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A golden adventure

Glori Fickling hadn’t been to the Golden Globes since 1965, when she and her husband, Skip, took home one of the glittering trophies for their popular “Honey West” TV series, featuring a beautiful, nervy detective played by Anne Francis.

So when “celebrity party crasher” Michael Minotoli invited her to accompany him on an excursion to Tinseltown, how could she say no?

“It was the Honey West in me,” she said.

Fickling, a Laguna Beach celebrity in her own right, donned one of her best gowns, an elegant hat and high heels, to fit in with the likes of Kate Winslet and Paris Hilton.

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Minotoli, who brought a tux and black tie, borrowed a car from his son to make the two-hour journey to the Beverly Hills hotel where the event was taking place.

Minotoli — who says he’s homeless in Laguna Beach — has been sneaking into celebrity bashes for more than 20 years. Although he’s a lot younger than Fickling, he says he had to practically drag her out of a party at 2 a.m., because she was still raring to go.

The intrepid pair left Laguna Beach at 5:30 p.m. and eventually gained entrance to “four or five” Golden Globes parties, meeting and being photographed with Winslet, Hilton, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Colin Farrell, Alec Baldwin, Kiefer Sutherland, Ron Howard and many others.

They got lucky with parking, finding a spot only three blocks away from the venue. But there was no guarantee of getting in.

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“The first place we went, there was a guard,” Fickling said. “They recognized him [Minotoli] and said they were waiting for him.”

At the second door they tried, they were flatly turned away, but then they were able to go into the hotel where the event was being staged and sit at the wine bar.

“I put down my credit card, and we ordered wine,” she said. “It was $40 for two glasses.” They were then able to watch the Golden Globes on the bar television after the show ended, because it was broadcast live on East Coast channels. Then they hit pay-dirt.

“After the show was over, they [celebrities] all came down to the wine bar, and we were able to walk up and introduce ourselves,” Fickling said. “I told them it was deja vu for me because I’d been to the Golden Globes in 1965. They were all very gracious.”

They partied with folks from HBO, Godiva and NBC/Universal, and walked on a red carpet. Fickling even got to hold some of the stars’ Golden Globe trophies.

Minotoli said he was impressed by Fickling’s fortitude. For her part, she says she’d absolutely do it again.

While Minotoli has been chasing movie stars for years, he will soon have his own life up on the silver screen. A documentary about him is due to come out in a couple of months, which he’s hoping to premiere at a local cinema.

Fickling also has ties to the industry.

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She has been trying to get a “Honey West” movie made for years, but the project has been moribund at a major studio.

But in Hollywood, hope springs eternal.

Baby boomers who grew up with the show about the “sexy sleuth” can now get the entire series on DVD, and two of the 1950s pulp fiction books that the show was based on have been republished.


CINDY FRAZIER is city editor of the Coastline Pilot. She can be contacted at (949) 494-2087 or cindy.frazier@latimes.com.


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