Celebrities whom I have worked with or met over the years…and how I got here

After numerous conversations with many friends, clients, and patients over the last few years; it would often come up about my history and my work in the entertainment industry. People would often ask me how many celebrities I knew or had worked with. It dawned on me that I had worked with more celebrities than I ever thought to count.  So I got a piece of paper out and went to work writing down all that I could remember.  This information is not meant to be grandiose or egotistical, yet I realized my own children and future grandchildren might be interested to know - just for fun! So, after all these years…it is time to put in on paper! 

Depending on your age, you may or may not even recognize some of the celebs on my list; I started in “showbiz” at age 15 and some of the old Hollywood stars were already in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Having started performing on stage at about age 16 in musical theatre as a dancer (where I met one of my iconic idols Ginger Rogers), I also did some modeling, TV, and film work.  In my late-20’s I worked for the legendary Dick Clark for a couple of years in production and many years before that at age 15, I appeared on 8 shows as an American Bandstand dancer; I worked at Universal Studios in post- production management for 12 years; then moved on to a run a celebrity-backed charity.  I’ve met and worked with some of the best directors, editors, producers, actors, and many talented and award-winning behind the scenes people too.  I’ve attended some pretty amazing A-list parties, entertainment events and movie premiers.  Yes, there were perks!  

I have attended five Academy Awards; two of them as production staff being assigned as a ‘seat filler’. This had me seated next to the best of the best in the first few rows (this is done for camera purposes as to not have empty seats when actors take the stage for their awards).  I attended three Academy Awards shows supporting my studio’s nominees.  Yes, that means walking the Red Carpet, even being captured in a photograph in a national magazine walking behind Oscar winner Susan Sarandon and Timothy Robbins.  I’ve attended the Emmy Awards, American Music Awards (I also worked on that one; my name is in the credits), and the Grammys; plus some other smaller entertainment awards shows even serving as a presenter for two of them.  I have also done three game shows, winning big on two of them! 

Making it to semi-finalist out of 500+ national hopefuls, I was almost a professional Ram’s Cheerleader appearing in some promo shots on NBC.  As a former California state queen, I did various TV and entertainment appearances working on celebrity golf tournaments (yes as a golfer!) and a few celebrity bowling tournaments (took second place female division!)

I left studio work to take over a CA charity, where I also served as executive director, and executive producer and host of our celebrity gala event in Hollywood.

Having attended numerous parties or events with tons of celebs too numerous to mention; I am only listing those whom I have actually met or worked with.  Here, in no particular order, are some of those celebrities:

  • Steven Spielberg (Worked on various movies; celeb events; fundraisers; FUN FACT: I actually interviewed to be his ‘second’ assistant in the late 80’s, but turned it down because it may have required world travel and I had two small children and a new baby!)
  • Ginger Rogers (One of my highlights; she stopped by backstage after a performance to greet the cast.)
  • Martha Raye (At 16, my first celebrity; she was incredible…what a comedienne; FUN FACT: she was a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve Nurse Corps and entertained the troops in 3 wars!)
  • Robert Redford (That man is scrumptious; honestly does he age?!)
  • Barbara Streisand (Another TOP memory maker for me, she is the best!)
  • Sidney Poitier (What a moment! Iconic, gentle, intelligent, awe-inspiring.)
  • Shirley MacLaine (Another iconic idol for me; remember I started in theater. I sat next to her during Academy Awards.) 
  • Dick Clark (Working for him…a blast! I worked on Golden Globes; AMAs; NY Rockin Eve; Bloopers; Pyramid; and more.)
  • Annette Bening (Charming, talented, down-to earth.)
  • Warren Beatty (Lucky Annette! Handsome, charismatic…and for those who did not know – he is Shirley MacLaine’s brother.)
  • Cher (A couple of times at some A-list parties…what can I say? She’s iconic CHER!)
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins (Yes, an honor, incredible human being!)
  • Sir Richard Branson (Met at a gala function in Richmond, VA)
  • President Bill Clinton (Yep, he shook my hand! Met at a studio PAC event.)
  • Sam Elliott (Now that is one sexy cowboy; also, a gentleman!)
  • Smokey Robinson (Very interesting personal story with him; I will leave it there. He was exec producer on a film I appeared in.)
  • Mel Gibson (Before all the bad press…I found him to be professional and respectful.)
  • Jeff Goldblum (A true highlight. There is a story…and he is simply charming…and sexy!)
  • Peter Lawford (Another old Hollywood legend; he appeared in a film that I also had a part in.)
  • Sylvester Stallone (Met he and his wife Jennifer at an A-lister party.)
  • Michael Jackson (Worked with him twice! Ooh I loved “Smooth Criminal”)
  • Patrick Swayze (I mean how many times did I watch “Dirty Dancing”? Then years later to meet and work with him! Dancer meet dancer!)
  • Joe Namath (We did a theatre play together. Gorgeous gentleman; still sexy today!)
  • Then-Bruce Jenner (Celeb golf tournament; this was prior to becoming Caitlyn.)
  • Dame Angela Landsbury (Legendary actress of theatre, film, tv. “Worked on Murder She Wrote”)
  • Sigourney Weaver (I did a movie with her.)
  • David Duchouvny (Same movie as with Sigourney)
  • Donny Osmond (He was set to host our celebrity gala event; was late, so the duties fell to me! I did meet him after he finally showed

