From time to time, homeowners will get that unexpected visitor knocking at their door. It could be out-of-state relatives, Girl Scouts, or maybe the Jehovah's Witnesses. No one thinks they're going to open their door to see a celebrity standing there. But it's possible. These people share the time it happened to them and the once in a lifetime encounter. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"It was 1990 and my mother needed open-heart surgery. She adored Wayne Newton and she and my sister had tickets to see him in Kansas City in October. His show was canceled and rescheduled for January 1991. My mom needed surgery before Christmas.
A few days after her surgery she sadly told me she would not be able to see Wayne Newton. My mother never asked for anything and she was the kindest woman you could know. When she said that I thought to myself, well I’ll do whatever it takes for her to see Wayne.
Before the internet, I somehow located an address to write to him and off went my letter on a yellow notepad, explaining how my mother would not be able to make it to his show, but could he come and see her when he was in Kansas City. I didn’t give it another thought.
Until, about a month later my mother called me at my home, and the first thing she said, 'A once-in-a-lifetime event just happened.'
Wayne Newton had pulled into my parent's driveway in a big limousine and even had a bodyguard (Bear) with him. Wayne came into their living room and visited for about ten minutes and kissed my mom on her cheek! My parents asked him how he knew about her and he pulled out the yellow notepad paper I mailed out. He was so kind to them and acted like an old friend dropping by to visit. He invited her to Las Vegas when she was feeling up to it and she would be his special guest. And goodness did she recover fast.
We had a wonderful visit to Las Vegas and yes, he treated her like a queen. My sweet mother lived another eleven years. Wayne Newton is our Angel!"
"I was helping my twin brother with his furniture sale before his move-out from a triplex that he owned in the 'Old Town' part of Seal Beach, California. This was sometime around the early 2000s.
He was also advertising the unit that he was moving out from as a rental (the sale was still months off and hush-hush, of course). A nice lady came by to look over the place, decided she wanted it, and started selecting some of the furniture already there to help set up her new home.
'My son will pay for all of this,' she said, 'He’s a movie star.'
And so he was. It was Tobey Maguire. He came around to my brother’s door later in the day. At that time I didn’t really know who he was, since I hadn’t seen Pleasantville (1998), but my brother had.
During the interval before he arrived my brother told me a little about him, how he was destined to become the next Spiderman (which happened, of course).
So we were all business with him. Growing up in Southern California, one occasionally catches glimpses of or rubs elbows with celebrities. I saw a very famous classic movie star while working at Knott’s Berry Farm (a story for another time), among several other such tales — and I sort of realized that a famous person might want above all things to be treated as a normal person who has an interesting line of work, and not some visiting deity.
He ended up buying most of the remaining furniture, and with his (at that time) one million buck per picture earnings as a backstop. His mom gained approval and moved in shortly thereafter. His manner and effect were very much that of 'the artist.' He was, of course, rail-thin, and talked about how he didn’t carry cash all that much, because 'his manager' took care of such everyday things for him. (This came up because we had to direct him to the local instant-teller for enough moolah to buy the furniture and make a rental deposit.)
And that was that. I told my brother to hang on to any paperwork that Tobey Maguire signed because it was obvious that he was up and coming, and would probably be globally known; my brother might at some point be able to sell or auction a rental agreement with a celebrity’s signature and make a nice little pile.
'You never know,' I said, 'He might run for Congress someday or something like that.'
Which he didn’t, of course, and he’s currently in some disrepute for his poker-playing antics and other things, and seems to have fallen off the 'A' list of stars. Alas, my brother didn’t hang on to that paperwork, so any chance he might have had to make extra profit from the encounter also went by the way.
But that’s the basis for my 'I once sold furniture to Tobey Maguire' claim.'"
"My girlfriend was staying at a friend's house in North London. In the middle of the night, the doorbell rang very aggressively. My girlfriend went down to answer it and gave the visitor a piece of her mind due to the time. Turned out it was Sean Bean!
She explained the time and how inappropriate he was. He was under the influence. He left and she went back to bed.
One hour later she heard a loud bang in the front garden, a smash of windows, and another ring at the door. She stormed down to find him buzzed out of his mind in the doorway having just crashed his car through the front wall and thrown a bin in through the front living room window.
