welcome to the Johnson’s on the Lower East Side, I came to on the floor of a commercial jetliner with the disembodied voice on the intercom requesting a doctor for one of the passengers. To my utter embarrassment that passenger turned out to be me. When I arrived on this tropical island I discovered that I’d mostly packed winter coats and no cigs for some odd reason. Anyway, Keith seemed to have an endless supply of smokes so we got to chatting and next thing I knew we were about 6 drinks deep. This was half a decade before he fell out of the coconut tree and he was still raging pretty hard. He had a dry wit and was quite the raconteur just as I’d always imagined. At some point in the night though as the alcohol crept up on us the banter seemed to take a dark turn. After correcting him about something that seemed totally asinine he started poking his boney finger in my face and shouting, “do you know who I am, kid”. I kinda thought he was joking cuz I clearly did know who I’d been talking with for the last 2 hours so I responded by asking if he was the star of that Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Long story long, he basically threatened to cut my head off and stormed out of the bar. The next day around 10am I ran into him in a gift shop and he told me he was gonna buy out the shop so I couldn't have anything. Then he asked if i was ready to start drinking with him again. The man was, and still is a true legend.

Anthony Giancola Report

Esme Love and Squalor
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Truly a wild ride! I used to drink at Welcome to the Johnson’s. I’m curious how you ended up on a jet to a private island at 22 years old though. Who are you?!

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My grandfather John Thompson worked as a chassis builder for the Mclaren racing team in the 1960s, and he has repeatedly told me the story about how he got the job.

Just for some context, my grandfather grew up in Richmond, London in the immediate post war years, when much of London was still rubble, and had left school at 16. Anyway one day he was wondering around the mclaren factory (he never specified whether it was feltenham or new Malden) in with no real reason to be there, just snooping when Bruce Mclaren walks by, and knowing he is out of place accosts him.

My Grandfather asks him “who are you?” knowing full well who he was, but he was trying to bluff his way out of trespassing so eh.

Then the following exchange happened :

M: I'm Bruce Mclaren

G: never heard of you!

M:… Do you work for me?

G: nah

M: if you had worked for me I would have fired you for that.

M:… do you want to work for me?

And with that my grandfather got a job with mclaren, which was his introduction to the motoracing world. He would eventually break off and become independent, working for teams diverse as jaguar, ferrari and Honda in le man, f1 and touring cars.

Joshua Thompson Report

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30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were I work in media production, and and in 2009 we were producing a corporate video for the big Walmart Annual Meeting. They always bring in a big star to host, and that year it was Ben Stiller. So Ben rolls into Fayetteville Arkansas with a modest entourage, and we quickly whisk him out to the local Walmart where we are shooting a little comic piece, with Ben playing a cashier. It was a very loose setup, and we’re moving fast, since the big show was the next morning and we had to shoot and edit this piece before we slept that night. We had grips and makeup people posing as customers, and Ben asked one of his traveling companions, an older guy named Jeff to join the fun and man the cash register behind him. Jeff suited up in a Walmart shirt, and we got the shots. As we started to wrap, the production assistant made the rounds and got signed releases from everyone that appeared on camera. She brought back the release from Ben’s friend Jeff The Cashier with her jaw practically dragging on the floor. It was filled out correctly and completely and signed…..Jeffery Katzenberg. We were all big film buffs and we worked in the industry, but you just don’t expect to see someone of that stature traveling under the radar, so NONE of the crew had recognized him. You can clearly see Mr. Katzenberg working the register behind Ben in this old picture.

Greg Page Report

Daniel Atkins
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

.Jeffery Katzenberg is a movie producer that worked for Disney in the past and is one of the founding members of Dream Works Studios.

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Quite the opposite. Many years ago, during the holiday season when a store I managed on Fifth Ave. in NY was open until midnight, a young woman came in just before closing. She was soaked head to toe, wore flip flops, and a trench coat over what looked like pajamas. I thought she might be homeless and seeking shelter from the driving rain outside.

She picked out about a hundred dollars worth of items and wanted to pay by check with no ID. When told, politely, that it wasn’t possible, she argued for what seemed like twenty minutes before finally accepting my offer to hold the items for her until she could return with ID.

The next day her housekeeper came in with the check and her employer’s identification.

The name on the check was Faye Dunaway.

I was a fan of her movies and if she had just name dropped her own name, I would have seen it was her and taken her check.

Denis Rubin Report

Michael Largey
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Faye Dunaway has a reputation for being very difficult on the set. Apparently, it's off the set, too.

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Haha…one of two celebrity or famous person stories. Sat next to Sharon Stone in first class on a flight in 2012 or 2013 to Atlanta. I was the first passenger to board, or so I thought. I have 1C on an MD-90 with 2+2 rows and when I get on a well dressed attractive blond woman is seated in 1D.

