The Outsiders certainly ranks somewhere high in my echelon of movies. A cult-classic from 1983, I well-remember the Outsiders craze that swept the teenage girls of the day when they saw this band of attractive guys (and mostly future stars) in the single-page pinups in teenybopper magazines like 16. At the head of the heartthrobs was C. Thomas Howell, who had also made an appearance in the classic E.T.:The Extra-Terrestrial. I can distinctly remember the cooing over Mr. Howell from one of the older objects of my affection, Missy Karver from our Gem City Classics Chevy Club. His popular teen films poured out for a few years before the good roles finally dried up: Red Dawn, Tank, Soul Man, The Hitcher to name the ones I recall.
So although C. Thomas didn’t go on to become the icon that many of his Outsiders co-stars did (although, believe it or not, he hasn’t stopped acting since the 80’s), it was very cool to meet him at the Hollywood Collectors Show in October of 2005. Yes, he had lost some of his boyish charm, looking a little too skinny and somehow too much like a chain-smoker (I think I derived that from his relatively deep voice) – but he was very nice and polite and responded with an enthusiastic “absolutely!” to my request to be photographed with him after I had shelled out twenty bucks for the nice color shot below. Overall, meeting the Ponyboy was a very positive experience.
UPDATE: The Outsiders was such an iconic force in my movie-watching life that I couldn’t resist another opportunity to greet C. Thomas Howell. Since he was making an appearance at the Knoxville Fanboy Expo which I was attending on October 26, 2012, I decided to get another signed photo of him, this time with his co-star Ralph Macchio, with intention of having this signed by him at a future date. The autograph was a bit pricey at $30 – but the photo op was free.
He had no one around him when I approached him so we had the chance to chat for a while, mostly about whether he’d be attending Chiller Theatre any time soon. It became a bit awkward though when there was no one at all nearby to take our photo. He even attempted a ‘selfie’ of the two of us, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted.
Eventually I found someone and got another picture with him. I think we both looked a little better than we did in that hideous picture from 2005!
Celebs and autographs from the 2005 HCS will continue…
Celebrity encounters from the 2012 Knoxville Fanboy Expo will conclude in the next posting…