The police were called and he was taken away. The next morning, the wall and window were being replaced. I think somebody's assistant had a busy night trying to organize that. It turned out his ex-wife left him and he went to stay at her parents’ which was next door. Classic wrong address."
"I seem to be celebrity repellent. I lived in Los Angeles off and on for 33 years and only had two celebrity sightings. Relocating permanently to Nashville, I lived within a mile of many celebrities, from ‘80s music icons and Hollywood elite to modern pop singers and country stars. I’ve seen none of them around the neighborhood, they were like ghosts who live secluded lives in such close proximity and rarely appear. And certainly, none of them have knocked on my door.
But way back in 1997, I owned a modest little house in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in Nashville, splitting my residency between Los Angeles and Nashville back then. It was there that not one, but two celebrities came to my door by utter coincidence. And I didn’t even recognize them!
It was June 26, 1997. I only know this because, as I recalled, it was a Thursday precisely two nights before the infamous Holyfield-Tyson boxing match. The two events were intertwined in my recollection. It was late that night, I was about to go to bed, and I heard a car pull up outside. The neighborhood was normally quiet after 10 p.m., so it struck me as a little out of place. I peered through the curtains to see an enormous white limousine parked at the curb less than 50 feet away right in front of my home. Now that was odd.
Two large men emerged from the vehicle, both equal in height, at least six feet, and very stocky. To my surprise, they headed for my door. Normally, I wouldn’t open it at such a late hour. But they arrived in a limo, so they couldn’t be dangerous, right?
I was intrigued. Before they could even ring the doorbell, I opened the door.
To preface what happened next, I’ve never listened to country music, so I was clueless when it came to country musicians. The only faces in the business I would recognize are my neighbors Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Keith Urban. Maybe Blake Shelton or Luke Bryan. That was probably the extent of my knowledge, but I couldn’t name a single hit song of theirs.
One man had a darker beard and a black hat. The other sported a white beard and a white hat. I sensed they might be famous, but I had no idea who they were. They asked if they were at Mike’s house.
I replied, 'Oh, this is the wrong house. He lives right next door (as I gesture in that direction).'
They apologized for bothering me so late, but I assured them it was no trouble. And with that, the fleeting encounter was over.
The next day, I was mowing the lawn, that pesky grass that incessantly grew in the Tennessee humidity.
My neighbor Mike was outside and approached me with a smile and, 'Hey, I heard you met some famous people last night.'
I replied, 'I figured they were famous, but I have no idea who they were!'
He retorted, 'Are you kidding me, man? That was Hank Williams, Jr., in the black hat and Charlie Daniels in the white hat!'
I hadn’t recognized their faces, but I instantly knew those names. They’re both legendary country musicians, so famous that even I knew who they were.
As Mike continued, they were apparently in town to play a concert Friday night at the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s most famous country music venue. The famous theater was only 4,000 feet from my house, although I’ve never been inside.
So it turned out they had stopped by to run through some ideas with my neighbor who was a backup guitarist for just about any act who came to town. It wasn’t a high-paying job, but he was very talented and got to meet a lot of really cool people. They simply walked away up to the wrong house.
And that was just another day of living in the shadow of the Grand Ole Opry."
"We used to rent our house for the Christmas holidays. It was a busy time, always running around to do chores, moving furniture, so on and so forth.
One day, we had someone renting the house for four weeks. Renters never used to tell us their names. As usual, my wife went to the house to greet them. I on the other hand was doing some errands in the industrial estates when I received a phone call.
My wife said,'Can you please stop at the baby shop and buy a car seat for a four-year-old and drop it off here?'
I said, 'Sorry honey. I am busy, I really don't have the time.'
She said, 'If you don't you will regret it.' Which sounded like a threat, but her tone of voice sounded more ironic than threatening.
She had my attention. So, I got the car seat, drove back to the house, and called my wife to come down for it.
She said, 'Come up or you'll regret it.'
I thought, 'Alright. Something is weird here.'
I walked up the steps and as I reached for the handle, the door opened before I could touch it. Stood there was this bared chest guy, offering me a glass of sparkling juice and giving me big smile. Not any smile, but THAT smile I watched and rewatched multiple times in one of my all-time favorite movies: Inglorious Basterds.
