"Brush With Greatness" can be lots of fun and anyone can play. The more obscure and removed the "brush" the better.

The rules are simple--along the lines of Six Degrees of Separation (or the always enjoyable Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon site). Have you ever encountered anyone famous?

Now you might be able to say "I met Tom Hanks once", but frankly I find these the more boring Brushes With Greatness.

Much preferable are those brushes along the lines of: "I once knew someone who was the babysitter for the butcher of Keanu Reeves's sister".

That was just a fictional example--here's a real life personal "brush" of my own:

I have a friend who once knew someone who went out on a vacation to Los Angeles and stayed with the roommate of . . . . Daryl Hannah.
You see how easy it is? Send me your brushes via e-mail and I'll post them!

And now, the brushes . . . .

  • Karen proves to be another Brushmaster General.

  • JFdttcom has several fun brushes.

  • Kersten writes: I used to live around the corner from Margot Kidder's brother John Kidder. He always let his dogs poop in my lawn and never picked it up.

  • Amanda has so many fantastic brushes that I set up her own page.

  • Gwendol in Georgia has a "Take Me Home Country Roads" brush:

  • Leah has two "old Hollywood" brushes:

  • Genessa has four wacky brushes:

  • Robert has some wild and crazy brushes:

  • James has a treasure trove of brushes:

  • A Toronto "brushee" writes: "I stoped for some air for my tires at Dundas st near Lansdown Ave. when on my way out of the gas bar, there he [Kurt Russell] was smilling at me filling a gerry can for his Muskoka cottage. I smilled back and I regret not saying hello. His bodygaurds scared me they wre 6 foot 5 and armed. I wish I could have been on the movie he was making at the time: SOLDIER."

  • Amanda passes along three entertaining brushes:

  • Michael submits two crime-related brushes:

  • It's not often that I have a brush of my very own, let alone a "multiple brush," but recently I was on a plane with half the cast of the show Queer As Folk.

  • Michael Escher submits these exciting brushes:

  • Joel Silverman in Atlanta submits two brushes: When I was in high school, I worked in a building where one of Arnold Schwartzenegger’s scenes from Terminator 2 was filmed. And one day when I was working there I saw Holly Hunter in the elevator. Talk about coincidence!

    World famous piano showman . . . Dino Kartsonakis

  • Anonymous writes: My aunt dated the concert pianist Dino Kartsonakis when they were in college together . . . .

  • Brian has three amazing brushes:

  • Marg submits a brush: "Last Wednesday, while i was vacationing at Star Lake in the Muskoka's (Ontario, Canada) my mother-in-law and sister-in-law went to a place for lunch called Windermere House. We had heard that "stars" hang out there and we thought it would be a neat place to eat. We got there and they told us that lunch was over for the dining room, but that we could eat in the pub in the basement. So, deciding that there would be nowhere else close to eat and the fact that we were starving, we decided to go, figuring that there would DEFINITELY be no stars there. About five minutes in to lunch, i looked over and low and behold there was Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell eating about five feet away from us. It was cool."

  • Anonymous writes: "As a teen-girl, I never knew or paid attention to sports . . . . but one day my parents had a dinner party and the one guest that was there, and that I had talked with . . . . . . whom I found out later he was important . . . . . was Bobby Hall. He lived right above my doctor's office with other team members. Shucks!!! Should have gotten a jersey!

  • Nick from Rochester, New York submits this brush--fresh from the oven: "My aunt baby sat for the man who designed the familiar colorful dots on the Wonder Bread package. This would have been in the late 1930s or early forties when she baby sat for this man whose name I don't know. It was in the city of Detroit. This does not necessarily mean that the packaging was designed in Detroit."

  • An anonymous brushee writes: "When I was a little girl I met Buster Keaton. He was doing a Gulf Gas Station commercial near my house and we didn't know till we had pulled in for gas. He was standing outside of the station and I walked over and got his autograph. He didn't say nothing, just patted me on the head and signed his autograph. He gave a taste of his 'silent' film talent that day. I loved it!"

