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Oct 29 2014
Stalking In L.A.: Another Hollywood Show Starf*ck Comments (0)
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Above, check out more than 20 then-and-now split-screen images of stars!

Christopher-Riordan-1Last weekend was my third of four celeb-soaked encounters in the space of a month—first I hit up the Courts Celebrities Fan Fest, then New York Comic Con, then another edition of the Hollywood Show in L.A. (KEEP READING) and finally this past weekend's Chiller Theatre.

More on Chiller very soon.

First up, the L.A. Hollywood Show was quieter this time, leading some attendees to wonder if this type of non-genre autograph show might be dying off quicker than Old Hollywood. But it wasn't nearly as dead as the Courts version, so there was still a good flow of starfuckers to keep most of the celebs busy—at least on Saturday. (Sunday was a graveyard—never go if you can only go on a Sunday, when a chunk of the celebs will have decided to suddenly get a bad cold and not show.)

Above, in the gallery, check out juicy then-and-now photos. After the jump, my impressions of each star I met...


Dale-Bozzio-1One of my favorite recent pic-withs 

Dale Bozzio (b. March 2, 1955 = 59)

I was genuinely thrilled to meet up with '80s diva Dale Bozzio, the original—Madonna (b. August 16, 1958 = 56) be damned!—Lady Gaga (b. March 28, 1986 = 28), visually if not in the piano-playing, belting-vocals departments.

Dale-Bozzio-Spring-Session-M-autographGetting autgraphs is all I really wanna do anyway...

Dale, with her teased fuchsia hair, plastic bras and screechy voice, had been the perfect Missing Persons link between punk and New Wave, even if her excellent band never really achieved major pop success. Their debut album did go Top 20, but their biggest hits “Words” and “Destination Unknown” both peaked at #42. Impossibly, their classic '80s hits “Walking in L.A.” and “Windows” were chart bombs.

Dale couldn't have been nicer, enjoying my praise as I raved that Spring Session M was a perfect album, one of the best of the '80s. Smiling, she signed a stack of Hustler covers. It's a living!

Dale BozzioI had to get a replacement siggy thanks to that damn paint pen, but what an exquisite photograph.

Dale_gallery_pic_51The pocket popstar (she has to be under five feet tall) was delightful to talk to, especially because her weird accent just made her all the more exotic to me. She would say things like, “Lahst yeeah,” a baffling speech pattern I can only term trans-Atlantic City.

I didn't mind giving Dale my money, even though in 2009 she was sentenced to jail for animal cruelty, having left over a dozen cats to fend for themselves while she was on tour. I think there were mitigating mental circumstances, and am hopeful she's all better now. I can live with an admittedly horrifying blip on the radar like that more than I can live with patronizing sane celebs like Pat Boone (b. June 1, 1934 = 80) or Connie Stevens (b. August 8, 1938 = 76) who are right-wing extremists.

G_MAGAZINE_PLAYGIRL_WARREN_CUCCURULLO_DURAN_DURAN_wikipediaG-SPOT: Warren Cuccurullo was later in Duran Duran and out of his clothes.

I kept bumping into Dale, including one time when our opposite elevators opened at the same time and we gave each other a quick hi. Feeling warmed up, I reapproached her and boldly asked her if Warren-Cuccurullo-hotshe'd been surprised by bandmate Warren Cuccurullo's (b. December 8, 1956 = 57) notorious sexual acting out (after the band broke up, he posed nude, leaked sex videos and was alleged to be into scat). She hesitated at first, then divulged some juicy gossip about his sexual preferences (he's apparently currently with a Vietnamese girl who was once a Vietnamese boy), all delivered without an ounce of malice and yet without any awareness of current standards of political correctness.

They don't make popstars like this anymore. If they ever did.


Christopher-Riordan-2Top dog (just a guess)

Christopher Riordan (b. November 25, 1937 = 76)

I feel silly writing about meeting up with Christopher Riordan, an actor and dancer and the man who worked on more Elvis (1935—1977) movies than anyone but Elvis; he is, after all, someone I would consider an actual friend by now, thanks to our ready-for-publication (as long as we don't mind being sued) Facebook messages. But I have to spotlight our fun time talking about everything from Esther Williams (1921—2013) to...well, what else is there?...because he's such a dear man.

