So you wanna meet stars, up close and personal? Well, I can virtually guarantee that you will never be able to meet as many different Hollywood celebrities in one room as you will at the Hollywood Collectors & Celebrity Show, a regular event here in the Southland.
They get the occasional "Big Star" (Michael J. Fox, Ryan O'Neal, Rosanna Arquette, Richard Dreyfuss, Ali MacGraw, Shannen Doherty, Larry Hagman...), but for the most part, the stars who show up here to tend to be celebs who had memorable roles in TV series of the past. As well as former movie stars.
But the sheer number of familiar Hollywood faces is amazing: - over 120 celebrities under one roof, all eager to sign autographs, pose for pictures, sell merchandise and mingle with fans.
You'll see former child stars, Western heroes, sitcom favorites, pop heartthrobs, talk show hosts... even Academy Award nominees.
For years, it all took place Marriot Burbank Airport & Convention Center, in Burbank. But starting in Jan. 2013, they have moved the show to the Westin Hotel Los Angeles Airport hotel, near LAX.
For Baby Boomers raised on the TV sitcoms of the 60's, 70's & 80's, the scene comes close to Fan Heaven.
Where else could you come face to face with so many old friends from your past? We're talking the likes of Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie") or the casts of "The Brady Bunch" and "Happy Days"... Plus top names from Hollywood's Golden age, such as Debbie Reynolds & Mickey Rooney.
Over recent years, some of the bigger names have included William Shatner, Ed Asner, Louis Gossett Jr., Gary Busey, Lou Ferrigno, George Hamilton, Katey Sagal, Adam West, Carrie Fisher, Joan Collins, Angie Dickinson, Linda Blair, Billy Dee Williams, Rita Moreno, Sally Struthers, Richard Roundtree, etc.
Plus Golden Age names such as Margaret O'Brien, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine and Tippi Hedren.
But you're just as likely to encounter lesser-known names such as Nicole Eggert (of "Charles in Charge" and Baywatch") or Larry Thomas (the 'Soup Nazi' on "Seinfeld").
Of course, celebrity is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, Richard Chamberlain (a guest in 2010) was a huge star in the old "Dr. Kildare" TV show and the '70s miniseries "Shogun", and to fans of those shows, he still is. But there are probably many teens who have never heard of him. And while the name Erin Moran may not ring a bell for everyone, fans of "Happy Days" recognize her as 'Joanie Cunningham'.
So check out their
current list and see which of your favorites might be there...
They've also brought together all seven actors to ever play 'Jason' in the "Friday the 13th" horror films, plus a bevy of James Bond/007 femme fatales, and the casts of more obscure shows (with their own cult followings) such as "Land of the Giants" or "The Time Tunnel".
Bear in mind that not all of these celebrities show up for every show, of course, but many do, and the organizers are adding new names all the time. They even have to turn away some celebs who want to appear at the show.
More good news: this event is held three or four times a year, so you won't have to wait long to attend the next show.
Besides the celebrities, the show offers lots of great collectable merchandise and movie memorabilia, from $1 pins to $5,000 movie posters.
Why do these stars show up at this event?
Motives differ. Some do it for the money. (We've all heard of former child stars who are down on their luck.) The stars do charge for autographs and photos - it varies from as low as $10 to as high as $40 for Pee Wee Herman - so be sure to bring cash.
Other celebs want exposure, some like to mingle with other stars, and many simply enjoy bathing in the attention of doting fans once again.
What kind of money can celebrities make signing autographs
at these shows? Well, some stars claim that they've sold over 2,000 photos
for the weekend. So do the math. (On the other hand, some celebs say that
they only sold 50 photos the whole weekend.)
Where: the Westin Los Angeles Airport
at 5400 W. Century Blvd, Los Angeles.
Hollywood Celebrity and Collectors Show is held four times each year (once every three months).
Typical show hours are: Saturday & Sunday,
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Copyright © 2015-Gary Wayne
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