Tag Archive | Dawn Wells

East Coast Comic Con

East Coast Comic Con is a show that has been around for a while, but despite being just 25 minutes from the house, was never really on my radar. That all changed when “Gilligan’s Island” star Dawn Wells was added to the lineup. Dawn could go a local show every weekend, and I’d line up for her each time. So, on Sunday, April 30, I headed down to the Meadowlands Expo Center for my first East Coast Comic Con.

Dawn had no line, so it did not take long for me to get her, which is when I moved on to the cast from “Lost in Space“. I’ve seen this ensemble at shows numerous times over the years, but other than Mark Goddard, never got any of them. They all had $30 combo prices, so I finally acted on it this time around.

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Dawn Wells ~ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’ll line up for the “Gilligan’s Island” star every time she does a show here. I’ll always get that updated photo op, and a new 8×10 off her table. I just think she’s terrific.

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Angela Cartwright ~ While I chose to stick with the theme and get a “Lost in Space” 8×10, it should be noted that Angela was Brigitta Vin Trapp in The Sound of Music, as well as Linda Williams on “The Danny Thomas Show.”

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Marta Kristen ~ What can I say about the actress who portrayed the eldest Robinson child? Everyone knows I’ve always had a weakness for blondes.

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Bill Mumy ~ He’s iconic for his role on “Lost in Space“, c’mon, who doesn’t know “Danger, Will Robinson!” and “The Twilight Zone“, but the role of his that makes me chuckle the most – Googie Miller in “The Munsters“, Episode 25 – “Come Back, Little Googie.”

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Mark Goddard ~ While he wasn’t posing for table photos, I didn’t want to leave Mark out of this post, so here’s a picture of us at another show in 2012. Despite having met him in the past and gotten the full combo back then, I did get a new 8×10 headshot for the collection.

Luckily, I was able to get the Lost in Space cast all in a matter of 15 minutes, before their 11:30 panel. I had literally just walked in the door, and still had plenty of cash – so I decided to get photos with two attendees that I had previously only obtained autographs from – Ernie Hudson and Kevin Nash.

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Ernie Hudson ~ Despite being a convention regular, and somewhat of a price gauger – Ernie always has a decent line. The amount of Ghostbusters merchandise that is being produced certainly helps keep his business at these shows lucrative.

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Kevin Nash ~ The WWE Hall of Famer has always been a favorite of mine since his days alongside Hogan and Hall in the NWO. He recognized my shirt as being from Tommy Bahama, a favorite clothier of his.

I was in and out of this show in an hour’s time. The vendor items were not of much interest to me, although I did spend time looking for a standout piece, but given its close proximity to the house, reasonable prices, and no lines – I would definitely consider returning to East Comic Con in 2018!!!

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Chiller Theatre Halloween Spooktacular 2016

On Friday night, I attended my 14th Chiller Theatre Expo (I’ve missed just one since I began attending in 2009). It’s hard to believe there are now 14 in the books and that I’m a seasoned veteran, especially since I know there are folks out there who have been to 3x, even 4x more than I have. These intrepid fans are the real inspiration for attending. To think about just how many great stars the Chiller fans have had access to since 1990.

The evening started off on a bit of a sad note as longtime Chiller mascot, John Zacherle aka Zacherley the Cool Ghoul, had passed away peacefully the night before at the age of 98. While Zacherley was in everyone’s hearts throughout the weekend, there was still that never-ending buzz of excitement throughout the halls of Sheraton Parsippany. A rare appearance from Tim Curry, the return of Meat Loaf, Tony Orlando and Dawn together again, a Jaws 2 reunion, everyone’s favorite Jeannie – Barbara Eden, and a slew of TV and movie stars to span the decades.

I walked in the door a minute or two past 5, and began in the Skylands Suite. RK Sports Promotions had brought in three of my wants – Sasha Mitchell, Sonny Shroyer, and Dawn Wells, and I successfully banged out the three of them in around 15 minutes time. By the time I had finished with them, Ted Lange had arrived, and I crossed yet another name off my list. Despite pretty much being a “B-Lister” room, I think there were more household names in here than there were in the Living Room, and far more business transactions. All of the celebrities seemed to consistently have a customer in front of them.

Sasha Mitchell ~ Another add to my Dallas collection, Sasha not only appeared as James Beaumont on the legendary primetime drama, but my generation will remember him as Cody Lambert on Step By Step.

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Dawn Wells ~ There are very few stars who could come to Chiller year after year and I would line up for them and drop money on their table each time. Gilligan’s Island star Dawn is one of them, even though I was always Team Ginger. This time around, I got an 8×10 and had her sign my copy of her first book, Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook.