Gay-deceiversCamping it up in The Gay Deceivers

Christopher, who you may know as the booty-flaunting star of the remarkable 1969 gaysploitation flick The Gay Deceivers, is more than just another pretty face who's met Elvis and James Dean (1931—1955) and Elizabeth Taylor (1932—2011), he was also just given a Golden Halo Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council, along with fellow luminaries Lydia Cornell (b. July 23, 1953 - 61), Warren Berlinger (b. August 31, 1937 = 77), Mary Gregory (b. ? = approx. 80) and Sharon Tate's surviving sister Debra (b. November 6, 1952 = 61).

Christopher-Riordan-autographChristopher finally met Priscilla Presley (b. May 24, 1945 = 69) at an Elvis event, and they got along famously.

Even though they initially misspelled his name on the award, the Council couldn't have found a prouder honoree—they fixed their typo just in time for Christopher to bring the plaque to the Hollywood Show to let me check it out in person.

Pep002Cynthia Pepper with a dash of Elvis

We later had a fantastic lunch with his former Elvis movie co-star Cynthia Pepper (b. September 4 1940 = 74, who is a self-confessed trash-TV fan and who tells a hilarious story of her son quizzing her on any congress with the King that may or may not have occurred) and a mutual friend, talking all about Hollywood in the '60s. Christopher is a great conversationalist (and controversialist) and is ageless to talk to, except for when one mistakenly brings up the movie stars of today [don't even say the words “Bradley Cooper” (b. January 5, 1975 = 39) to him], whereupon he immediately shakes his fist and demands that they get off his damn lawn.

A real treat.


Gregory-Harrison-1He's definitely for ladies only.

Gregory Harrison (b. May 31, 1950 = 64) & Randi Oates (b. August 19, 1951 = 63)

I was giddy to see Gregory Harrison again since he'd been such a flirt the last time (turning his backside to the camera and telling the photographer to get his good side), but to be honest, my experience was a bit more muted this go-round.

Randi-Oakes-1CHiPs on my shoulder

I approached his wife of over 30 years, CHiPs (1977—1983) star Randi Oakes, first. Randi was perfectly nice, but did say her husband had persuaded her to come to the show.

Gregory-Harrison-Randi-OakesThey met at Battle of the Network Stars!

I attempted to break the ice by quizzing her about her outrageously hot swimsuit posters from the '70s and '80s, to which she responded by good-naturedly saying she had wished they'd disappear when her daughter was a teenager. I warned her that fans might ask her to recreate those poses in their photo ops and she said, That's not going to happen. And she meant it.

Randi-OakesWife story

When Gregory came up, I got a photo of them together, but he wasn't playful at all. I surmised he was inhibited from being all fruity (not that he's gay, just that he's good at playing to his audience) when his better half is around, or perhaps there was tension because she was asking him what in the heck he'd gotten her into.


Keep in mind, their beautiful, grown-up kids were right there, too, which I think had something to do with how stiff Gregory was when I asked him about a sexy triptych image of himself from For Ladies Only (1981). His son was nearby, so he cut me off and signed it quickly, no double entendres or coy smiles. But he was totally nice, and looks fantastic.

Gregory-Harrison-2“Trapper” keeper

Later, the whole fam ate lunch a few tables away from us. I made sure never to look over at them, except for when I did.



The biggest draw of the show was the entire cast of CHiPs, so of course a couple of real-life California Highway Patrol-men were on hand. My friend Rich thought they were in costume for Halloween, so was mortified to find out they were real when I asked them for a picture. Not only did the incredibly hot cops comply, they walked us clear out to a lot where their hogs were parked so we could hop on and grin (their cycles weren't all we wanted to hop on while grinning).

But as for the actual cast members, along with the above-mentioned Randi Oakes, we found...


Brodie-Greer-1He's not a cop, but he played one on TV.

Brodie Greer (b. October 26, 1949 = 64 at the time, now 65)

I didn't do a photo op with him, but Brodie Greer—so delectable in the '70s—was still looking good and was extremely accomodating to his fans, including the hot cops. This image looks like the box cover of a well-reviewed bareback daddy porn video.

See some other CHiPs folks (including the series leads) in the gallery above.


BooBoo-Stewart-1Twilight of the teen gods

Booboo Stewart (b. January 21, 1994 = 20)

Ran into my old young friend Booboo, who was in the Twilight series (2010—2012) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). He doesn't typically do any signings unless they're at big genre shows, but as a favor, he'd agreed to do THS. He had a nice line of people, including a gaggle of foreign-exchange students who tied up the entry process when I first got there, and he was only appearing for a few hours.

