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Stephen Schochet




Movie Star Maps

by Stephen Schochet


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, 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 of his house to pitch show ideas to tourists.

Sometimes the famous put out the welcome mat to strangers. Before he became an ultra recluse, Elvis Presley loved taking his Memphis relatives on tours of the star's homes. The singer once shocked his date Natalie Wood by taking time to chat with fans that blocked his driveway after they agreed to move out of the way so he could 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 autographed 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 listed 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 to keep 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.

With all their complaints about loss of privacy the stars often use the maps themselves. Anthony Hopkins idolized the late Humphrey Bogart and upon arriving in Los Angeles immediately to see his house. The reclusive Woody Allen had to meet Jack Benny and parked in front of the comedian's residence 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 and went on a tour with her girlfriends. When they found Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's house in Beverly Hills the tiny Pop Star stood on the car hood to peak over her hedges and nearly fell off and hurt herself. 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! "



Author Stephen Schochet is a professional tour guide in Hollywood who years ago began collecting little known, humorous anecdotes to tell to his customers. His new book isHollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! The book contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast of icons including John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, and many others both past and contemporary. Tim Sika, host of the radio show Celluloid Dreams on KSJS in San Jose has called Stephen, “The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard." Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or wherever books are sold.

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