No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!
I'm going to make this week's Throw Back Thursday blog short, but sweet. Three celebrities that I have photographed had birthdays this past week. British acting icon Michael Caine, well-known American television actress Dana Delany, and the one and only Mike Love, lead singer of the world famous Beach Boys.
Good persons all, and in spite of their fame, extremely polite and accommodating to me when we met face-to-face.
actor michael caine
84-year-old English actor Michael Caine had a birthday on Tuesday. Probably best-known to younger audiences as Alfred in the Dark Knight Batman reboot movies, Caine has had an amazing film career that has spanned more than sixty years. If you are alive, you have probably seen him in quite a few films.
Caine's had the reputation as a smooth and charismatic individual (using his distinctive working-class South London accent) since first appearing in films in 1956, and my meeting him at an Ocean Drive Magazine anniversary party on Fisher Island in 1996 did not disappoint.
I was shooting fish in a barrel that night. It really was remarkable, as I also met and photographed Oliver Stone, Wilt Chamberlain, Jack Nicholson, supermodel Nicky Taylor, Steven Tyler, and yes, even Donald Trump, among many other celebrities there that evening. I was working for the magazine, so I couldn't linger too long at any one spot, not even to chat with the likes of Caine.
We spoke a bit, he was every bit as charming as I assumed he would be (for the record, I was as well), he posed for a few photographs, and I bid him adieu.
Ok, I actually have a better Michael Caine story. Real quick. The reason (I'm guessing) he was even at this party was, he had recently purchased a condo on Miami Beach and was opening his own restaurant, called South Beach Brasserie, on Lincoln Road - literally a block away from my photo studio at the time.
Well, one afternoon I'm walking along "the Road" towards my studio, and whom do I see sitting on the curb right in front of his restaurant, observing things as they were putting the finishing touches on the place?
You guessed it: Michael Caine.
Now, back then, most of the cool locals on South Beach didn't usually bother the myriad of celebrities that frequented the area. We treated them like normal people. That's one thing that was really nice about the place. So, my first thought when seeing him was to just keep walking by, maybe nod or say hi.
But this was Michael F*cking Caine, so I knew I had to make an exception.
I stopped, walked up to him, and began chatting him up. He smiled warmly, and was quite gracious. We ended up having, as the English like to say, a lovely conversation.
I'm pretty good that way. I never mentioned his fame, or his movies, or my being his biggest fan. And I didn't ask if I could take his picture. No. Instead, I asked him all about his restaurant, and living in Miami, two things he was very passionate about at the time, and that was what we talked about.
It ended up being a lot of fun having a real onversation with someone like that. The again, I've never been star-struck when it comes to meeting famous people.
actress dana delany
American actress Dana Delany had a birthday Monday. She is another actress whose popularity has become generational. I will always remember her from the 1980s tv series China Beach, a show that put her on the show biz map. But many others will know her best from the much newer dramedy Desperate Housewives, and other more recent roles.
My memory of the exact cirumstances of meeting and photographing Delany has faded a bit. I mean, I did go to a ton of events and photograph an awful lot of celebrities and personalities for various publications back then. Suffice to say it was in the mid 1990s, pretty sure a fundraiser of some sort up in Fort Lauderdale, and it was shot for New Times Newspaper.
She was sweet, and I thought it was pretty cool I got to meet her.
singer mike love
Happy 76th birthday (yesterday) to Mike Love, co-founder and lead singer of everyone's favorite 1960s and 70s surf band, the Beach Boys.
One of the best South Florida parties I had the pleasure of attending was Bal Harbour's 50th Birthday Celebration in 1996 (pretty sure it was 50 - it was incorporated as a city at the end of World War II, so that makes sense, right?) I was shooting for Fashion Spectrum Magazine.
It was an evening bash at the fabulous Sheraton Bal Harbour (which sadly, has since been demolished). The rear of the Sheraton faced the Atlantic Ocean, and the party was held outside from the back entrance of the hotel all the way down its cascading garden levels to the beach.
Great people, great food, great music.
And while we're on the subject of great music, the main entertainment that night was a group of sessions musicians in a band named Endless Summer. pretty much a Beach Boys tribte band, except they were led by none other than the aforementioned Mike Love.
Now, without going into a detailed account of the unfortunate splintering the the Boys, know that several of the original members went in different directions, yet each felt they had the right to continue to perform the band's hit songs.
Luckily for me, Love, while being legally required to come up with a different name for his band, was allowed to perform all the old hits, and it sounded fantastic, obviously with him singing. And as you can see from the photo, I was close enough for him to notice me with my camera and have a little fun pointing and gesturing at me as he performed.
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All photos ©Steven Paul Hlavac. All rights reserved.