Celebs I’ve Met: A Gossip Columnist’s Ultimate Glamour List

BY MICHAEL MUSTO | In my many years of covering entertainment, I’ve met up to 2,000 celebrities, but who’s counting? I’ve adored a lot of them, was irked by a few others, and generally got a sense of what makes them sparkle, though some simply exploded and left a mess. In the following list of lists, I left out some celebs for various reasons—and by the way, I might just do a separate list of just drag queens—but here come over 1,100 starry names, with little bits of insight into their allure here and there. Gird your loins and enjoy, and if you want a comment on someone I didn’t include a blurb on, say the word and I’ll chime in. The celebrities I’ve met (a few of which were by phone) include…

–A–

F. Murray Abraham (A mensch—and he let me hold his Oscar)

Brooke Adams

Edie Adams

Ben Affleck

Shoreh Aghdashloo

Danny Aiello (A paisan who loved his singing)

Anouk Aimee (Loved her. We talked trash TV.)

Alan Alda

Mary Alice

Joan Allen (Wonderfully weird)

Nancy Allen

Peter Allen (A fab gay trapped by his career)

Woody Allen

June Allyson

Pedro Almodovar (He bristled when I congratulated him on a new boyfriend; too personal.)

Robert Altman

Loni Anderson

Julie Andrews (Everything you would imagine)

Adam Ant

“A ” s for Andy Warhol, holding up Michael Musto’s book, “Downtown,” 1986. | Photo by Patrick McMullan

Fiona Apple (Feisty as fuck)

Christina Applegate (Just lovely)

Nina Arianda

Lucie Arnaz

Alison Arngrim

Alexis Arquette (A wild thing, with no filter)

David Arquette

Rosanna Arquette

Beatrice Arthur (Salty and a pro)

Annaleigh Ashford

Elizabeth Ashley (The raconteur of all time; I would press “Record” and sit back.)

Rick Astley

Sir Richard Attenborough

Rene Auberjonois

Richard Avedon (So lovely to me—he must have confused me with Audrey Hepburn.)

–B–

The B-52s (A mixed bag of nuts made just for me)

Sebastian Bach

Jon Robin Baitz

Carroll Baker (Don’t mention her European period.)

Ralph Bakshi

Alec Baldwin and brothers

Brooke Baldwin

Christian Bale

Anne Bancroft (Charisma for days, though Frank Langella said she was crazy)

Antonio Banderas (Dripping with continental charm. Told me to call him again.)

Christine Baranski

Javier Bardem

Ellen Barkin

Rona Barrett (A dish queen with frosted hair)

Barbara Barrie

Sidney Biddle Barrows (Lots of breeding as she peddled high class hookers)

Drew Barrymore (Too much, too soon, but she survived it)

Lance Bass

Jason Bateman

Justine Bateman

Steven Bauer

Noah Baumbach

Jennifer Beals (Insisted on coming to my place for our interview. She’s special.)

Orson Bean

Amanda Bearse (Pure joy)

The Beastie Boys

Samantha Bee

The Bee Gees

Ed Begley Jr.

Joy Behar

Andy Bell

Maria Bello

Richard Belzer (He, Robert Klein, and Richard Lewis have all mightily entertained me.)

Laura Benanti

Bebe Zahara Benet

Roberto Benigni (As effusive offscreen as he is on)

Richard Benjamin

Joan Bennett (Old-school class and confidence)

Tony Bennett (Earnest and sincere)

John Berendt

Tom Berenger

Polly Bergen

Elizabeth Berkley

Milton Berle (His dirty jokes were the best.)

Gael Garcia Bernal

Juliette Binoche (A little frosty)

Mike Birbiglia

Dustin Lance Black

Bringing some balance to bad mojo cast by Linda Blair: Out and outspoken Michael Musto, in Chelsea during Pride Month 2019. | Photo by Cathay Che

Jack Black

Karen Black (A genuine nut—and not even trying to be)

Lewis Black

David Blaine

Linda Blair (At an AIDS benefit, she wouldn’t pose with drag queens because, “It would hurt the cause.” Ugh.)

Tammy Blanchard (Loopy and likeable)

Cate Blanchett

Bill Blass (“You don’t sound that excited to talk to me.” I wasn’t!)

