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  #1  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:44 PM
Idle Thoughts Idle Thoughts is offline
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Celebrities who won't sign autographs.

So I was reading an article on Bill Watterson, creator and excartoonist of Calvin and Hobbes, and it's stated that he refuses to sign autographs.

So it made me wonder and think, are there any other celebrities* out there who don't sign them or who is known to dislike or refuse signing them?

I've heard (mind you, a lot of this thread will probably be cite-free and mostly just "heard" things) that Russell Crowe doesn't like signing autographs.

Does anyone else know of or have heard of any other famous** people like this?



*very wide range here, folks, however hopefully I'll cut off any "No, I don't" replies at the pass.

**see above
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:48 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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I heard a long time ago that Wayne Gretzky will sign rookie cards and whatnot, but always bends one corner of them down so they're not worth a brazillion dollars. I don't know if that's true or not.

I also hear that a WG rookie card is worth more unsigned than signed because if it's signed it's no longer perfect.

Not exaclty like the OP, but sort of interesting...
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2007, 11:11 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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I seem to recall Steve Martin, in lieu of autographs, handing out cards saying "This card certifies that you had an encounter with me and I was witty and charming."
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2007, 11:22 PM
mobo85 mobo85 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle Thoughts
So I was reading an article on Bill Watterson, creator and excartoonist of Calvin and Hobbes, and it's stated that he refuses to sign autographs.
Does he even make public appearances? I seem to recall he's been living as a recluse in Arizona, at least based on an article I read.
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2007, 05:14 AM
mamboman mamboman is offline
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I've heard woe betide anyone who asks Helen Hunt for an autograph.

mm
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2007, 05:33 AM
UntouchedTakeaway UntouchedTakeaway is offline
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Originally Posted by alice_in_wonderland
I heard a long time ago that Wayne Gretzky will sign rookie cards and whatnot, but always bends one corner of them down so they're not worth a brazillion dollars. I don't know if that's true or not.

I also hear that a WG rookie card is worth more unsigned than signed because if it's signed it's no longer perfect.

Not exaclty like the OP, but sort of interesting...

I've heard that a lot of MLB players won't sign autographs for fear they're being given to shills for memorabilia collectors. Even little kids don't get signatures.

VCNJ~
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2007, 05:39 AM
Lars Aruns Lars Aruns is offline
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Originally Posted by Veuve_ClicquotNJ
I've heard that a lot of MLB players won't sign autographs for fear they're being given to shills for memorabilia collectors.
Just an idea out of the top of my head: if one of these celebrities would sign as many autographs as possible, would it not reduce the commercial value, so to speak, of the autograph? So if people like Steve Martin or Bill Watterson is disgruntled about people selling and buying their autograph, they could resort to sign as many as possible so as to drive the price so low that it's not worth to sell it anymore. Voila', problem solved.

What do you think?
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2007, 05:41 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Several don't it's true. But many I've gotten autographs from instead require a dollar donation to some charity and some sort of handwritten thing from the requester (most come in by mail) to indicate it's not a mass mailing effort.

Andre Dawson, for one, is a guy very clear about his policies and why he has them.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:28 AM
minlokwat minlokwat is offline
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Years ago I was at a Washington Bullets game (obviously before the name change) and Wes Unseld, their star center from the 70’s who remained onboard as one of the higher-ups within the organization, appeared in the area where all of the concession stands and restrooms are located.

A crowd immediately materialized around him (I observed from a brief distance) and in all the hand-shaking and what not, someone presented him with a poster that he wanted Wes to sign.

Unseld said words to the effect that if he signs that one, he will have to sign all of them so it is his policy that he doesn’t do autographs. Reasonably stated, he’d obviously explained this countless times before, the fan understood and that was that. Besides, while still standing a full 6’10” Unseld doesn’t appear to be a guy that many people take exception to.
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:39 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Mike Marshall refused to give autographs back in the early 70s, when it was expected of baseball players (before anyone thought to use them as currency). His reasoning was that there were many more important people than him and would sometimes tell people they should be getting autographs of their teachers or parents.
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:44 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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I met Alec Guiness at the stage door after a show in London once, and he was gracious about signing autographs except when a German guy handed him a publicity glossy of him as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sir Alec grumbled a little about it, but still signed.

I've read that, late in life, Robert Heinlein would respond to autograph requests by saying, "Certainly. May I have a pint of your blood?" Had I known that and met him, I would have shown him my Red Cross blood-donor card. Do you think that would have sufficed?
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:49 AM
MadTheSwine MadTheSwine is offline
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An ex MLB pitcher was very assholish about giving autographs,I think it was Steve Carlton.