  • Jane has a posthumous brush: "In the course of my work (don't ask!) I occasionally have to speak to undertakers. I spoke to a British undertaker whose father was the man who embalmed Jimi Hendrix."

    Suzi Quatro . . . aka 'Leather Tuscadero'

  • Sheri submits and exciting brush: "I used to babysit for the sister of the girl who used to play Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days."

  • Bill Totten has two vintage brushes:

    Bill adds: "That's it, except for times I ran into Zsa Zsa Gabor (1978 Beverly Hills) and got a signed 8x10 glossy from her, and another time I ran into Gale Sondergaard ('The Bluebird', 'The Letter', 'Anthony Adverse') in NYC and she gave me her autograph."

  • Andrew contributes this amazing brush:
    Although, we didn't have direct contact, we were in the same place(s) at the same time.

    So, I'm at Tortilla Flats, a fun and fabulous Mexican dive in the West Village of NYC (West 12th and Washington). I'm there with my best friend, David. We stopped in before going to see Sandra Bernhard at the Jane Street Theatre. A waiter friend of mine says, "Check out the woman at the bar with the red scarf. It's Michelle Lee." Lo and behold, it was. Total random celeb siting. She was sitting at the bar drinking margaritas with friends. I pointed her out to David and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if she were going to see Sandra, too?"

    Ms. Lee was in full face having obviously come from a matinee of 'The Algerist's Wife', that she is currently starring in. Lashes and all. Hair done.

    So, we finish our pitcher of margaritas and go to see Sandy B. As people were beginning to settle into their seats, I catch a glimpse of a red scarf. Yes, sirree, Miss Michelle Lee was there. She had a fabulous evening, yucking it up the whole time.

    Total random brush~

  • Another Andrew has some enjoyable brushes. CAPS LOCK ALERT!

  • An e-mail friend in Australia once met Michael Palin while he was passing through during the promotion of one of his television travel series projects.

  • This one just in! . . . . "my mother used to work w/the best friend of Ellen Degeneres's mom!!!" Cool!

  • And this gem from Meg Lubozynski: "When my dad was on a business trip in Atlanta, GA, he was in his hotel's elevator. Who walks in but Hulk Hogan! Dad said that Hulk Hogan was with his bodyguard. Dad told Hulk Hogan that his kids were big fans and watched Hulk wrestle on T.V. all the time. Hulk Hogan said thank you to my dad, and then went back to discussing business with his bodyguard.

    My remote brush with greatness!"

    Ken Bianchi . . . aka 'The Hillside Strangler'

  • Rebecca has a brush that will interest the more crime-conscious segment of the population: "My father went to Gates Chili High School in Rochester, NY with Ken Bianchi, the Hillside Strangler."

    (Update: A visitor responds with a correction and his/her own brush: "I would like to let you know , Richard Ramirez was NOT the Hillside Strangler. Angelo Buono, Kenneth Bianchi were a duo , and together were " the Hillside Strangler. Richard Ramirez was The Night Stalker ........ I am also a friend of Richards .... so I know this first hand .. "

  • Ronnie Sutton tells us: "I once taught a safety class to a group of city (Kinston North Carolina USA) employees and Jerry Stackhouse's (of the Philadelphia 76'ers) father was in the class. He even led us in prayer before the class."

  • Here's a British brush! "I used to work with someone whose sister was married to the man who trained Red Rum, the only horse ever to have won the Grand National three times."

  • C.W. has three cool brushes:

  • Christopher Lion in California writes: "I worked in a movie theatre when Steven Spielberg came for an advanced screening of "Back to the Future." He was very nice to our employees and played video games (Paperboy). However, he borrowed money from everyone! Quarters for the video game, money for a drink, etc. Here he was (only worth $100 million or so at the time) borrowing money. However, he DID go through the lines at the snack bar himself."

