There was this time…(pt. 4)

I met three Hollywood tough guys almost 20 years apart.

All three were the nicest people. Keep in mind that while two of these incidents were while I was working, only the first one was I wearing a name tag. I don’t normally wear a name tag but only because they fall into that vortex of lost possessions that forms in my purse.

The first was Alex Rocco from “The Godfather” and many other roles you’d recognize by his signature gravely voice. I was working at the Miramar Hotel in its dying day in Montecito in 1996. Trying to check him in but being extremely busy as it always was, I couldn’t get him into his room until we strong-armed the previous occupant out. He said, “No problem at all, Molly. I’ll be over here with my beautiful wife. Please let us know when it’s ready but only when you have the time.” I scrambled to get the strong-arming of the cleaning staff done to help someone this sweet.

The second tough guy I met was Paul Sorvino. He’s played every gangster in every movie where there were Italian gangsters…and a brief stint in Law & Order. In this case, I went to a bar to meet my former boyfriend and his tennis buddies, Rick Miani and Gregg Bigger, after a match.

Their new friend stood when I walked up to the table. He spoke lovingly about his daughter, Mira, and their father-daughter trip to Italy. He stood every time I did and listened to me like I mattered. He kissed my hand. I think. I don’t remember if that part is true but I’m going to keep it that way in my head.

More recently, the third tough guy was Dennis Franz. Though not normally cast as a gangster, he is the quintessential “cop”. You know. That guy.

Sipowicz took no guff from nobody.

Sipowicz might be tough but Dennis Franz is a sweetheart. Having since I’ve oddly gravitated back to supplemental hotel/resort work, for the past two years Dennis has come back to my place of work to check in with me in particular. He says it’s because of how well I take care of him and his family. No asking for special treatment, just gratitude. He remembered me by name and was so impressed that I knew who he was, too. He’s quite huggable.

Very nice gentlemen all. Real gentlemen all. Probably not surprising but nice to hear, isn’t it?