Five Bizarre Celebrity Encounters Beyond Dylan

Celebrity EncountersABC News Photo Illustration

You never know where and when a celebrity might show up.

Bob Dylan's bizarre stroll through a New Jersey neighborhood one rainy night last month spooked residents so much that one called the police.

Dylan wandered into the yard of a home that had a "For Sale" sign on it. His haggard appearance freaked out the home's occupants who told the police there was an "eccentric-looking old man" in their yard, the Long Branch Police said. One of the occupants went so far as to follow Dylan as he continued walking down the street.


The homeowner and the police didn't recognize the artist.

It was not the first time in America that members of the public had odd, unexpected encounters with celebrities. In fact, it's not even the first time that such an encounter occurred at somebody's house.

So join us on a brief trip down memory lane as we highlight five of our favorite and most bizarre celebrity encounters of recent history.

Robert Downey Jr.

There was no "For Sale" sign on the lawn but maybe, just maybe, Robert Downey Jr. was doing some house shopping of his own back in July 1996 when he created one of the most bizarre celebrity encounters.

While drunk, Downey wandered into a neighbor's Malibu, Calif., home that he thought was his own. Dubbed the "Goldilocks" incident, Downey entered the house, folded his clothes on a chair and passed out on an 11-year-old's bed, only to be discovered by an astonished mother who wondered if her son had gone to sleep early.

To make matters worse, on the 911 call -- which was widely circulated -- Downey's heavy snoring was audible in the background.

He was cited for trespassing and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Downey was already on probation after an arrest a month earlier for driving in Malibu with heroin, cocaine and a concealed .357 Magnum. Downey entered rehab, but just four days later, he bolted from a bathroom window at the detox center wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of slippers.

Anne Heche

Some residents near Fresno, Calif., also got an odd run-in with a celebrity that ended with the police taking away the star.

The day after Anne Heche announced her split from Ellen DeGeneres in August 2000, she showed up at a stranger's house, knocked on the door and said she was "Celestia" and was waiting to hitch a ride to heaven on a spaceship.

A Fresno County deputy who picked up Heche said, "She proceeded to tell me that she was God and was going to take everyone back to heaven with her in some sort of spaceship."

She was taken to a nearby hospital and released later that day. In her 2001 book "Call Me Crazy," Heche said she had taken Ecstasy because she needed to get on a spaceship to heaven.

Margot Kidder

Sometimes the celebrities don't bother with the front door.

In April 1996, "Superman" actress Margot Kidder was found dirty, dazed and fearful in a stranger's back yard in a quiet Southern California neighborhood, claiming she had been stalked and assaulted.

The actress, who played Lois Lane in four "Superman" movies and had since battled health and financial problems, had been missing for three days when she was found crouching in the bushes by the homeowners.

Kidder appeared "frightened and paranoid" and seemed to have cut her hair to alter her appearance, the police said at the time.

When asked who was following her, she wouldn't say. Tests showed no sign of drugs or alcohol in her system, and she was taken to the psychiatric ward of a local hospital for observation.

Martin Lawrence

In reality, most celebrity encounters don't occur in people's homes.

Martin Lawrence proved that correct in May of 1996 when he was screaming at passersbys in the middle of a busy intersection on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

"The way he was acting when the officers first approached, they thought he was under the influence of an unknown substance or alcohol," a police sergeant said at the time.

Lawrence was screaming at passing cars and heard at one point screaming "fight the power" and "fight the establishment," according to various reports.

When police detained him, they found a loaded .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun in his pants pocket. He never once took out the gun during the incident.

He was taken to a hospital and released into the custody of his doctor, who said Lawrence failed to take medications and had a seizure. No charges were filed.

Winona Ryder

Sometimes the best celebrity encounters involve store security guards.

In December 2001, Winona Ryder was caught on camera shoplifting from the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. She was caught on security tapes prying security sensors off items and shoving the goods into a bag. The loot: $5,500 worth of socks, hair clips, hats, shirts, purses and other assorted goodies.

The "Reality Bites" actress was charged with grand theft, burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance. (She had prescription drugs without prescriptions.) She ultimately received three years' probation and 480 hours of community service for theft and vandalism convictions.