Me and Princess Leia’s Mom


I’ve always been in love with movies. As a kid I wanted with every fiber of my being to be Gene Kelly. To sing like him. To dance like him. But most of all, to kiss girls like him. Especially like he did Debbie Reynolds in Singin’ in the Rain.

My own leap to fame came when I wrote and starred in my first short play for our elementary school’s Sixth Grade Talent Show. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It was huge. After that, I knew I’d have to choose my projects carefully in order to maintain my A-list status. I needed an appropriate leading lady. One I could kiss a lot.

Then one day in the public library I stumbled across a playscript adapted from the movie Tammy and the Bachelor, which had starred Debbie Reynolds. That was it! My next project would be a live theatre production of Tammy and the Bachelor starring Debbie Reynolds. And me. In my back yard! I scheduled a production meeting with my best friend Jeff to plan how we would: 1) build a professional theatre in my back yard (which was just slightly larger than a bedspread), and 2) Get Debbie Reynolds to clear her schedule so she and I could rehearse. And kiss a lot.

You’ll be surprised to learn that it never happened. To be honest, I never even had Debbie’s phone number.

However, seven years later…

I was in a rock band called The Daily Planet, and we were pretty freakin’ good. Good enough, in fact, to win a national talent search (what is it with 1455175_10205059174139858_1756442558001639973_nme and talent shows?) and appear in an ABC music special with Aretha freakin’ Franklin!

A couple of months later, the show’s producer, Robert Peterson, was hosting a charity event in his Beverly Hills back yard (which was just slightly larger than six or seven thousand bedspreads). “We ought to have live music!” he thought. But he only knew one band: The Daily Planet. So we got the gig.

Being middle class suburban kids, we’d played for very few famous people. How many? Let me think, oh, yeah, none. Pretty much everyone there was famous. In fact, we were the only ones I’d never heard of. But the most luminous star of all was the event’s hostess, my old co-star, Debbie freakin’ Reynolds!

I was a bit surprised when Debbie failed to recognize me, even after she borrowed my microphone to tell everyone that the buffet was ready. But then she turned to me and said the words I’ll never forget, “Could you turn it down a little?”

Not even a glimmer of recognition. I instantly realized we were not going to be kissing a lot. Which was OK because: 1) She was kinda old—like, my mom’s age! (what the…?) and 2) she didn’t like my band.

There was a gaggle of young girls there, however, who absolutely adored us. They were led by a perky young brunette who insisted that we were not too loud, that we were, in fact, “perfect!” She and her homies stayed in front of the bandstand all night, dancing, singing along with us, arguing over which of us was “the cutest,” and getting our autographs on every unclaimed cocktail napkin in sight. In short, they made us feel like bigger stars than their parents!

Later, after most of the guests had left, my former flame, Debbie Reynolds, came up to the perky brunette, and said, “Time to go home, Carrie.”

Princess-Leia-Organa-princess-leia-organa-solo-skywalker-29417667-500-528Carrie Fisher blew me a kiss as her mother dragged her away.

A few years later, in a galaxy far away, I watched as a perky young brunette Princess Leia lit up the screen, and wondered, “Does she still have my autograph?” When my friends finally dragged me off, I blew two kisses at the screen: One for Princess Leia…

And one for her mom.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Me and Princess Leia’s Mom

  1. Pingback: …and Goodnight, Debbie | Mitch Teemley

  2. this post took me back to when I was 16 and in love with a local band called The Rationals and this song called “Respect” they sang before Aretha Franklin (or,at least, that is my memory of it). We were all in Detroit and I was quite indignant that Aretha got the credit for “Respect” when I knew in my heart of hearts it was the Rationals.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      For what it’s worth, Otis Redding gets credit for first recording (and co-writing) it in 1965. But then, you didn’t care about that, did you, Madeline? All you knew was Aretha stole it from The Rationals! ;>)


  3. pamallnuttg says:

    What a great story!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pam Webb says:

    You are such a heartbreaker, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. robstroud says:

    What a neat memory. When I was a young lad, I too had a crush on an actress. Although I didn’t know her real name, I too imagined starring with her in some role where we would kiss passionately in a tragically doomed love. The “tragically doomed” part came from the fact that both of the films in which she wooed me, ended in death.

