Daily Archives: February 13, 2008

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Eye on Hollywood

February 13, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

Meeting A Real Movie Star

by Bobbie Cimo

In the early years of my career, I was one of the few fortunately ones–if not one of the only ones–who got the perk of getting out of the office to work remotes. Sometimes that could mean being at the Pasadena Auditorium for two weeks at a time while we built the stage for the Emmy’s. Or being inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s ballroom covering the first dozen or so AFI’s (America Film Institute’s Life Achievement Awards), honoring such heavy-weight legends as John Huston, Frank Capra, Orson Wells, or Fred Astaire . . . just to name a few. Keep in mind this was a time when laptop computers hadn’t even been invented yet. Which meant if I wanted to have my cake and eat it, I had to cover my regular job first before working as an assistant on the fun stuff outside of the building. I use the term “assistant” loosely here, as it sometimes meant anything from crunching numbers to seeing how far over budget we were, to making sure Bette Davis got her parking ticket validated, to arranging for Gregory Hines’ shoes to be shined before air time, or even playing watchdog over Shirley MacLaine’s purse for her.

But always, on the day of the big event–whatever it was–I got to play dress-up and be part of the gala. But like any good party you go to, you’re bound to see the same faces year after year– Wait, this is Hollywood. Scratch that last remark about the same faces . . . not with the help of good plastic surgeon, you won‘t. But what I’m trying to say is that it’s hard to remember who I saw and just when and at what event.

Except for the time I met Cary Grant at the AFI honoring Alfred Hitchcock.

I was standing on a two step-up tier of the main ballroom, when Cary Grant passed me. He was impeccability dressed in an expensive tuxedo, gorgeously tan and looking every bit of the movie star that he was. As for myself, I was dressed in a white, off one-shoulder Grecian gown. I thought I looked like Venus. Looking back at it now, I’m sure I didn’t.

When Cary spoke to me, I suddenly went deaf–that happens a lot when I go into shock. When he cupped his hand over mine, I remember thinking, his hands are softer than mine . . . they probably weren’t, but his touch seemed like velvet. He acted and looked just like he did on the screen. Absolutely perfect.

All too soon our conversation was over and he left. And I remained frozen, clutching onto to the staircase railing. Hector, our cameramen, obviously recognizing a woman in distress, asked me how I was doing. I told him the truth–I couldn’t move. My knees had locked. Hector found it amusing . . .I didn’t.

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