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Sonny Shroyer ~ May God bless this Dukes of Hazzard star. 81 years young and had the most energy out of all the stars I met that night. Sonny came in costume as Deputy Enos Strate, right down to his original screen-worn hat. Back when I met his costar and fellow deputy Rick Hurst, we did an arrest photo, and Sonny was happy to oblige when I asked him for the same. He exclaimed, “I caught myself one of those Duke boys!!!”

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Ted Lange ~ Prior to the announcement that Love Boat star Ted would be attending the show, I had a conversation with someone about wanting to meet him and get an “Isaac” photo op, right down to the hand gesture. Well the dream came true when I finally got to meet your ship’s bartender.

I then moved onto the Livingston Room where the cast of Jaws 2 had taken up shop for the weekend. Other than Tim Curry, I wasn’t really looking forward to this Chiller. The guest lineup was lackluster, and while I always needed a good batch of name, none of them really excited me…until they added the Jaws 2 cast. One of my favorite movies, being able to see six of the cast members in one shot really made the 30 minute drive worth it for me. I was a little surprised with their pricing structure, $40 combos, but I bit the bullet and got them all.

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G. Thomas Dunlop (Timmy Weldon) ~ Tom was much like his character, kind and soft-spoken. Tom and the majority of the cast is still fairly new at doing conventions, so they’re still getting used to interacting with us fans, especially those of us who start spewing dialogue at them. Yes, I am guilty as charged.

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Gary Springer (Andy Nicholas) ~ One of the last guests to be added to the Chiller lineup, Gary was my favorite of the Jaws 2 ensemble. Aside from Murray Hamilton’s Mayor Vaughn, Gary’s Andy was my favorite character in the movie. And he didn’t even need me to quote dialogue before scribbling “Goddammit, listen to me!” on my photo.

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Gigi Vorgan (Brooke Peters) ~ Gigi had some beautiful, rare photos from the movie on her table. It was hard to pick one, but with her help, I made a decision and am extremely happy with it.

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Billy Van Zandt (Bob) ~ I’ve met this man’s lovely wife, Adrienne Barbeau, on many occasions, and I have always begged her to bring Billy to a show with her. Well he finally made it, and had a great headshot from the movie that he signed for me.

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Donna Wilkes (Jackie Peters) ~ Donna is a frequent Chiller attendee and I got a combo from her a few years back. However, I couldn’t leave the reunion without getting an updated photo op, which I like much more than our previous one.

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Ben Marley (Patrick) ~ Last, but certainly not least, was Ben Marley. Unfortunately, he had no photos from the movie on his table. Perhaps because he barely even had audible dialogue, but it was nice to meet him and add him to the collection.

I made a brief pit stop in the Morris Room to obtain some signatures for my buddy Wayne. He needed a slew of Bobby Rydell signatures, as well as May Pang.

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Bobby Rydell ~ The former teen idol appeared alongside Wayne’s favorite actress, Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie, so he naturally had many photos from the movie needing Bobby’s signature. He graciously signed them all and posed for a photo.

The only guest I needed in the Living Room was Academy Award winning actor Martin Landau. Despite being a repeat guest, Landau had a reasonably sized line. After all, he is a living legend. The majority of the guests in the Living Room had absolutely no lines, and it seemed like most vacated their tables fairly early on in the evening.

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Martin Landau ~ The award winning actor has appeared in North by Northwest, Mission: Impossible, Space: 1999, and Ed Wood, just to name a few. The rarity I remember him best in however, is The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island, the 1981 pilot for a revival of the 1963 sitcom. We laughed about the time I bummed a cigarette from him when I was 17 years old. He quietly said, “You must be 22 now. That was five years ago.” He has proudly since quit smoking, as have I.

At this point, I circled back through the hotel to get anyone who hadn’t been at their tables during my first spin around the block. Tonya Pinkins in the Skylands Suite, Telma Hopkins in the Randolph Room, and back to the Living Room for my main man, Caroll Spinney, who makes frequent appearances on this blog.

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Tonya Pinkins ~ While I remember her for her long-running role as lawyer Livia Frye Cudahy on All My Children, Tonya is now known to TV viewers as Ethel Peabody on Gotham. A special thanks to Matt Beckoff for bringing Tonya in this weekend.

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Telma Hopkins ~ A third of the pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn, Telma spent her birthday meeting and greeting fans alongside Tony Orlando and Joyce Vincent. Growing up, Family Matters was always on in our house. Aside from Steve Urkel, my favorite character was Aunt Rachel, played naturally by Telma Hopkins, who was also a series regular on Bosom Buddies and Gimme a Break! Telma was an absolute doll, and I could have spent all night chatting with her. And for the record, she’s a great hugger.