Michael Fassbender was the person who opened my door. Since he wasn’t wearing a Nazi uniform, at first I couldn’t figure out why his face looked so familiar. I just played it cool. Of course, cool with a 'what the heck' look on my face, which betrayed my 'coolness.' My wife stood silently in the corner with a smug grin on her face.
Only later while I helped his father fit the car seat in the car (turned out the seat was for his nephew) I asked him if his son was famous. He explained it very humbly, basically downplaying the whole situation."
"A double-whammy of celebrities happened to me one day, long ago.
I was a staff member at the California State University of Long Beach (CSULB) where I supported professors and department heads all around the campus with their computer and network problems. So, when a department head called for help, I jumped up and walked across the campus to the film department. I had been to the film department several times before and I always enjoyed my visits there, listening to the fascinating stories about the film world. Several celebrities had attended the California State University of Long Beach.
I did my job repairing their computers and as I sat there in the cool film room on a hot summer day to relax some, there was a knock at the door. Nobody was around except me, and I guess I was drifting asleep. I got up to open the door and guess who was there?
Oh my goodness, it was the prestigious Steven Spielberg asking if anyone was home.
Mr. Spielberg attended California State University of Long Beach but dropped out before finishing. It was something about creative differences between his professors and Steven’s college work.
Mr. Spielberg said to me, 'I just wanted to drop by and say a quick hello.'
I was speechless. The only thing I could think of saying was, 'Do you want to leave a note?'
But he smiled and left. And suddenly, as I stood there with my mouth hanging open, Mr. Harrison Ford walked by as if he was catching up to Mr. Spielberg.
He smiled and said to me, 'Where can a guy get some food around this place?'
He then left as quickly as he arrived. It flabbergasted me!
Later, I had learned that Mr. Spielberg was on campus to talk to his professor about finishing up his Bachelors of Arts in Film that he never got to complete and Mr. Ford was tagging along with him Ironically, it was over 30 years prior that Steven Spielberg attended California State University of Long Beach and now was completing his degree.
That was a magical day, not only because I had two very famous people standing in front of me, but also for them and the campus. There was a healing that took place between California State University of Long Beach and Mr. Spielberg that eventually led to a renewed friendship with the university, faculty, and its students."
"I was working out one morning when my mom called to ask if I was close by; someone was coming to see the house and have coffee. I wasn’t close enough but that someone happened to be Clint Eastwood. His scouts had chosen her home for a few of the Mystic River scenes.
He had coffee with her and looked around and, several months later, they were there filming. Filming lasted for several days and Clint let my mom sit next to him quietly during filming.
She made a tidy amount for the loan of her home and he gave her several personalized items. I was thrilled when I watched the movie to see a quick scene showing the neighborhood and there was the back of my mom walking down the sidewalk. She didn’t even know so it was a sweet surprise.
I just love him."
"When I was a new immigrant to Canada, the Seattle consulate closed leaving my final paperwork shipped off to another consulate in one of many boxes. I had three contracts pending requiring that all-important official landing document so I could work.
My ex knew how to reach our Member of Provincial Parliament and asked for a favor 'to go find her papers and process them.'
Sometimes 'life setbacks' deliver life-altering breakthroughs!
Less than 24 hours later, at around eight am the next morning, the doorbell rang. My ex and I looked at each other, baffled, 'Who rings doorbells around here?!" And how early it was even more of a surprise. My good husband as he was, he sent me to the door and he went upstairs to finish up to leave for work.
The well-dressed man at the door introduced himself by his name as though I should react. I didn't recognize his name or face. ( In those days politicians were not on tv often.) He explained his office had been contacted regarding my immigration papers. I knew my ex had done that. He told me his staff had made 'the phone call', and my papers were found and stamped off. He pulled the envelope out.
Teasing me though, he said paraphrased, 'There is a catch if you want to take it.'
Now I was on guard a bit.
'Do you eat breakfast?' He asked.
'Yes, sometimes,' I replied.