    Those two films–both still ranking among my favorites–were The Robe and Spartacus. Jean Simmons captured my heart and that spark still lingers, even after 43 years of marital bliss with my wonderful wife.

    Of course, if I’d ever actually met her, I too would have been grossed out that she was the same age as my mom!

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Yeah, Jean Simmons in Spartacus kinda lit my fire too, Rob. Funny how the age thing wasn’t an issue when we were kids. I suppose in our imaginations we were something like Tom Hanks is in Big: Adults with the minds of pre-adolescent boys. Of course, many men remain in that state their whole lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bruce Cooper says:

    Loved this story Mitch, now THAT is a memory! Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kathleen Ellerman says:

    What a great memory and wonderful story! Thank you, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. revruss1220 says:

    Wow! What an amazing moment! A memory to last a lifetime, for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This was wonderful, a real bright spot in my day!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Lesley says:

    Wonderful memories!
    ‘We were the only ones I’d never heard of.’ That made me laugh! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Whoa, what a fun and incredible experience, and you tell it well.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. ldtynan says:

    An amazing anecdote aptly apprised!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. cindy knoke says:

    When I was a kid I was in a Debbie Reynolds movie with my school mates. I talked to her about my best friends mother who used to be her best friend. She dubbed her movies and had very tiny feet. She seemed nice. Her daughter was there too.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Lady Quixote/Linda Lee says:

    I enjoyed this story. 🙂

    I also had a crush on an actor when I was a kid. My first love was Dick Van Dyke.

    Yeah, I was a weird kid. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Shelly says:

    Wow … that’s a cool experience. I enjoyed the way you told it!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. bhaanvee says:

    Wow. What a heartfelt story and memory. Enjoyed this a lot ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  17. bekitschig says:

    Aww … damn, you really know how to get that curve right! Beutiful story and I’m sure you ended up kissing the right girl in the end!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. cazehner says:

    Oh my goodness, what a life you’ve had! Thanks for the LOL moment this morning. How are you coming on that autobiography? Surely you’re writing one, aren’t you? I’d be the first in line to get an autographed copy… and I’d keep it like a treasure! (I’m convinced Carrie did the same with that napkin)

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Oh, how I LOVE this story, Mitch.I am so glad that you got to meet Debbie, even if it was a let-down, but I imagine that your memories of Pricess Leia keep you warm. Thank you. I am going to remember this.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. boromax says:

    That is a terrific story, well told. So, what did you think of Debbie Reynolds’ performance in “One for the Money”? What!? You’ve never heard of it?

    Liked by 2 people

  21. boromax says:

    Hey, btw, we watched “Notzilla” the other day – hilarious! Truly loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Awesome, Ed. So glad you enjoyed it! May I encourage you to share it with others, and to leave a brief review at Amazon? (The more reviews it gets, the more they recommend it). Also, you can rate it from 1 to 10 stars on IMDb (link below). Note: IMDb only recognizes the rating if you rate a few other movies, as well. Thanks for the laughs, my friend!


  22. Such a fun story, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Haha this was just a fantastic read! Love your lighthearted humor in the telling. I had to smile as I related with you concerning Debbie. Ah, she was a dream and I loved her from singing in the rain to the moment she sang “Tammy’s in love”. Boys wanted to kiss her and girls wanted to be her.
    And I chuckled all the way through. What a great story, experience for you and delightful the way in which you shared it.
    Thank you Mitch, for this mornings smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Rhonda says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Pam says:

    What a GREAT story!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Jennie says:

    What a great story, Mitch! Really! You can’t make this stuff up.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. gpavants says:


    Great memory, brother.


    Liked by 1 person

  28. Excellent story! How long was The Daily Planet together?

    Liked by 1 person

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