On the other hand,I once went to a game where Dave Parker and Barry Larkin spent what seemed like most of their time signing for the fans,they both even went in the stadium and stood near one of the concession stands for awhile.I've always remembered that and followed their careers after that day.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:54 AM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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That's what I like about the book businesses. Virtually all authors are happy to sign copies of their books and not charge for it. I've signed thousands of copies of my books, and never turned anyone down (and never charged a penny for it).

I've had authors that couldn't come to my bookstore offer to sign books for me if I paid for the shipping to get them there and back. Generally, everyone's been nice about it.

One exception: William Shatner. His agent said if I wanted signed copies of his books for my store, he'd charge $10 per autograph. That's for paperbacks that don't even cost $8. Pah. Now I don't sell his stuff. And I don't believe he writes them himself, anyway.
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:54 AM
Indyellen Indyellen is offline
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I used to be quite the autograph hound, and got several that I treasure, including Marvin Hamlisch & Johnny Cash.

However, I once tried to get an autograph from Doc Severensen (of Tonight Show fame) and he was *very* rude. However, Tommy Newsom was perfectly sweet & obliging.
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2007, 08:18 AM
Hey, It's That Guy! Hey, It's That Guy! is offline
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I have several comic books autographed by writers and artists I've met at conventions. Most have been absolutely awesome and gracious, with only a few grumpy jerks mixed in. Typically artists will charge for original sketches if you want a large size or great detail, but some will dash off quick head sketches of characters for free, or if they don't have long lines at their tables, they'll even do a small sketch in a book you present them for a simple signature. I have a nice collection of original comic art growing thanks to these guys' coolness.
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  #16  
Old 01-26-2007, 08:21 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I heard Rosie O'Donnell say once that she didn't give autographs. She made exceoptions for kids who wanted Betty Rubble's signature. but she thought it was sad when adults wanted that sort of memento.
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  #17  
Old 01-26-2007, 08:25 AM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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I remember reading an interview with Ewan McGregor (yes, him again!) where a young fan knocked on the door of his house and asked for his autograph. Normally, he's happy to sign, but he has a policy that he won't do so at home, because he dislikes the invasion of privacy. After politely explaining all this, the girl said, "Yeah, I understand-but could you just sign this please?" I think he closed the door on her.


Basketball great and civil rights activist Bill Russell was well-known for refusing to sign autographs-ever. In fact, there's a story about a teammate who was leaving the Celtics, and getting all of the team to sign an autograph book as a memento, and Russell STILL refused to sign. Said teammate was somewhat hurt and disappointed about this.
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2007, 08:29 AM
Loach Loach is offline
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Rosie O'Donnell is very snippy about autographs and won't give them. Just another aspect of her lovely personality.

On the other hand....I don't collect autographs but I do have a couple. I went to see Stevie Ray Vaughn and we happened to park behind the venue. As we were walking to the theater SRV gets off the tour bus and heads inside. He stopped and signed everything he could for everyone there until he was dragged inside by the crew. I had to bend down to so he could sign my autograph using my back as a table. He was quite short.

I saw Penn and Teller at the McCarter Theater in Princeton. At the end of the show they both were in the lobby. Both stayed until everyone shook their hands, talked to them and got an autograph. The theater was packed and holds over 1,000 people. It should be noted that they didn't change clothes before they came out so they were wearing togas and they were covered in fake blood.
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2007, 08:33 AM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
I heard Rosie O'Donnell say once that she didn't give autographs. She made exceoptions for kids who wanted Betty Rubble's signature. but she thought it was sad when adults wanted that sort of memento.
This wasn't there when I hit submit. I saw her talking about it. She didn't seem sad. She seemed bitchy. And this was from when she had her personality reined in.
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2007, 08:36 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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She didn't seem sad. She seemed bitchy.
Please note that I sdidn't say she was sad -- she implied that adults seeking autographs were "sad". This was about the time the film The Flintstones (in which she played Betty Rubble)came out. She didn't have a reputation as "bitchy" back then.
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2007, 08:44 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir
I met Alec Guiness at the stage door after a show in London once, and he was gracious about signing autographs except when a German guy handed him a publicity glossy of him as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sir Alec grumbled a little about it, but still signed.

I've read that, late in life, Robert Heinlein would respond to autograph requests by saying, "Certainly. May I have a pint of your blood?" Had I known that and met him, I would have shown him my Red Cross blood-donor card. Do you think that would have sufficed?
I'd say yes, he would have. I've certainly heard of events where he'd use his name and fame to promote blood donations. Though from time to time when he wasn't feeling well he'd not appear at the scheduled events.