I remember thinking “this is weird, I didn’t see anyone board before me?” as I sat down and other passengers boarded. She’s totally into her phone, doesn’t look up or anything when I sit down. The flight attendant asks us if we want a drink before take off. I order a beer, she orders a mixed drink. When the attendant brings the drinks, the woman isn’t paying attention so I take the drink from the attendant and put it on the little center pull out drink thing. The woman looks up briefly, smiles and says thank you. When I see her she looked familiar but I can’t place it yet.

So we’re waiting for boarding to finish and I’m thinking who does this person look like? She doesn’t look up but I catch a couple of glances and after a few minutes I’m thinking Sharon Stone. But Sharon Stone? Then I think back to my thought when I boarded first only to see a woman already on the plane...she might get celebrity treatment from Delta?

So after boarding is complete, I get up to get my iPad from my bag in the overhead, at which point she takes off her suit jacket, underneath which was a sleeveless camisole type (and form fitting) silk top. She looks up and I asked her did she want me to put up her jacket and she smiles again and hands it to me. Now I’m about 90% sure it’s Sharon Stone.

I sit back down and glance at her again as she thanks me again. 99% sure. The attendant brings another round and after a few minutes she sort of theatrically and provocatively props her feet against the bulkhead wall and crosses her legs. There’s maybe 30” from the seat to the bulkhead, so her legs are at about a 45 degree angle up from the seat and her rather conservative tweed skirt is riding up with well above her knees. She’s still into her phone and barely looks at me, pretty much catching me looking…which was really hard not to do…I’m about 100% sure it’s Sharon Stone. And yes the famous scene from Basic Instinct did cross my mind.

About 30 minutes left in the flight, curiosity gets the best of me and I say to her “excuse me, anyone ever tell you you look like Sharon Stone?”. She smiles and says “all the time, what’s your name?” I tell her Don, she extends her hand and says “nice to meet you, I’m Sharon”.

We made small talk the rest of the flight; she was on her way to NYC and thanked me for being courteous and not calling attention to her (although the legs crossed bit got every guy’s attention I’m sure in first class!). I handed her her jacket and got her bag out of the bin when we landed, we exchanged pleasantries again and were on our way. I walked behind her up the jetbridge and she kept her head down when we got into the terminal so no one would recognize her.

A great story and good experience. She was as friendly as you could expect (given the number of…overzealous fans she probably runs into), a little flirtatious, very attractive (she was wearing very little makeup) and comfortable I think once she realized I was just a regular person. I’ve seen her in interviews since then and she seems the same as on that flight, pretty down to earth.

I was on a turboprop flight from Seattle to Vancouver one time with Laura Bush around 2013. Totally different experience with the entourage and all the security & everything.

Don Ellis Report

Pamela Blue
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well I'm sure Laura Bush is a lovely woman, but you obviously wouldn't be allowed to approach the first lady with the CIA keeping everyone at bay.

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30 Times People Met Someone Famous And Had No Idea Who They Were I was working as a barman in Rockey street 1994. I had finished my shift and had gone to the bar next door called Rockerfellas for a beer. I walked in, walked pass this very drunk English guy, went inside and sat down next to his 2 mates. Struck up conversation. They told me they were English, I told them I was French, blah blah blah.. I noticed a group of very attractive ladies looking at them and I informed them but they seemed oblivious to it. The one guy told me they were their groupies. I said “Really? Are you in a band?”.. “Yes, Depeche Mode, maybe you’ve heard of us?” Was the answer… FACEPALM… I was rather embarrassed, started asking stupid questions… But I did get an autograph from them. And just squirmed away..

The epic thing was going home. My GF always knew that I’d have a couple of beers after work but never really stayed up that late. So when when I got home.. “I guess you’ve been pissing it up with your drunken friends?” , “Yes, Depeche Mode, with a slight grin on my face. She didn’t believe me until I gave her the autograph and she asked my drunken friends that had seen me sit with Martin and Alan. Dave was outside drinking with other ppl.

Jean Thiebaux Report

Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My bestie and her hubby came to visit to see DM at a local venue, with a surprise... she'd managed to get to know one of the crew members (long story) and had backstage passes. During the show, she and I are hamming it up as usual and were offered BS passes not once, not twice, but THREE times (never had happened before, and never since) which we decided to distribute to fans who obviously were FANS. Anyway the post show pass thing was so silly - do not look at, touch, acknowledge, or even glance at the talent and hands off the food and drink! Oh well that was fun. Then my buddy makes a phone call, gets an address and.... Well we wound up discussing the local fan base with the keyboard player, and clinking glasses with folks (not Dave) in the closed hotel bar. Fans were literally banging on the bar windows. It was wild. Thanks for the chat Fletch.... we'll always remember your kindness!

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