     up. 

  • Lou Rawls (Celeb gala event)
  • Cheech Marin (Celeb golf tournament)
  • Bob Denver (Yes, “Gilligan”, he was set to star in one of our theatre plays but backed out due to health issues.)
  • Yvonne DeCarlo (Movie star but most notable “Lily Munster”; we worked together on stage.)
  • Max Baer (Yep, that’s Jethro from “Beverly Hillbillies”; later a film producer; I appeared in one of his movies.)
  • Jenny McCarthy (National Health Expo; I was a featured speaker; she was selling her book)
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Met her twice; once at a studio function and again when both of us were speakers at a Los Angeles health expo.)
  • Michael Nouri (Don’t we all remember “Flashdance”!? Oh, what a feelin’!)
  • David Copperfield (Magical eyes!)
  • Casey Kasem (Sweet man!  Met at Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon; I was Mrs. California America and was presenting a donation check on national live TV.)
  • Bob Barker (Yep, I was a grand showcase winner; “Price is Right”)
  • Alex Trebec (Yep, another game show winner; he was incredible; I think he still had a moustache?)
  • Alan Ludden (Yep, another game show! You may know him from “Password” and Betty White’s hubby.)
  • Buzz Aldrin (Famous astronaut; worked on a celeb event with him)
  • Bill Cosby (worked on “Ghost Dad” in late 80’s)


I also met four of the original female baseball players from movie “A League of Their Own”. (Fascinating, awe-inspiring; warm and funny!)

These are just a few that many people would recognize, however there were iconic studio heads; award winning directors, producers, editors…some with huge egos, some simply a pleasure to work with.

I am sure other names will pop into my memory, but at least I put in on paper…finally. I have had an incredibly diverse, interesting, memorable, and blessed life for sure. Some of these memories feel like yesterday; others feel like a lifetime ago.  

Now as a nurse, I have been able to share a few of these memories with some of my very old and/or dying patients. It brings me joy to share my memories to assist other in recalling some of theirs. They remember old Hollywood icons such as Ginger Rogers, Sidney Poitier, Peter Lawford and Martha Raye. I enjoy hearing my patients recall a simpler time from their youth especially some of my veterans.

Since leaving the entertainment industry behind, in my current capacity as a nurse and nutritionist -  I have appeared on numerous TV networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, KTLA) and radio segments, even co-hosting my own radio show.  I appeared nationally on Extra TV, where I was chosen as a “life changer” and was paired with Dr. Mehmet Oz for my Halloween nutrition segment.

So as much as I thought I have left entertainment, it continues to call me back. My life is not entirely defined by celebrities and/or my past entertainment history. I have a rich and full life. I still have a few friends who remain in the industry; my own son is now in TV and film production, so I guess it is in the genes!  My children grew up on the studio backlots. I’m often asked if I would like to go back, but I look to moving forward…forward always to creating new memories with my family, my friends, my clients, my patients, my colleagues – they are the true celebrities in my life now.

 


 

 

 

 

 


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​NurseTami.com July 2020: Please enjoy Tami's new post "CELEBRITIES WITH WHOM I'VE WORKED AND MET..."  Tami began her career as a dancer performing in musical theatre; went on to work in film and TV, in both production and post production; to running a celebrity-backed charity; then on to running her own health and nutrition business before becoming a registered nurse. Follow Tami's steps from Hollywood to Honolulu.  ~  Please see FUN FACTS.

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