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Caroll Spinney ~ My regular readers will know that whenever I see Caroll, the icon who brings Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life on Sesame Street, the least I will do is get a new photo op. That’s all I got this time around, and his lovely wife Deb joined us. As a side note, my dad would like to know who the genius was who sat Caroll next to Traci Lords…

At some point, can’t remember exactly when, I lined up for the exclusive Tim Curry photo op. Tim was taking his time interacting with everyone, but the line still moved relatively fast and I believe I was done in about 30 minutes. I think the most frustration stemmed from the extremely long wait time for prints to be made ready for pickup. I think everyone waited at least 2 hours for their photos to come out. Tim had finished and gone back up to his room an hour before my photo finally came out of the printer. I’ve been to many shows where prints are available by the time you exit the photo area. Why this operation, helmed by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory star Paris Themmen, is so far behind on the times, I have no idea, but Paris handled the crowd like a real pro. I guess it’s just hard for anyone to be mad at Mike Teevee.

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The legendary Tim Curry ~ His career literally spans the decades. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Clue, Stephen King’s It, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and The Wild Thornberries, just to name a few. As many people know, Tim had a debilitating stroke a few years back, allowing for him to only do photo ops at this show, no autographs. As I said, he was quite talkative with the fans. I sat down next to him and said, “I could smell you getting off the elevator. You was here last night too, wasn’t ya?”He grabbed my hand and we began reciting dialogue from a certain scene in Home Alone 2 (see the link to the scene below). Tim was waiting for me to continue our “scene” when they snapped the photo, hence why he is looking at me, as opposed to the camera.

At the end of the night, I had some time to kill while I waited for the print of my photo op. Cue the impulse buying. I obtained Kyle Labine and Kristy McNichol before the night was through, as well as laying down some money for a few vintage autographs in the Vendors Room.

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Kyle Labine ~ As all of my regular readers know, I am a big fan of the Halloween franchise and try collecting 8x10s from everyone associated with the films. While his role in Halloween: Resurrection was extremely small (he didn’t even have a name), Kyle had a great 8×10 from the movie on his table that I just had to have. He even added a line of dialogue!

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Kristy McNichol ~ And last up for this year’s Chiller was the lovely Kristy McNichol, star of the sitcom Empty Nest. Kristy attends Chiller often, but at my mother’s urging, I finally bit the bullet and added her to the collection. She signed a nice Empty Nest cast photo for me.

Before I wrap up, I want to say how great it was seeing Mr. Chiller, Kevin Clement, back at the reign this year. We’re all extremely happy to see him “home” where he belongs. I look forward to attending the Chiller show every six months, and he’s the man to thank for it. And now I impatiently await the next one and the day the guest list starts appearing online…

Chiller Theatre Halloween Show 2014

Just got back from one of my favorite autograph shows, the semi-annual Chiller Theatre Expo held over at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel. While last year was a hot mess, this year’s Chiller ran smoothly with no bumps in the road, at least none that effected this attendee. As usual, I had a pre-show ticket, got in at 5, and was out by 9. Most of my time was not spent on lines, but rather chatting with friends, some of whom I only get to see a handful of times a year.

Going in, I didn’t really have a game plan. I had a budget and some must-haves, but other than that, there were a lot of good guests at this show. The biggest draws were Academy Award winning actress Tatum O’Neal, WWE Legend Hulk Hogan, the cast of “Happy Days”, and Teri Garr in her very first convention appearance. Prices were pretty steep, and some of the guests thought way too highly of themselves and charged flat-out outrageous prices, but all-in-all, they provided a positive experience and lifelong memories.

I started out in the Troy Hills Room, which for me housed most of the guests I really wanted to see. Following my time in there, I made it around to the other rooms and gathered the remaining handful of signatures and/or pictures that I needed.

Cindy Williams ~ Known for her roles in American Graffiti and on "Laverne & Shirley," I had Cindy finish up an 8x10 that Penny Marshall had previously signed. When I showed this picture to Cindy for her to review, she quipped, "There are so many bad pictures of me on the internet, I don't care how I look." As the night went on, Cindy was not the only one with this motto.

Cindy Williams ~ Known for her roles in American Graffiti and on “Laverne & Shirley,” I had Cindy finish up an 8×10 that Penny Marshall had previously signed. When I showed this picture to Cindy for her to review, she quipped, “There are so many bad pictures of me on the internet, I don’t care how I look.” As the night went on, Cindy was not the only one with this motto.

Marion Ross ~ The always endearing Mrs. C on "Happy Days," Marion came across country to do this show on the weekend of her 87th birthday. Looking decades younger, she was exactly how you would expect Mrs. C to be.

Marion Ross ~ The always endearing Mrs. C on “Happy Days,” Marion came across country to do this show on the weekend of her 87th birthday. Looking decades younger, she was exactly how you would expect Mrs. C to be.