'Will you meet me for breakfast tomorrow morning at __? I am having breakfast with Kim Campbell. She wants me to invite you,' he said
'I don't know Kim Campbell. Should I?' I said. (I just got to Canada a few months earlier, and wasn't involved in Canadian politics.)
'It is okay. You will meet her tomorrow. Your husband knows of her, pretty sure,' he said.
So I went to breakfast the next day and sat to the right of the person who would become Canada's next Prime Minister! That one morning led to sitting on national policy forum for immigration for Canada, and later provincial work consulting on pending legislation. I also got to help with a pending bill to establish the national organ donor registry.
Considering what a 'vortex hole' I had been whisked through. Before coming to Canada my last career was in a theme park, engineering, and biotech recruiting. Now I was part of a national team of people helping shape legislation and policy for Canada and British Columbia."
"My mother married my step-father when I was 13 years old. My step-father was an over-the-road truck driver. He was usually gone on the road Monday to Friday.
One evening, he called to tell my mother that he was going to be delayed by one day. A 'family' was having trouble with their travel van and he was trying to help them get it fixed. He’d be home a day late. The next day, he called again. Still having trouble getting the part they needed to fix the van. Another day delay.
He called again the next day. He asked if it would be okay if he brought these people home with him. They’d never been in our area before (I grew up in the Ozark Mountains) and were interested in visiting.
My mama said, 'Sure. Bring them with you.'
We lived on a farm out in the country. The front of our house faced the road. The entire front of the house was glass windows.
The next evening, I walked into the living room and observed my mother staring out the front windows. As she stood there, my step-dad’s truck pulled in. Followed by two greyhound-style travel buses. Twenty-three people walked off of those buses! There was a name of a gospel music group on the sides of the buses. It read 'The Brower Family Singers.'
My mother very calmly said, 'Sis, you need to lay some more meat out from the freezer. We have company.'
They stayed with us for two weeks. We became lifelong friends with the group."
"I worked at a family-owned hardware store in Portland, Oregon and I was in charge of opening and closing the store every Saturday in addition to my regular seven to four pm weekly schedule. Every week, without fail, someone would grab the front door handles after I’d already locked the doors and rattle the heck out of them, thinking someone would finally let them in. For that reason, I would stand around the corner so no one could see me, and the only time I’d unlock the door was to let customers out.
I had already worked Monday-Friday and put in another six hours on Saturday. Also, the salespeople only had half the day left and Sunday before they had to be back at work. Needless to say, none of us wanted customers coming in after closing.
One Saturday, I was standing in my usual hiding spot when someone started rattling the doors to get in. I ignored them. More rattling. I continued to ignore them. The rattling wouldn’t stop so I finally came around the corner with an aggravated look on my face and was about to tell them, 'WE’RE CLOSED! GET THE HECK AWAY FROM THE DOORS!'
That was when I saw Danny Glover and his wife. My temperament changed immediately and I couldn’t let them in fast enough. They were apologetic and polite and, yeah, I was a bit of a hypocrite at that moment, but they caught me off guard and I didn’t want to go down in history as the idiot who alienated a customer who could have bought the business and had plenty of money left over."
It was the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. My uncle was staying at our house, and when I came home I got an interesting story from him. My uncle was kind of a 60’s hippy type, and had dabbled in many religions and traveled the world. This day, a few Jehovah Witnesses knocked on the door as they usually do and asked to talk.
Of course, my uncle loved the idea of talking about religion and invited them in. They all sat in the living room for an hour or so and talked and debated. They left some literature and went off to the next house.
Who was it that knocked on the door? Michael Jackson."
"My neighbor dropped by. He brought a friend along to visit my folks.
'Hi, I wanted you to meet Max,' he said.
I was maybe ten years old. As usual, my mom and dad insisted that I play the piano for everyone who walked in the door. I dutifully did a fractured job on Mozart or something. Then the man asked if I would like to hear him play something.
I said, 'OK.'
He took the bench and tore that old player piano up!
Our neighbor repeated his name, 'This is Max Roach.'
'THE Max Roach,' my momma said.
'Yes, THE Max Roach,' my neighbor said.
Momma nearly fainted. 'Oh my God! Max Roach is in my basement!'
She never could keep the house clean enough after that. You never know when a celebrity will drop by again."