The Cinema Cafe

Serving Cinema's Tastiest Treasures

Close Encounters of the Treasured Kind #3 Jenny Agutter, Lizabeth Scott, Ed Lauter

Jenny Agutter, Lizabeth Scott, Ed Lauter

Perhaps the following encounters are not so close but they all share a warm and distinctive surprise of recognition from the three celebrities involved. All took place in Los Angeles with actresses and an actor who are all thankfully still with us at this time.

#Edit: It was with great sadness that I read that Ed Lauter had passed away. My condolences to his family and friends. 

R.I.P. Ed Lauter (October 30, 1938 - October 16, 2013)

#Edit: Once again, another star is gone forever and this time it's one of the greatest. My most sincerest condolences to her family and friends. This devastating news is making it hard to even type her name.

R.I.P. Lizabeth Scott (September 29, 1922 - January 31, 2015)    



First we have the lovely Jenny Agutter, an extremely talented British actress. She was best known in the mid-1970s for her starring roles in the Australian film Walkabout and the probably just completed (at the time I saw her) sci-fi thriller Logan's Run. I spotted her on the opposite side of a very busy Sunset Boulevard and casually pointed her out to some friends I was with. The fascinating part of this encounter is that my mentioning of her presence was so understated and the distance so great that my friends and I were gobsmacked when she reacted by wildly waving at me with a beaming smile. All I can guess is that she had such a strong radar out for any recognition, when it came, she was not going to let it go unnoticed... but honestly that doesn't begin to explain how she could have possibly heard or seen anything of what was so subtly going on from that far away.  


Then we jump ahead at least ten years or so to a supermarket in Beverly Hills, which oddly enough I was only in to get some bottled water. The friend I was with was a young, very friendly movie novice, who I am happy to say became a convert to older films after I showed her some classic movies on VHS tape. I spotted someone who I thought might be Lizabeth Scott but wasn't sure. So being my shy self, I sent my friend to discover her identity with explicit instructions not to mention anything about who sent her over, no matter which way it went. "Oh yes!" was Ms. Scott's enthusiastic reaction; she was so happy to acknowledge a fan. It must have caused instant memory loss with my friend, who immediately pointed to me watching from the other end of the aisle. Even my shyness wasn't going to cause me to be rude, so I went over and told her what a huge fan I was. A friendlier person I have never met. She is also one of the most accomplished and underrated actresses who has appeared on the silver screen.      

ed lauter.jpg

This last encounter is a bit strange so please bear with me. It occurred in the late 1960s before I was old enough to drive. In my spare time a male friend and I use to travel around by bus and just goof off at various office buildings and department stores. At the corner of Hollywood and Vine was The Broadway department store. I spotted the gifted actor Ed Lauter and casually mentioned it to my little Italian friend as we got into an elevator. Well, he literally yells out: "ED!!... ED LAUTER!!" as the actor was walking away from us. Ed's reaction was just as excitedly joyous, if not more so, than the aforementioned actresses and he instantly spun around with his mouth agape, his hands outstretched, seemingly shocked at being so loudly recognised. But my young companion being the ultimate prankster, timed it so that all poor Ed would have seen was a fleeting glimpse of my friend's outreached arms as if he was desperately trying to make contact, a fraction of a split second before the elevator doors closed. Needless to say my buddy couldn't stop laughing... I was too stunned and to this day feel guilty for not having said anything (but I admittedly do find it pretty funny).