From Dana Dlott: “Thanks for your entertaining saga of THE STAR. If it were proven to me that one had to be a total ——- in order to be a great star (or great scientist, artist, etc.) I might think differently. But it turns out there is lots of evidence to the contrary. I know hardly any STARS, but several Nobel Laureates, and some of them are pretty nice. I think greatness is uncorrelated with being a total ——-. I say, SHOOT HER before she reproduces.”
From Michael Simpson: “Your story reminds me of many encounters I had with the Hollywood set at the San Diego Wild Animal Park (I worked there while going to college). For the most part, I find actors and actresses boorish, shallow people. Those I found most kind and “normal” were the younger stars. I met Brooke Shields and Tom Cruise and they are nice people. I met Shelly Duvall at a party we were catering at the Zoo. She is an extremely nice woman.
“The ones that stick in my mind however are the obnoxious ones. Michael Landon once visited. One of the food service clerks was trying to assist him, like she would anyone else and like the doorman in your story, and he snapped at her. The hurt in her eyes was very evident. He just sneered at her and said some derisive things. She left crying, and I think about how she probably carries that hurt to this day. At the time, Landon was in a show about himself as an angel. I thought ‘What a crock.’ When he got cancer and died, I could feel no compassion for the man.
“Judy Collins is another royal pain. She was performing at our theater. She had the staff running around doing silly things. Me, I was running all over Escondido trying to find a specific wild rice. We served them dinner. She didn’t even touch the wild rice. I hope she didn’t get bound up.
“The late Ricky Nelson performed at the park. He was an hour late and the crowd was starting to get ugly. He showed up but offered no apologies. He played a short set. That year, he burned himself up in his plane freebasing.
“These stars view themselves as all important. They work to become stars and when they do become stars, view it as a burden. There aren’t fans because there are stars, but stars because there are fans. Tina Turner is one star that probably has the best grip on this. She sincerely thanks her fans after a concert. (She’s one I would like to meet personally.) Anyway, enough of my rant.”
From Robert Doucette: “I read your column on the requirements of Ms. Star at the hotel and it reminded me of a conversation I had with one of my better in-laws. He manages an open-air pavilion which hosts concerts for big-name talent throughout the year and often has to deal with some strange requests as part of the care and feeding of celebrities, such as bowls of M&M with all of the brown ones removed. Some of these bizarre requests are put in to demonstrate their own sense of self-importance but some of them have a good business reason behind them.
“Sometimes a ‘requirement’ is put into the concert contract as a warning flag. It allows the rock star (and their business managers and entourage) to know immediately if the concert manager has read the contract and intends to comply with all terms and conditions. The brown M&Ms may not be important, but the backstage nurse for a diabetic drummer would be. And, if they get there at 9 a.m. and find no M&Ms or brown M&Ms, the manager knows she needs to ask about the nurse.
“(By the way, my cousin-in-law did give me the good news that although many celebrities are a real pain to work with, many are delightful. He says Dolly Parton, Jimmy Buffet and Elton John — in addition to being extraordinarily talented — are very well-mannered and a joy to work with.)”