Famous People Who Turn Down Autograph Seekers

My favorite topic on any autograph forum is the one where people name film athletes, stars, musicians, and/or famous people who won’t sign an autograph when they get a request.  I find it laughable that so many autograph collectors get pissed when this occurs.  I also have to ask why get pissed?

An individual who is famous is under no obligation to give a fan anything.  That means he/she doesn’t owe you a moment of their time, a picture, an autograph, or a conversation.  They don’t have to interact with you.  Imagine that you are walking down the street, eating dinner, whatever and several people you don’t know start to follow you around asking you for signature or a photo.  You be a bit wary of them to say the least.  You have no idea if their intentions are good, bad, or something else.  The same goes for that famous person.  They don’t know autograph collectors from Adam and have no idea what you want from them.  They just know you want something from them.  They spend their lives dodging people who want something from them.  That means family, friends, fans, and strangers.  

How do I know the above?  My late father was a very good friend with a famous actor who is now retired.  He no longer acts even though he is asked many times a year to consider a role.  Eating dinner with him in public was a vastly different experience than whenever he joined us at our home or we at his.  While out at a restaurant and in the middle of a meal people would come up and ask for autographs and to have their photos taken with him.  People never considered that he and the people at his table where at that location to break bread with one another and have a conversation that did NOT include those outsiders.  It wasn’t like he was getting up and going over to their table to bother them and their guest while them were eating.  Heck, one night we even had one female grab a chair from another table and join ours uninvited.  She was escorted out of the restaurant when she would leave when we asked her to.  While out in public he was always on guard and always a different person.  He is and was very protective of his wife.  He kept an eye on her whenever they were out just to make sure that she wouldn’t get run over when his fans saw him.  

It was kind of sad to watch what he goes through just to survive an outing into the public eye.  He joked all the time that he wished some of his fans knew what it took to go out.  They expected him to be a person he wasn’t in real life.  He had to be the guy in the role he made famous and made him famous.  He wasn’t that guy.  From the times I got to spend around him I can tell you he was cooler than “that guy” and was just different from the guy he played.  He isn’t as polished but then again the guy he played wasn’t as funny as him either.  

Remember they are just people.  Strangers frighten them just as much as they frighten you.  Oh and to the people that say they should have gone into another business if they don’t like interacting with their fans I’ll share this with you.  He told me once that fans expected him to do things for them as they bought tickets to his movies.  He appreciated his fans.  He didn’t want his life consumed by them though.  Anyway to explain the situation he to me he said it would be like him wanting to know who the accountant at a certain pencil maker was and where he worked and lived.  Heck, he’d bought a bunch of those pencils and that guy owed him and all of the other pencil buyers of the world some of his time when he was out with his wife, or when he was watching his child at a sporting event the child was playing in.  Once he told me that his point-of-view made a lot more sense.

That famous person may include you in a brief encounter with them for an autograph or photo but they don’t owe it to you.

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  • Ask Johnny Manziel if he intends to give out many autographs or have pictures taken with him after what happened to him yesterday. 

    For those of you that don't know he was hounded for 2 hours by 1 "fan" who wanted his picture and/or an autograph.  Reports advise that Manziel declined to give the 18 year old fan what he wanted.  He even stated to him several times that he was with friends he hadn't seen in a long time and did not want to spend the afternoon having pictures taken or providing autographs as it would take away from the time Manziel could spend with his friends.

    All it takes is one "fan" encounter like the one Manziel had and he'll be turned off from giving any.

  • Mr. Mueller - Interesting.  Had not thought about it from a famous female's view on the situation.  I'll have to remember that if I ever see a famous female and make sure to act in a very non-threatening way. 

  • Brad, thanks for your phone call, nice talking to you.

    I looked at your Muhammad Ali/Cassius Clay "99" item and all I can say is that if you check out my book, page 43 you will see Ali signatures from the late 90's.  Your's dated "99" just doesn't fit in with what one would look like from that period.  Many of the Ali forgeries will look like ones from the late "90's" and that the reason to avoid these type signatures. No legitimate service can positively authenticate these type signatures. With Ali, there's so much available, it's best to find a signature from 1992 or earlier.  Just my opinion!

  • Brad-

    I wouldn't put this item in our auction but you should ask Koschal who wrote a book on Ali.

  • TODD MUELLER  is my ali aka cassius clay autograph genuine ?? what is it worth ?

  • shawn Anderson  www.aliautos.com     he created the ali autopen.  largest collection of ali signatures  examples on file.  check it out.  He said it is GENUINE.

  • No good IMO but you should ask Todd Mueller or Travis Roste but not sure if they give their opinions.  I don't know who Shawn Anderson is.

  • MUHAMMAD ALI AKA CASSIUS CLAY  signed starting lineup on ebay 400840187283  I bought it for $250.  Shawn Anderson said it is genuine..  is this a $1500  item ?  thanks.

  • In my experience most celebs are more accommodating than I think I could be.
  • Excellent post, the type we should see more of here. Unfortunately there are crooks in this hobby and new collectors need to be advised by those who have been in this hobby.

    I recently spent time with one of the top three recognizable male actors in Hollywood. He could have written your article however added the owrst is when they follow you into the men's room with a camera.

    For years I represented many celebrities who just had to refuse answering fan mail. One of the most popular was Salvador Dali who did not mine signing an autograph in a bookstore but never in a restaurant or walking down the street with Gala (his wife).

    Then there are others l represented like Ronnie Biggs who would never answer a fans letter but basically lived off giving his autograph along Impanema Beach for a fee.  We sat together at a bar across from the beach one night and when the night was over, all our drinks were paid for by fans and Ronnie had equal to about $175 USD to take home.  It goes both ways. Great insight you gave about approaching celebrities.

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