'Lost' Fans Help Kids

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On Saturday, May 20, for the second year in a row, fans of ABC's castaway drama "Lost" gathered in the Los Angeles area to meet with producers and cast from the show and bid on "Lost"-related items to raise money for the Children's Defense Fund, a favorite charity of show co-creator J.J. Abrams.

This year's event took place in the confines of historic Solar Studios, built in the 1930s, a loft-style building in Glendale, Calif. On the whole, the event was smaller than last year's party at the Century Plaza Hotel, with fewer fans and far fewer attendees from the show (the fact that the event came on the heels of the ABC's annual upfront presentation to advertisers in New York may have had an effect).

Among the production staffers who did make the trek to Glendale were executive producers Carlton Cuse and Bryan Burk, editor Steve Semel and writer Adam Horowitz (who usually pens scripts with partner Edward Kitsis).

The only cast members on hand were William Mapother, who appeared in seasons one and two as the now-deceased Ethan Rom, a member of the mysterious "Others" on the island where the doomed Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 crashed, and Daniel Roebuck, who played castaway Mr. Artz, a high-school teacher who met an unfortunate end late in season one while handling dynamite.

"I blewed up real good," jokes Roebuck, who spent the evening circulating among the fans, taking photos and handing out personalized, signed photos of himself as Artz. He also auctioned off a lunch with himself, which took place the next day.

Asked why he answered the invitation, Roebuck says, "I have a lot of blessings in my life. I do exactly what I've wanted to do since I was a kid, and I recognize that I can sometimes serve. I have to give back.

"So when they call and say, 'Come to this,' instead of saying, 'I don't have any time for that,' not only was it not inconvenient, but it was nice to meet people.

"They enjoy the show so much, and that's good, so we can say thank you in some way for them watching."

The idea of hanging with fans also appealed to him. "I don't blame any other actor for not going, because they have served in a different way. But if you look me up and know a little about me, I'm a bit of a fan myself.

"I'm a guy who's always loved actors and actresses, old movies and TV shows. I go as a fan to these Hollywood collectors' shows and things. I go and try not to say something stupid to someone I've been watching for years.

"It's hard to not say something stupid."

Roebuck says he also put in a call to the "Lost" makeup artist and obtained a "fragment" of Artz -- who was literally blown to bits -- to be added to the charity auction, which raised a little over $5,000.

"I hope they made a lot of money on that," Roebuck says.

Interestingly enough, according to an event organizer, the top money-getter for the evening - at a high bid of $350 - didn't come from "Lost" at all. It was a bicycle signed by Victor Garber, the star of Abrams' other ABC show, "Alias." Its license plate read "SPYDADDY," the online nickname for Garber's character, Jack Bristow, the father of CIA superspy Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner).

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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