  • Leonard shares an exciting brush: "My parents used to have a neighbor (still a good friend) who roomed with Ray Manzarek of the Doors, while they were in film school. Jim Morrison used to crash there after a night of partying on campus. My parents friend was also a poet. Having read some of his old writings, I began to wonder: who influenced who? I guess they were both lunatics/prophets in their own right."

  • Gwendol Bowling of Newnan, Georgia tells me that she has "lots of weird tidbits" in terms of brushes. Let's start with these three:

  • Andy Pozo has two good brushes:

  • Ted Burton (aka "Flipper") from California has an entire treasury of fantastic brushes:

  • Philip from Canada has two brushes: "I have a friend in Vancouver whose recent ex-girlfried slept with Wilt the Stilt Chamberlin."

    or, how about this one...

    My father went to high school with Glenn Gould, whose mother made him wear gloves to school even in the summer."

  • I emailed my cousin in Columbia, South Carolina yesterday commenting what a tragic loss that George Gershwin died so young! (for she had recently attended a special all Gershwin concert) and this is her email back to me today:

    Back in the 30`s, being from Charleston, S.C., my Dad met Gershwin at a party given by some of the Jewish singles at Folly Beach, S.C.(afew miles from Charleston) when Gershwin was doing research work to write Porgy n Bess. Gershwin played the piano at this party. The Jewish girls from Charleston were really hitting on Gershwin.

  • Shelly has a pile of brushes:

    "My sister's husband met and became friends with Larry Lam in high school who became Leonardo the Mutant Ninja Turtle martial arts stunt double in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies."

    "My sister's husband had lunch with Arnold Schwartzenegger after a photo shoot when he used to do some modeling down in L.A. in high school."

    "My younger sister got to meet Robin Williams when he narrated Peter and the Wolf Xmas concert with the San Francisco Youth symphony (she was in the orchestra), and she got to meet and play on James Gallway's flute in a 'workshop'."

    "Some of the musicians my mother has gotten to meet and speak with during her years as a violinist with the San Jose Symphony have been Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Andre Watts, and Paul Tortellie (I got to meet him too)."

    Shelly also has a musical "Six Degrees of Separation" type brush:

    "My sister studied with Barbara Larsen. Larsen studied with Ethel Leginska. Leginska studied with Leschetizky. Leschetizky studied with Czerny. Czerny studied with Beethoven."

  • Dennis in Kentucky has a Beatles brush:

    "In July of 1976 I ran into John and Yoko on their favorite park bench in Central Park West near their Dakota home... baby Sean was in a stroller (pram) and they looked so happy on the day after his GREEN CARD reinstatement from Dick Nixon the nastyone... that I simply approached and thanked them for existing and left the park and the trees with my empty camera. Respect for humanity I call it."

  • Amy and Adrian have some cool brushes to add:

  • Drew in Vancouver has this absolutely astounding brush:

    Legendary star of stage and screen Keri Russell "My housemate's friend's housemate's friend, is Keri Russell, star of the TV show 'Felicity'!! Want my autograph?"

  • Shelly has an entire brush story

  • Kathy shares this brush:

    "My neighbor has a friend whose brother married Alan Alda's daughter. They had a small wedding, and not all family and friends were invited. They took a group picture in which all but the immediate family wore Groucho Marx' glasses/nose and moustache. That way no one would know who WAS invited, and thereby avoid family/friend problems. So, you too can claim to have attended an NO ONE will know!"

  • Christopher Lion (see the cool Spielberg brush above) has a Jennifer Beals brush which he himself describes as a . . . . . brush with adequacy

  • Pat in Cincinnati has two brushes:

  • Nichole has a remote brush with greatness:

    "My dad is in the Christian (I know . . .) music business. (See the special thanks to for Bad and songwriting credits for The Color Purple) My dad called me one day and said, Nicole, I'm sitting in Steven Speilberg's desk. I'm supposed to meet Michael Jackson, but I don't want to, is that strange? I've got a ton of them, but that was the most memorable."

  • Meghan has three incredible brushes:

  • bishowj has brushes with two megastars you rarely see mentioned together:

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    Contact me at kc_database@yahoo.com