Man, I still feel all fanboy about him.
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2007, 09:13 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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At the other end of the scale, Stephen King jokes that if you have an unsigned copy of The Stand, hang onto it. It's worth a bundle!
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2007, 09:43 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is online now
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Your most reliable way to get an autograph is to go through the celebrity's publicist. My brother has a letter that he sends to publicists all the time to coax a nice 8x10 signed photo out of 'em, and he gets tons. His favorite is the one he got from Al Pacino; great picture, signed in silver.
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  #24  
Old 01-26-2007, 09:56 AM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Originally Posted by Loach
Rosie O'Donnell is very snippy about autographs and won't give them. Just another aspect of her lovely personality.
[/hijack] I'm very hesitant to believe that certain celebrities are bitches/jerks. I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt, and I'll tell you why.

Years ago, while the Buffy series was still in production, but was nearing the finale, I saw several articles which decried what a snotty bitch Sarah Michelle Gellar was. One article said that Seth Green refused to come to the wrap party because he despised SMG so much. Now, watching Robot Chicken, I frequently see SMG listed as a guest voice; I can't imagine that if Green loathed her so much he would invite her back to be on a show that is reportedly pretty much under his sole control. (Especially given that the series doesn't brag about upcoming guests to try to attract viewers.)

Maybe O'Donnell really is the Wicked Bitch of the West. I've certainly heard enough stories to support that assumption, but I still have to wonder how many of them have been taken out of context and warped slightly to fit with what everyone already "knows" about her.

[/end hijack]
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  #25  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:13 AM
middleman middleman is offline
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In the same vein as Stephen King, I heard that Clint Eastwood is the most generous autograph signer out there.

Apparently, he never uses the "if I sign one, I have to sign them all" excuse because he will take the time to keep signing until everyone is satisfied.

The man is a living legend and he is much nicer that all the B-listers you hear about who lord their fame over the people who enjoy their work.

I like Clint.
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  #26  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:16 AM
middleman middleman is offline
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Originally Posted by middleman
In the same vein as Stephen King, I heard that Clint Eastwood is the most generous autograph signer out there.

Apparently, he never uses the "if I sign one, I have to sign them all" excuse because he will take the time to keep signing until everyone is satisfied.

The man is a living legend and he is much nicer that all the B-listers you hear about who lord their fame over the people who enjoy their work.

I like Clint.
Correcting myself slightly, here is a blurb from a celeb sighting page. Clint IS generous, but when it is time to leave, it is time to leave.

Quote:
The legendary star emerged from the posh restaurant and was met by a bunch of autograph seekers. He signed photos, posters and record albums. He was very accomodating and signed up a storm. Eventually he had to put an end to it and walked to his SUV around the corner. The fans/dealers tried to get hm to sign again and he firmly stated “When I’m done…I’m done!”
“When I’m done…I’m done!” CLASSIC!
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  #27  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:21 AM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Slightly off topic, Shaquille O'Neal supposedly doesn't sign often, and QVC recently had some basketballs where had literally written an S and a line, and a O and line, porbably the lamest autograph I have ever seen (it looked more like he initialed the balls, not signed them) and were selling for 1500 dollars!
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  #28  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:32 AM
Sean Factotum Sean Factotum is offline
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Originally Posted by MadTheSwine
An ex MLB pitcher was very assholish about giving autographs,I think it was Steve Carlton.
Add Doc Ellis to that list. At least he was during the '70 World Series. My friends and I (all about 8-10 years old) had managed to collect the autographs of the entire Pirates team before a couple of the games played in Pittsburgh, except for Ellis. He just stuck his tongue out at us and turned his back.

From what I've read in the last couple of years, though, this was most likely caused by the controlled substances he says he was using at that time in his career rather than innate jerkishness.

Last edited by Sean Factotum; 01-26-2007 at 10:34 AM.. Reason: Corrected typos
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  #29  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:40 AM
Caridwen Caridwen is offline
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This is off topic because it's a good autograph story.

Johnny Depp was going to be on David Letterman and my cousin went to the studio to get his autograph as he went in. As he was walking in, there was a huge bunch of people and she's short and got pushed back. He must of seen what happened and sort of motioned to her. After he signed autographs he went back over to her and signed an autograph and asked her if she wanted a picture.
He had someone else take a picture of them together.