Lesley Ann Warren ~ Having already met Lesley, I went in needing just a photo with her. That all changed though when I saw a lovely 8x10 of her as Cinderella with every GH fan's favorite Prince Charming, Stuart Damon. Oh and about the camera adding 10 lbs, it's true. Lesley's waist is about the size of my ankle.

Lesley Ann Warren ~ Having already met Lesley, I went in needing just a photo with her. That all changed though when I saw a lovely 8×10 of her as Cinderella with every GH fan’s favorite Prince Charming, Stuart Damon. Oh and about the camera adding 10 lbs, it’s true. Lesley’s waist is about the size of my ankle.

Teri Garr ~ This blonde bombshell, battling multiple sclerosis for over a decade now, made her first convention appearance thanks to the always amazing Karen Cadle. I already obtained an autograph from Teri, so I just had my photo taken, providing her hand with a much needed rest.

Teri Garr ~ This blonde bombshell, battling multiple sclerosis for over a decade now, made her first convention appearance thanks to the always amazing Karen Cadle. I already obtained an autograph from Teri, so I just had my photo taken, providing her hand with a much needed rest.

Jimmy McNichol ~ Jimmy attended the show with his sister, "Empty Nest" star Kristy McNichol. Honestly, Jimmy's work was before my time, but he appeared as Josh Clayton on my favorite show, "General Hospital," so I just had to get an 8x10 for my GH collection.

Jimmy McNichol ~ Jimmy attended the show with his sister, “Empty Nest” star Kristy McNichol. Honestly, Jimmy’s work was before my time, but he appeared as Josh Clayton on my favorite show, “General Hospital,” so I just had to get an 8×10 for my GH collection.

Tony Orlando ~ What can be said about this legend? He was just terrific. A guy that thanked his fans for coming out and acknowledging the fact that without us, he wouldn't be here. We fondly recalled the time I saw him in Long Island with Don Rickles. As he said at the time, "It used to be Tony Orlando and Dawn, now it's Tony Orlando and Don."

Tony Orlando ~ What can be said about this legend? He was just terrific. A guy that thanked his fans for coming out and acknowledging the fact that without us, he wouldn’t be here. We fondly recalled the time I saw him in Long Island with Don Rickles. As he said at the time, “It used to be Tony Orlando and Dawn, now it’s Tony Orlando and Don.”

Tatum O'Neal ~ The youngest person to win an Academy Award, Tatum signed me an 8x10 of her in The Bad News Bears with one of my favorite stars of all-time, Walter Matthau. Unlike the other female stars, Tatum was very picky about the way she was photographed, and in the end, she looks damn good for 50.

Tatum O’Neal ~ The youngest person to win an Academy Award, Tatum signed me an 8×10 of her in The Bad News Bears with one of my favorite stars of all-time, Walter Matthau. Unlike the other female stars, Tatum was very picky about the way she was photographed, and in the end, she looks damn good for 50.

Dawn Wells ~ Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...Alrighty, so I met Dawn at my first Chiller, but I was a huge "Gilligan's Island" fan when I was a kid, so I didn't mind dropping some money on her again. We had a lovely conversation and caught up just as old friends would. Oh, and when it comes to the biggest dilemma, Ginger or Mary Ann, the latter has my vote.

Dawn Wells ~ Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…Alrighty, so I met Dawn at my first Chiller, but I was a huge “Gilligan’s Island” fan when I was a kid, so I didn’t mind dropping some money on her again. We had a lovely conversation and caught up just as old friends would. Oh, and when it comes to the biggest dilemma, Ginger or Mary Ann, the latter has my vote.

Sally Kellerman ~ Just before leaving, I caved and got one last person, and I guess you could say I saved the best for last. While I only know a few key components of Sally's work, he had a great time joking around with each other. When I showed her this picture for approval, she said, "I don't look at pictures of myself. Why ruin a perfectly good day?" I had to disagree with her. She looks terrific.

Sally Kellerman ~ Just before leaving, I caved and got one last person, and I guess you could say I saved the best for last. While I only know a few key components of Sally’s work, he had a great time joking around with each other. When I showed her this picture for approval, she said, “I don’t look at pictures of myself. Why ruin a perfectly good day?” I had to disagree with her. She looks terrific.

Throughout the course of the night, I also obtained autographs of “Soap” star Diana Canova, making her first convention appearance; Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, the dumbwaiter victim of Michael Myers in Halloween: H20; and for my good friend Wayne, “Good Times” star Ralph Carter, and “The Waltons” eldest daughter, Judy Norton.

A special thanks to Kevin Clement and the rest of his staff. As crazy as Chiller is, it never stresses me out. Already looking forward to the next one!!!