His dad told me he's the apple of Bryan Singer's (b. September 17, 1965 = 49) eye thanks to White Frog (2012), so perhaps more movies with Singer are written in the stars...


David-Hedison-1I also took a voyage to see a bottom this trip, with less satisfying results.

 David Hedison (b. May 20, 1927 = 87)

David Hedison was on hand as part of a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964—1968) reunion, but he was also in The Fly (1958), The Lost World (1960) and played handsome good/bad guys throughout the '60s and '70. Now in his eighties, heading toward his nineties, he's looking good and was warm to us.

David-Hedison-Don-BachardySigning Don's book

I presented him with Don Bachardy's (b. May 18, 1934 = 80) new book to sign, and he was delighted to see his portrait in the pages. “He's good,” he observed.

David-HedisonI don't know much about dart...

He also signed a really unique publicity image from 50 years ago, one he immediately recognized as having been taken in his old apartment. I love when they remember the details of a photo yet have never seen the actual photo.

This was one of those cases where I was geeked to meet someone yet had zero to say.


Dennis-the-Menace-1The kids are all right

Gloria Henry (April 2, 1923 = 91),  Jeannie Russell (October 22, 1950 = 63 at the time, 64 now) & Jay North (August 3, 1961 = 63)

I only said hello  to the cast of Dennis the Menace (1959—1963), but isn't it amazing that so many of the stars from a '50s TV series are still with us? Also, “Mrs. Wilson,” Sylvia Field (1901—1998), lived to be 97, although “Mr. Wilson,” Joseph Kearns (1907—1962), actually passed away while the series was current.

Gloria Henry, looking amazing, was going around telling everyone, “I'm 91, you know!”


Gloria-Jean-1With her, not of her

Gloria Jean (b. April 14, 1926 = 88)

My friend John, who attends East Coast autograph shows with me, fixates on the fact that I always tell each star I want a picture “of you and with you.” I love taking a posed portrait, but most people still don't get what I'm asking right away, and there is occasionally a star who will refuse to pose for Gloria-Jeana photo unless you're in it with them, the mentality being that a photo with a fan isn't going to pop up on a wire service. (They're apparently unaware of a newfangled thing called cropping)

Oddly, former child star Gloria Jean, who hasn't acted in over 50 years, turned out to be one of those whose handlers informed me would not be available to pose for a photo without me in it. It was annoying as she was pretty much left alone at the show. I snapped her later, walking around the hotel and seated by the entrance, when they unceremoniously dumped her while getting the car.

She was nice in spite of never giving a sucker an even break, and liked the pretty publicity photo I found, which had been taken to promote a new hairstyle she was pushing in the '40s.

But she misspelled my name, which is why I always tell stars I am “Matt with two Ts,” something my other friend, Christopher, fixates on.


Jackee-Harry-1Oh, Marrrrry!

Jackée Harry (August 14, 1956 = 58)

I had a drop-dead gorgeous glam portrait of this trick winging its way to me for the show, but the USPS failed me and so I had to buy one of her more common (but still cute) headshots. Jackée was on Sister, Sister (1994—1999), but of course will always be known as the comical bombshell from 227 (1985—1989), and it's a character she plays in real life.

Jackee-HarryThe woman in red

As we awaited her signature, she examined another fan's early photo and reminisced, saying, “I was married at the time and having an affair. I was being bad! But he was cheatin', too! When I found out, I said, 'You're cheatin' on me, too? We're both doin' it. What's the point?'”

She was a lot of fun, telling me when I asked about bethenny (on which I worked, and which she'd been scheduled to tape before dropping out) that she hadn't said no to the show but had had a better offer. Snap!

Jackee-Harry-2The glamorous lives

This was her first autograph show, and she seemed to have fun. I think she was happy next to Sheila E.


Sheila-E-1Drumroll, please...

Sheila E. (b. December 12, 1957 = 57)

Sheila E. scared me a little. She was decked out in movie-star sunglasses (I think it's a bit rude to insist on sunglasses when you're giving paid photo ops, but they definitely worked for her) and engaged me some contentious/playful banter.