Brenda Blethyn (A down-home delight)

Mary J. Blige

Stephanie J. Block

Emily Blunt

Peter Bodganovich (Lives and breathes cinema)

Angela Bofill

Matt Bomer (So nice)

Jon Bon Jovi

Justin Vivian Bond

Bono (Quite affable. I expected pretentious)

Debbie Boone

Ernest Borgnine (A crusty old thing)

Christian Borle

Barry Bostwick

David Bowie (I melted.)

Pandora Boxx

Boy George (moody and unpredictable, but definitely a legend)

Zach Braff

Benjamin Bratt

Matthew Broderick

Adrien Brody (His publicist got nervous when we started to talk politics.)

Josh Brolin

Mel Brooks

Divine Brown (Hugh Grant’s sex worker had charisma for days.)

Helen Gurley Brown (Some of her thoughts may have been retrograde, but she was fun to chat with.)

Julie Brown

Downtown Julie Brown

Tina Brown

Coral Browne

Yul Brynner (Nice, but I got the feeling you didn’t want to fuck with him)

Lindsay Buckingham

Betty Buckley (Her political ire is admirable.)

Sandra Bullock (Whip smart)

Tituss Burgess

Carol Burnett (Delightful and flattering)

Pete Burns (Attitudey and snooty)

Danny Burstein

Levar Burton

Tim Burton

Steve Buscemi (An everyman with greatness attached)

Charles Busch

Candace Bushnell

Mary Jo Buttafuocco (We chick-bonded)

Brett Butler

Norbert Leo Butz

Amanda Bynes (Before she lost it, I found her enjoyable.)

Robin Byrd

David Byrne

–C–

Zoe Caldwell (Scary diva)

David Cale

Naomi Campbell (Charming, charming, then bristles, then charming…)

Bobby Cannavale

Mario Cantone (Always on fire)

Claudia Cardinale

Belinda Carlisle

Judy Carne (She became a nightclub pal, and was loved by the club kids.)

Keith Carradine

Aaron Carter (Mixed up but sweetly vulnerable—and naked)

Graydon Carter

Nick Carter

Kim Cattrall

Maxwell Caulfield

Carrot Top (So upbeat!)

Dana Carvey

David Cassidy (Cringed when I mentioned his gay fans)

Dick Cavett (Witty and delightful at parties)

Sam Champion

Carol Channing (Not really a dizzy blonde; more of a steely show biz icon and a hoot)

Stockard Channing

Geraldine Chaplin (A living work of art)

Charo (A serious musician and a hilarious camp)

Jessica Chastain

Cher (Beyond the feathers, she’s real people, with a soul)

Kristin Chenoweth (A driven yet cute multitalent)

Margaret Cho

Rae Dawn Chong

Dennis Christopher

Ciara (She taught me twerking.)

Candy Clark

Petula Clark (Legendary and nice)

Patricia Clarkson

Glenn Close (She’s very Glenn Close.)

Andy Cohen

Mindy Cohn

Stephen Colbert

Kenneth Cole

Natalie Cole (She was nodding off when I interviewed her. Thankfully, she got better.)

Cy Coleman

Gary Coleman

Kim Coles

Toni Collette

Jackie Collins (She adored me, but then started giving me side eye.)

Joan Collins (Always entertaining if imperious, she bristles easily.)

Judy Collins

Sean Puffy Combs

Jeff Conaway (Had fallen on hard times)

Harry Connick Jr.

Jennifer Coolidge (A comic genius)

Alice Cooper

Anderson Cooper

David Copperfield

Sofia Coppola (Smart and real; one of my faves)

Nick Cordero (He played a good gangster. The whole world was rooting for him.)

Bud Cort

Marion Cotillard

Courteney Cox

Deborah Cox

Laverne Cox (She grew from a reality star to an icon.)

Christina Crawford (Icily determined, perhaps understandably)

Cindy Crawford

Quentin Crisp (Robotically witty, like a visitor from another planet)

Darren Criss

David Cromer

Mart Crowley (He appreciated my appreciation of his big play.)

Tom Cruise

Penelope Cruz (Personable and seemed like she’d move in if I asked her to, lol)

Jon Cryer

Alan Cumming

Bill Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Tim Curry

Jackie Curtis (I loved her chutzpah and diva obsession.)

