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The “E” True Marilu Henner Story April 16, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

Way back in the summer of 2000, I was a regular on a iVillage message board which discussed various diet plans and their merits. One of the plans we discussed was Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover, a book she released in 1999. We found the plan itself to be impossibly strict-no dairy, no sugar, and all foods properly combined (fruit alone, no carbs mixed with protein). We often discussed Marilu herself, how we loved her in “Taxi”, “L.A. Story”, “Johnny Dangerously”, and all her other film and TV appearances. It was soon revealed that there were Marilu Henner fan clubs all over the country, including one in Detroit.

One day there was an excited posting from a Detroit fan club member announcing that Marilu had replaced Bernadette Peters in “Annie Get Your Gun”and would be appearing at the Detroit Fisher Theater. Marilu was willing to have dinner with us before the show at the Theater’s restaurant. I’d never seen “Annie Get Your Gun”, but I like musicals, and it was a chance to meet a real movie star, so I signed up to go.

So on September 26, 2000, I kissed my husband and boys goodbye and headed off to Detroit. I valet-parked at the Fisher and headed inside. It was fun to meet in person the ladies I had been chatting with on the message board, and we mingled and talked while waiting for Marilu, who was staying in the hotel right across the street. When she arrived, she surprised us by bringing her two adorable boys Joey and Nicky as well. Her hair was pulled back in a scarf since she wore a wig in the show.

She was very relaxed, comfortable with us even though we were strangers. She surprised us again by informing us that not only did she work closely with the moderator of Marilu.com, but that she knew about our iVillage message board and wanted to know each of our screen names. She actually had a few kind words for each of us as we introduced ourselves to her.

After a delicious meal, Marilu left to take her boys back to the hotel to stay with a friend that traveled with them, and we went to the Theater to take our seats. It was packed. Everyone had bought their seats separately so we didn’t sit together. If you’re not familiar with “Annie Get Your Gun”, here’s an excellent review that mentions Marilu specifically, and her costar, Rex Smith.

Don’t know who he is? In 1979 he starred in a movie called “Sooner or Later”, which led to countless photos in Teen Beat, two years as the host of “Solid Gold”, and a hit single you might remember called “You Take My Breath Away”. Also, for CBS soap fans, he was Darryl Crawford, who had a fling with Barbara Ryan in Italy, got her pregnant with Jennifer, then came to Oakdale and took up with Barbara’s sister Frannie.

Marilu had asked us to stay in the Theater after the show ended so we could talk further. Her next surprise? She brought out her handsome costar to say hello.

We sat comfortably in the front rows of the Theater and chatted with Marilu. I asked her about working with Michael Keaton in “Johnny Dangerously” and Steve Martin in “LA Story”. Then she asked us if we wanted to get a drink with her. Well, yeah. On our way to the Fisher Building’s bar, we stopped for a group photo. I’m the one in the front row, second from the right.

When we got to the bar we found a big table in the back, ordered drinks, and sat down to talk more. I tell you, it never occurred to me that a famous TV/Movie star and author would want to spend so much time with women she didn’t even know. Someone asked her how often she went out after her shows and she said almost never, and it was fun for her to relax and socialize.

Instead of booking a hotel room, I had made arrangements to stay at my Grandma’s house in a city not too far from Detroit. I left reluctantly, wanting to keep the evening going. I’ve never forgotten that night, whenever I see Marilu on TV I remember how kind, friendly and fun she was to spend an evening with. She’s a class act.

So that’s my story about meeting Marilu Henner. The only other famous people I know are an old friend of Chris’ from high school who now works as a Grip on the TV series “Without A Trace”, and my Dad’s girlfriend’s son, who has worked as an extra in Hollywood for years and is now a stuntman. He did stunts for both “You Got Served”, and “Jarhead”. What about everybody else? Anybody else have brush with fame stories?



1. Dawn - April 16, 2006

That was a great story. The only thing I can think of was the summer I worked at a Nature camp in New Canaan CT – We had the children of the rich and famous.

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins had just had their second son, but the older boy – Jack Henry – was 3 and came to the day program. I liked that Susan brought her son to camp, everyday. She looked like woman who had just had a baby. She was very kind. Tim was on a movie thing, but showed up later in the week – walking through the woods – he startled me. He is wildly tall and handsome, and was wearing an old raggedy Ramones t-shirt. He has very kind eyes, and was looking for Jack Henry, since he missed him.

I saw alot of kids who never saw their parents – with au pairs and nanny’s – but Susan and Tim – with their kids every day. That impressed me.

2. Elizabeth - April 16, 2006

That impresses me, too. I seem to remember reading an interview with her that said she and Tim traded off working so one of them was always with the kids. They had regular babysitters if they needed them but no nannies. That’s refreshing now a days.

And I probably would have turned into a blushing, stammering idiot if Tim Robbins was suddenly right in front of me. He does have nice eyes.

3. MrsFortune - April 16, 2006

That’s an awesome story about Marilu. How cool!

I have about 2 million celebrity stories, each and every one proving how shallow and out of touch with reality most celebs are. Except George Clooney. One of these days I’ll share.

4. Elizabeth - April 17, 2006

Mrs. Fortune-You can NOT tell us you met George Clooney and then not share!

5. Nancy - April 17, 2006

That’s a neat story. I like hearing about actors that make themselves accessible in certain circumstances. Plus I never really appreciated Marilu Henner’s beauty –she seems to really have a glow about her in those pictures.

6. Elizabeth - April 17, 2006

Nancy-She was really living the principles in her books. No dairy, no sugar, no meat just fish, lots of tea and vegetables. And had tons of energy to do that show every night. Amazing discipline.

7. Fraulein N - April 17, 2006

That is such a cool story. It’s nice that she was so … well, nice!

8. Marcie - April 17, 2006

I love hearing good stories like that about celebrities. She sounds really cool. Bitterwaitress.com has good dirt on the celebrities that are gracious (Sarah Jessica Parker) and the ones who aren’t (Julia Roberts).

9. Elizabeth - April 17, 2006

Fraulein-yeah, she really was, in a sincere, actually enjoying herself kind of way. It was cool.

Marcie-thanks for stopping by! I’ll check out that site.

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