No, I’m not going to discuss a novel by Emily Bronte. I’m going to discuss celebrity stature. Sly Stallone is listed in this month’s Cigar Afficianado magazine as 5′ 10″. On IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) he is listed as 5′ 9.5″. My friend (who shall go nameless to protect her career) had a face-to-face meeting with Sly a few years ago in Philly. To quote her “He’s 5′ 6″ on a good day.” And she’s 5′ 7″, so she would know.
Michael Douglas is listed in IMDB as being 5′ 10″. This is WRONG!!!!! For our 10th wedding anniversary we traveled to Napa and San Francisco. After consuming more wine in St. Helena and its environs than is recommended by any reliable source, we traveled to San Francisco. As we wandered around the city, in typical tourist fashion, we came upon a movie set. It was for “The Game” featuring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. I said to Kurt “maybe we’ll see Michael Douglas.” Now, mind you, my enthusiasm was not misplaced. Growing up I was a huge fan of “The Streets of San Francisco,” and I have always enjoyed Douglas’ performance on the big screen. So, as we went to dinner at Aqua that night, I thought for sure we would run into this venerable actor. Well, we didn’t. Despite the amazing tuna and foie gras, the fresh sardines in tomato aspic, and the ever so sweet dungeness crab, we saw nobody famous (well, maybe someone there was famous, just not famous enough). Two days later we took a road trip to Pebble Beach (I think I had developed hip dysplasia from navigating all of those hilly streets). That evening we decided to have dinner at Balboa Cafe (then owned by Billy Getty of “those Gettys” and Gavin Newsom “the current mayor of San Fran”). At 9:30 p.m. we were escorted to a table in the back of the 1890s style saloon restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous dinner prepared by Maria Helm Sinskey (chef extraordinaire and wife of Robert Sinskey of Sinskey Vineyards). Mussels in white wine sauce followed by the juiciest burgers ever, all washed down with a Frog’s Leap Zinfandel. Billy Getty was there, as was Gavin Newsom. Both had been recently featured on the cover of Appellation magazine, and Maria Helm Sinskey was featured several times in food magazines and on the food channel. I was in my glory enjoying this late night meal with Kurt when lo and behold who walks in but Michael Douglas. Yes, the Michael Douglas. He was with a woman who appeared to be his publicist or manager. He was a mere 10 feet from our table, shaking hands with various people and hobnobbing with Getty and Newsom. I turned to Kurt and said “Oh my God, there’s Michael Douglas” and then Kurt said “Oh my God, look how short he is.” Short, short, short. Maybe 5′ 6″ at most. Kurt is 5″ 9″ and I’m 5′ 4″, so we have a pretty good idea of what’s in between. As this was certainly “in between.”
As we were leaving the restaurant Gavin Newsom asked me “How was your meal?” and I said “Well, let’s see. Maria Helm Sinskey cooked us a fabulous meal, we got to see Michael Douglas, and I got to meet you and Billy Getty. Not bad at all.” And like George on Seinfeld, I got to “feel his material.” A cashmere sport jacket. OOOOHHHHH!
Is there a lesson to be learned from this? Perhaps. One – actors have access to incredible shoe makers who provide them with shoes with incredible lifts. Two – I would have enjoyed these actors just as much if they had been honest about their height. At some point someone is going to see the “real” you, naked in all your glory. Why fight it. Just drink some really good wine and you’ll forget all of your shortcomings.