She said he was amazing and smelled great.
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  #30  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:44 AM
Surbey Surbey is offline
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Before he died, I know Marlon Brando was a real bitch about people and signatures. I think Frank Sinatra was that way too.
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  #31  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:48 AM
Encinitas Encinitas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir
I've read that, late in life, Robert Heinlein would respond to autograph requests by saying, "Certainly. May I have a pint of your blood?")
I attended the World Science Fiction Convention in Phoenix many years ago. They had a blood drive concurrent with the Con and everyone who donated was entered in a raffle to win a LP recording of Leonard Nimoy reading Heinlien's The Green Hills of Earth. Amazingly enough I won, and several weeks later I received the album in the mail autographed by Heinlein!
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  #32  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:12 AM
The Chao Goes Mu The Chao Goes Mu is offline
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I heard that Cybil Shepherd was a total bitch to fans and I also heard that Mary Lou Retton, in her heyday barked to cheering fans who were begging for autographs that "she didnt' need them." (the fans)

I ran into LL Cool J once and he seemed delighted to sign and get photos with people in spite of being late for The Today Show or one of those morning shows.
I've got a picture of him smiling pretty with my ex-girlfriend. It made her life I think.
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  #33  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:27 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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I am surprised no one has mentioned Paul Newman - I thought he was the most famous - perhaps along with Steve Martin - celebrity known for not giving out autographs.

My understanding is that he stopped fairly early on in his career when someone approach him while he was at a urinal in the middle of...doing what a guy does at a urinal. That episode so put him off that he simply refused from then on. And since he has a rep for being a great guy otherwise, charity work and all, he is not tarnished for not giving them...
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  #34  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:29 AM
kurilla kurilla is offline
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SF author Larry Niven doesn't sign autographs. He's quite reasonable about saying so, unlike some people mentioned upthread.
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  #35  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:30 AM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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The last time I asked anyone for their autograph was about 20 years ago. I was eating dinner with my parents when Paul Simon sat down at a table near us. This was probably within 2 weeks of his winning Grammys for Graceland. I went up to him and apologized for interupting him and asked if he would mind signing an autograph. He wasn't thrilled about it, but he wasn't rude either. It has been with my Graceland CD ever since.

Wasn't there video from a few years ago of Larry Bird being a total jerk to some kid who asked him for an autograph at a Pacers game?

To me, signing autographs is part and parcel of being famous. Of course autograph seekers also have to use some judgement and realize that privacy needs to be respected as well.
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  #36  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:36 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurilla
SF author Larry Niven doesn't sign autographs. He's quite reasonable about saying so, unlike some people mentioned upthread.
But if you catch him in a good mood, and have a book, he'll chat and sign, no problem. Larry has signed any number of his books for me over the years, including a first edition of Ringworld.
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:40 AM
Ol'Gaffer Ol'Gaffer is offline
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People are always surprised when I tell them this but I was in San Francisco and saw Bob Uecker at a bar. He was a total asshole. After I took his picture with a couple of friends (in which he smiled like the Joker and waved) he told us "Now get the fuck out of here." Just the total opposite of the nice goofy guy he always portrays in TV and film.

On the other hand, I went to a Bruce Campbell book signing and there were hundreds of people there. We waited in line for several hours before we got in and we realized the reason it was taking so long was that he was chatting with every single person who came through the line. When I got up there I thanked him for sticking around for so long and he said "Well, you know if I take off there will be stories all over the internet about what an asshole I am!" Very cool guy. He signed my Bubba Ho-Tep poster with T.C.B. - Bruce Campbell - Elvis.
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  #38  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:59 AM
beergeek279 beergeek279 is offline
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I can understand why people wouldn't sign autographs......after all, if you sign 50, then the 51st is going to go home and tell their freinds what a prick you were, or else there's a good chance that autograph is going to end up on Ebay.

The best non-signer story from Pittsburgh is Mean Joe Greene, who wasn't an autograph signer (by policy). Some kids came up to him and asked him for his signature, so in lieu of that, he took them onto the Steelers' team bus and sat and talked to them for far longer than it would have taken for them to scribble his name on a little sheet of paper, which probably touched them far more than a little autograph ever could have.
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  #39  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:06 PM
The Chao Goes Mu The Chao Goes Mu is offline
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I had the honor of meeting Ken Kesey twice back in the 90's. The first time, I was in line as he was signing autographs. When I got up to him, I reached out looking for something to sign, and I just said "I'd really rather just shake your hand if you don't mind." He smiled ear to ear and happily shook my hand.

Anyone know about Kevin Spacey? My friend who works for Lionsgate said he tried just chatting with him while Spacey was waiting for one of the execs and that he was rude and condescending. We both wanted to believe it was just a bad hemmorhoid flare-up or something.