Sheila-EEven better

First, she was reluctant to do two shots (one for safety) because, she said, she never takes a bad picture. Then, when I told her she looks the same as she looked 30 years ago and that I want whatever she's got, she said, “I think I look better now than I did then.”

[Insert sound of cymbals crashing.]


Jackie-Joseph-1“It's Matt!” she exclaimed for our photo, as if it were video.

Jackie Joseph (b. November 7, 1933 = 80)

Jackie-JosephJackie has a long line of credits, mostly TV (the voice of “Melody” on 1970's Josie and the Pussycats but also did films [The Little Shop of Horrors from 1960, featuring an early Jack Nicholson (b. April 22, 1937 = 77]  appearance, prominent among them), but her most famous gig was on The Doris Day Show (1971—1973). Still, when I mentioned how sorry I was to have missed Day's (b. April 3, 1924 = 90) surprise appearance at her own 90th birthday bash this year, even Jackie sounded rather awed by it.


“Everyone keeps telling me that!” she says. “It was...surreal.”

Jackie couldn't have been nicer. I was supposed to have lunch with her and some friends but got busy and missed out; I don't doubt she has great stories. I had a rather busty photo for her to sign, but it was delayed in the mail, so I sent it to her address for an ITM signature. I was kinda worried presenting it to her never know how they feel about stuff like that after the fact!


Lark-Voorhies-1Turtle time!

Lark Voorhies (March 25, 1974 = 40)

Lark-Voorhies-autographI'm a bad person. I went for Lark, “Lisa Turtle” from Saved by the Bell (1989—1993), thinking she might be acting strangely, which would make for good stuff to submit to my agency. Instead, she appeared to be behaving as if under remote control, but some control is better than none in these cases, at least for the star, so our meeting was uneventful.

Example: I asked if I could take her picture and she processed it then said, “That would be all right.”

Lark-Voorhies-2Braless is more!

She carried herself regally for a young woman, like she was Lena Horne (1917—2010) or something, covering up her daring décolletage when posing, though I snapped it in the wild as we passed by.


Larry-Mathews-1It was anything but a drag when Matthew met Mathews!

Larry Mathews (b. August 15, 1955 = 59)

One of the most personable people was The Dick Van Dyke Show's (1961—1966) Larry Mathews, who was the adorable tyke “Ritchie.” All grown up and probably already targeted for AARP mailings, he's into crossdressing:

Larry's preference was noticeable only in his painted nails and earrings, but having remembered the above article (from seven years ago...God, this I don't forget but I forget my best friends' names in social situation?), it was all I could think about until he began chattering away about how much he loves NYC. I was kind of wondering what he'd have said if I'd whispered that I wanted to bend him over in angora, but I think he's married. Still.

Larry-MathewsThree's company.

All kidding aside, he was supersweet and had a lot of  fans lining up for his memories of working with two of the greatest icons in TV history.


Mary-Jo-Catlett-1We got it maid! 

Mary Jo Catlett (b. September 2, 1938 = 76)

I just loved meeting Mary Jo, who was “Pearl” on Diff'rent Strokes from 1982 to 1986, one of the show's several memorable maids. (“Mrs. Garrett,” Charlotte Rae (b. April 26, 1926 = 88), was the first in 1978 but left in 1979 to helm The Facts of Life (1979—1986), while Nedra Volz (1908—2003), aka “Adelaide,” lasted from 1980 to 1984.]

Mary-Jo-CatlettMaid to order

I told Mary Jo I'd heard she and Rae were buddies, and she beamed. “Charlotte is just a wonderful person.” They get together for monthly lunches with women like Joanne Worley (b. September 6, 1937 = 77), if you can imagine how much fun that would be. A friend once saw Rae and Catlett leaving a drag show, if you can imagine how much double-fun that would be.

Mary Jo took a directorial hand when it came time for our photo op, and I wasn't about to disobey her—it sure didn't do the show's kids any good to act out.


Walter-Koenig-1Another one I can “Chekhov” my list...

Walter Koenig (September 14, 1936 = 78)

I'm not a Star Trek (1966—1969) person, but I felt that since I've met George Takei (b. April 20, 1937 = 77), William Shatner (b. March 22, 1931 = 83) and Nichelle Nichols (b. December 28 1932 = 81), why not go for the Russian? He was nice, but those genre folks' handlers run you through pretty quickly.

Walter-KoenigThat belt was to die for!


There you have it! Chiller is next!