Friday, November 25, 2011

Seeing stars

For someone who lives in Los Angeles, I don't actually see a lot of movie stars. I have what I like to call "celebrity dyslexia" - I am unable to recognize celebrities when I see them. I'll pass someone and think to myself, "that person looks a lot like [Fill in Star's Name here]." And only later will a companion say to me, "Wow, did you check out [Fill in Star's Name Here]!"

"Huh?" I'll say, and turn to look and of course the opportunity is gone.

But some celebrities are unmistakable. In 1997 when we moved here, I saw a bright Barbie-pink Corvette in the parking lot at the Hughes Supermarket in Pacific Palisades, and then a tiny but buxom blonde woman unfolded herself from the driver's seat and tottered on high heels to the store. Her license plate read "ANGELYNE."

Famous for being famous, Angelyne is a mystery. She seldom grants interviews, and never divulges personal information. Her means of support is unknown - in the 1980s she bought huge billboards to display her image all over the region - but it's unclear how she paid for them. Her billboards became a symbol of Los Angeles, and appeared in countless movies - although the woman herself appeared on film only in a few cameos. In the 2003 gubernatorial recall election, Angelyne ran for the office, finishing a distant 28th after winner Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

In recent years, photos of her pink-bedecked Malibu condo appeared on LA real estate blogs, up for short sale. Featured in the photos were her jacuzzi, with a plastic inflatable bath pillow (this photo, says the Real Estalker, "hint at an unspeakable loneliness we can't contemplate.") and a king-sized bed with molded plastic pink headboards.

If you Google Angelyne's image, you'll find that most sitings involve her car, parking lots, and Angelyne shopping at supermarkets, drugstores, Kinko's and coffee shops. Her official bio claims she was born in 1958, but her face looks far older.

Today, while in Calabasas at a shopping center called The Commons, I encountered Angelyne's car - somehow, since 1997 her personalized plates have been re-issued as "ANGELNN." She was behind the car, with the trunk open, while speaking to a fan - I could see her teased blonde and pink-tressed hair. As I can gather from Google, these days Angelyne sells memorabilia about herself from her car.

I chose not to take her photo, although I suppose she would probably not have minded - as long as I bought a T-shirt. Maybe next time.

See a gallery of 27 pictures of Angelyne at Calabasas Commons HERE.


Alexia said...

so pathetic, so sad

Anonymous said...

A Barbie-wannabe? I can't figure this out... but it sounds like a plastic life.

Like you, I could easily pass by someone famous on the street and never recognize them.

Sheila said...

I remember years ago when those billboards went up,especially the huge one on Sunset. Nobody really knew what they were for or who she was. I have to admit her body is great except for those ridiculous mammaries, but there's no way in heck that is early 50's. I'm 62 and I look like her grandaugher.