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By Stephen Schochet
COPYRIGHT: ?2004 by Hollywood Stories. All rights reserved
Since movie stars have moved into the big mansions of Beverly Hills and Bel-Air,
vendors have sold maps of their homes with varying accuracy. Although most stars
resent unwanted intrusions of fans, many take it with good humor. Sitting in his
swimming pool, Oliver Hardy would welcome fans who climbed over his fence. "Hey,
How about a dip?" In the earliest days, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks
would drive up next to people with star maps and ask them for directions. And
more recently, television producer Aaron Spelling would come out and pitch show
ideas to tourists.
Sometimes the famous have special relationships with their fans at their houses.
Before he became an ultra recluse, Elvis Presley loved taking his Memphis
relatives on tours of the star's homes. The singer who was in no way
hypocritical, once shocked his date Natalie Wood by taking time to chat with
fans who had blocked his driveway, after they moved out of the way to let him
park. Jack Benny and George Burns, who like Ozzy Osbourne gave out their
addresses on their TV shows, used to instruct their maids to give out autograph
pictures to fans who knocked. If Benny and Burns answered the door themselves
you might get invited in for lemonade. And Doris Day's love of homeless animals
brought unexpected baggage after she sold her home. For several years after the
new owners posted a sign that said, "Please do not leave your small dogs and
cats, Miss Day has moved!"
Many celebrities simply tire of the fan attention. Paul Newman and Joann
Woodward put their Beverly Hills house on sale after they found out it was on
the star maps. Pop star Prince threw rocks at passing tour buses. Sara Michelle
Gellar threatened to one up him and shoot their tires out. Ozzy Osbourne, famous
for calling the police on to chase off lookyloos away from his Beverly Hills
property, one day answered the door to greet some teenagers. "Come on in,
Kelly's upstairs." "Great, he wants us to meet his daughter." The light bulb of
recognition lit up in Ozzy's brain. "Wait a minute, who are you?" "We're just
some kids who found your house on the star map." Ozzy swore, threatened to get
the dogs and chased them off.
A frightening situation happened when a burglar found John Wayne's address. The
Duke was watching TV when the brazen criminal came into his house. "What the
hell?!!" Reacting quickly he ran down to the basement and grabbed a shotgun. He
chased the fiend into the backyard and said. "Hold it. I got you covered." He
yelled to his wife Pilar to call the police which she already had. After the
robber was cuffed he asked to speak to the cowboy star. "Mr. Wayne?" "What do
you want punk?" "Well, I came here in a cab. The taxi driver's still outside.
The meter's running. He didn't know I came to rob you. Could you take care of
him Mr. Wayne?" The Duke swore but after the police hauled the bad guy away, he
went outside and paid the driver whom he felt bad for.
With all their complaints of loss of privacy the stars often use the maps
themselves. Anthony Hopkins idolized the late Humphrey Bogart and had to see his
house. The reclusive Woody Allen had to meet Jack Benny and parked in front of
the comedian's house for hours to get a quick greeting. After creating headlines
by making an obscene gesture to the paparazzi in Mexico, Britney Spears returned
home and bought a map to find Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's Beverly Hills
house. The diminutive singer almost hurt herself falling off her car trying to
look over their hedges. And once, actor Lee Marvin was so drunk he couldn't find
his house, so he pulled over and bought a star map to locate it. Unfortunately,
it was newly built and not on the map yet!
Want to hear more stories? Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of the
audiobooks Fascinating Walt Disney and Tales Of Hollywood. The Saint Louis Post
Dispatch says," these two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining."
Hear realaudio samples of these great, unique gifts at http://www.hollywoodstories.com