Last edited by The Chao Goes Mu; 01-26-2007 at 12:09 PM.. Reason: I wanted to see what it felt like.
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  #40  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:36 PM
The Punkyova The Punkyova is offline
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Re: Larry Bird, I don't know his autograph policy, but he's a nice guy. Many years ago, when he was a star player for the Celtics, they were playing in Las Vegas. My aunt and her friends happened to be there for their annual girls weekend. They were at a table in the bar, laughing at the way the ball players were being chased around by "available young ladies." Several of these "a.y.l." were bothering Larry Bird, and he asked if he could sit at my aunt's table (in the only free seat), clearly just wanting some peace. They said sure, chatted with him, dealt him in to their bridge game and all of them ended up being quite friendly. After that, they timed their Vegas weekends around when the Celtics were playing there, and he always got them passes to the games. He sent shoes and Celtics stuff to their kids, and they all exchange Christmas cards. According to my aunt, he is a really nice, down to earth person who hates fakery and glamour.

(There was a book, I think by a Sports Illustrated reporter, chronicling Larry Bird's final season with the Celtics. He talks in it about "The Golden Girls," giving their names and the whole story.)


I have heard that Andy Griffith never, ever signs autographs, and this means you.
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  #41  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:42 PM
NailBunny NailBunny is offline
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Originally Posted by Ol'Gaffer

On the other hand, I went to a Bruce Campbell book signing and there were hundreds of people there. We waited in line for several hours before we got in and we realized the reason it was taking so long was that he was chatting with every single person who came through the line. When I got up there I thanked him for sticking around for so long and he said "Well, you know if I take off there will be stories all over the internet about what an asshole I am!" Very cool guy. He signed my Bubba Ho-Tep poster with T.C.B. - Bruce Campbell - Elvis.
This is absolutely true - Mr. Bunny and I got to meet Bruce a couple months ago at a book signing, and like you said there were hundreds upon hundreds of folks there, and he chatted for a couple minutes with every. Single. One, signed whatever they'd brought with them and posed for a picture as well. The employees at the bookstore said he'd probably be there till the wee hours of the morning doing so. Really a great guy.
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  #42  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:47 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Originally Posted by beergeek279
I can understand why people wouldn't sign autographs......after all, if you sign 50, then the 51st is going to go home and tell their freinds what a prick you were, or else there's a good chance that autograph is going to end up on Ebay.
Yes, it's far, far better to have 51 people think you're a prick than to have 50 think you're swell if there's the chance that even one of them might make money off you.

Not enough 's in the world.

Last edited by Beware of Doug; 01-26-2007 at 12:49 PM.. Reason: the endless battle for clarity.
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  #43  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:49 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus
At the other end of the scale, Stephen King jokes that if you have an unsigned copy of The Stand, hang onto it. It's worth a bundle!
I have unsigned copies of both editions (edited and unedited). I must be worth a double bundle.

King signed a photo of a fan and himself once. For Mark David Chapman

When Christopher Reeve was doing "Fifth of July" on Broadway, he not only signed my window card, but I got to walk down the street with him to the store where I bought it because he wanted to get some. A helluva nice guy.
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  #44  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:51 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Was Chapman the fan?

I hear Helen Hayes was so generous with autographs that hers is virtually worthless.
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  #45  
Old 01-26-2007, 12:55 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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R. Crumb does not sign.
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  #46  
Old 01-26-2007, 01:01 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
Was Chapman the fan?

Yep!

I've had the opportunities to ask a bunch of Broadway stars for autographs, and it's rare to get turned down. I got Richard Thomas to sign HIS Fifth of July window card at the Broadway Flea Market three years ago. He was very, very surprised to see it.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:06 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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That's really a pretty good way to get autographs when the people are tired or really don't want to. Give them something unusual from their past to sign. I got George R. R. Martin to not only sign a few books for me, but got about 20 minutes of conversation out of him when I offered up my first edition of Armageddon Rag instead of a Fire and Ice volume.
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  #48  
Old 01-26-2007, 01:13 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Bairn
R. Crumb does not sign.
Well, that's different. He's built a whole oeuvre around being a misanthrope.
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  #49  
Old 01-26-2007, 01:16 PM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas
When Christopher Reeve was doing "Fifth of July" on Broadway, he not only signed my window card, but I got to walk down the street with him to the store where I bought it because he wanted to get some.
You had sex with Christopher Reeve?!
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  #50  
Old 01-26-2007, 01:24 PM
astorian astorian is online now
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I'm told that Robert Fripp not only won't sign autographs, he's liable to run away as fast as he can if you approach him about one.
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