Classic TV Stars Gather For Autograph

Classic TV Stars Gather For Autograph Show
Fans Get Up Close Experience With Their Favorite Celebrities And Collect Memorabilia

 

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In Burbank, the Hollywood Collectors and Celebrities Show drew thousands of folks young and old to see an impressive gathering of their favorite classic movie and television stars.

Mature fans enjoyed reminiscing with their favorite stars from yesteryear. And youngsters loved seeing the actors from the popular TV Land and Nick at Nite shows.

Held at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel’s Convention Center, enthusiastic fans were there to collect autographs and take pictures of dozens of veteran stars from TV and film on hand during the recent two day event.

Easily the most popular star at the show was Richard Dreyfuss, who had the longest line of autograph seekers ready to pay to get the Oscar-winner to sign memorabilia from his many movies. There were posters from American Graffiti and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, pictures from The Goodbye Girl and Mr. Holland’s Opus, plus lots of toy sharks which were offered for inscription by Jaws fans. When a large stuffed shark was put in front of him, Dreyfuss made everyone roar with laughter as he shouted, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat,” a classic line from the movie.

Dreyfuss chatted with his followers about his upcoming movie, My Life In Ruins, a comedy co-starring with Nia Vardalos about a Greek tour guide, which shot on location at the Acropolis in Greece.

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Star of the TV Land favorite The Patty Duke Show, Patty Duke was happy to be sitting next to her TV dad William Schallert, who also played father to Caryn Richman in The New Gidget series. It was one big happy blended family, as the three hugged and shared stories with one another, and the multitude of fans who came to see them.

“I enjoy meeting everyone,” the super-sweet Patty said. “And I want everyone to walk away with a story and say, ‘Oh, she was nice.’” Some brought her books “Call Me Anna” and “A Brilliant Madness” to be signed. A couple had the hit record Duke made when she was a teenager. That’s a real collector’s item now. But Patty’s favorite treasure was a picture of her and Helen Keller. They met when Patty was playing Keller in The Miracle Worker. “I was very young, but I remember she was very special and surprised me with her sense of humor.”

There were great mini-reunions of cast members of memorable shows, such as the lovely Lindsay Wagner and Richard Anderson from The Bionic Woman. The brothers who starred in My 3 Sons were there, Barry Livingston (Ernie) and Stanley Livingston (Chip), as well as Sanford & Son’s Demond Wilson (Lamont) and Howard Platt (Officer Hoppy).

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The young Charles In Charge stars Willie Aames and Josie Davis were there too. Stunning Josie Davis has been doing TV guest roles, recently on Shark, and has two movies coming out this year, The Cursed and Tranced. Willie, who also starred in Eight Is Enough, was signing his book “Grace Is Enough.”

Tab Hunter was signing his book, “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of A Movie Star.” He says he doesn’t miss the rat race of show business and nowadays enjoys gardening at his Santa Barbara home “and I take care of my horses.”

Linda Blair famous for The Exorcist, was signing her book “Going Vegan!” Dom DeLuise had several of his cookbooks to sign. And Dwayne Hickman the titled star of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, had his paintings for sale, each signed and ready to hang.

Also on hand were Dirk Benedict from The A-Team and Battlestar Galactica; Keir Dullea from 2001: A Space Odyssey; Barbara Parkins from Valley of the Dolls; Patty McCormack from The Bad Seed; Gene Barry star of  Bat Masterson; Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films; Barry Williams from The Brady Bunch; Jeff Conaway from Taxi; and Carl Ballantine, of the classic McHale’s Navy, who notes that he’s a member of the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. In fact, he has performed there as “The Amazing Ballantine.” And big band singer Gogi Grant, who did The Helen Morgan Story.

Several times a year the well-organized Collectors and Celebrities Show is presented by Ray and Sharon Courts. The fans who attend are always thrilled to see their favorite stars and have a chance to chat with them. And the stars say it’s a treat for them too.

This marks the 18th year the Courts have been promoting celebrity guests and movie memorabilia shows. The next nostalgic gathering is set for July 11 and 12 at the same location. A similar show is set for Chicago September 27 and 28. For an up-to-date list of the celebrity guests who will attend the shows, go to www.hollywoodcollectorshow.com


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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