Jamie Lee Curtis

Joan Cusack (Not as fun in person as you’d hope, but she’s comically brilliant)

–D–

Willem Dafoe (Wary of me, but always gave in)

Joe Dallesandro

Hugh Dancy

Jeff Daniels

Lee Daniels (Complex and radioactively talented)

William Daniels

Blythe Danner

John Davidson

Bette Davis (Was full of wisdom, naturally, and happy to share it)

Brad Davis

Bruce Davison

Taylor Dayne

Ruby Dee

Sandra Dee (Neurotically insecure to the end, sadly enough)

Lea DeLaria

Carmen de Lavallade

Countess LuAnn De Lesseps

Bianca Del Rio (A total C-word, but only onstage. I love her.)

Benicio del Toro

Drea de Matteo

Jonathan Demme (“Oh, YOU’RE here,” he sniffed at a party. I had written stuff about The Silence of the Lambs.)

Judi Dench (Delicious and delightful, she is royalty to me.)

Catherine Deneuve (A bit remote, but who cares? She’s Catherine Deneuve.)

Robert De Niro

Brian Dennehy

Bruce Dern (Long winded, but I can listen all day)

Laura Dern (Remembers everything)

Zoey Deschanel

Andre De Shields

Danny DeVito

Joyce DeWitt (Don’t bring up certain things.)

Cameron Diaz

Andy Dick

Janice Dickinson (Never met a headline she didn’t love)

Barry Diller

Phyllis Diller (She gave me one-word answers, as my childhood dreams were shot to hell.)

Matt Dillon

Peter Dinklage

Celine Dion (She’s always full of gratitude—a good way to live.)

Beth Ditto

Divine (A plus-sized glamour punk who wasn’t overly warm in person, but that made sense)

Shannen Doherty

Mickey Dolenz

Phil Donahue (He was rather dismissive to me on one of his talk shows, but I’m sure his hands were full.)

Donna Douglas

Kirk Douglas (Sternly commanding and a bit off-putting)

Mike Douglas (A dream. I wanted to be adopted by him and his wife.)

Lulu Downs

Rachel Dratch

Fran Drescher

Minnie Driver (One of the good eggs)

Matt Drudge

Patty Duke (An all-time favorite. A survivor, a soothsayer, a talent.)

Michael Musto and Patty Duke at “Valley of the Dolls” event, 2000. | Photo by Catherine McGann

Keir Dullea

Faye Dunaway (Somewhat delusional but oozing charisma. And she didn’t order me around—that much, lol.)

Sandy Duncan

Dominick Dunne

Kirsten Dunst

Duran Duran (A darling group of guys. I fell for every one of them.)

Christopher Durang

Robert Duvall (Weirdly kept telling me to talk to his wife instead)

Ava DuVernay

–E–

Roger Ebert (Always chatty and encouraging)

Lisa Edelstein

Barbara Eden

Billy Eichner

Jesse Eisenberg (He’s always chatty at events, but his publicist refused me an interview.)

Anita Ekberg (A horror from hell. Distrustful and mean. I came to praise her, then wanted to bury her.)

Carmen Electra

Bret Easton Ellis

Ron Ely

Nora Ephron

Cynthia Erivo

Erte (An elegant man of pure style and taste. Something to aspire to.)

Raul Esparza

Susie Essman (Turn her on and she’s delicious.)

Gloria Estefan

Robert Evans

Bridget Everett (A human fireplug. Every show should hire her.)

Rupert Everett (I disagree with most of what he says, but I enjoy hearing it.)

–F–

Morgan Fairchild (Super smart. She should be on The View.)

Jimmy Fallon

Richard Farnsworth

Colin Farrell (Drunk but chatty)

Peter Farrelly

Ronan Farrow (All statistics. Scarily knowledgeable.)

Michael Fassbender

Tovah Feldshuh

Norman Fell

Federico Fellini (His films were so humanistic, but he personally was not nice, and his casting director was even worse.)

Fergie (the singer)

Fergie (the royal)

Craig Ferguson

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Abel Ferrara (Bizarre beyond belief. Social distancing is a good idea, lol.)

Will Ferrell

Tina Fey

Fyvush Finkel (An adorable old trooper. My kind of celebrity.)

William Finn

Katie Finneran

Linda Fiorentino

Carrie Fisher (Always gave me the best interviews imaginable. What a mind.)

Eddie Fisher (By time I met him, he was just a good-time guy. I forgave him for dumping Debbie.)

Michael Musto and Eddie Fisher at Bananas Tropical Lounge, 1987. | Photo courtesy of the author

Joely Fisher

Roberta Flack

Michael Flatley

Flawless Sabrina

Renee Fleming

Louise Fletcher (Chilly)

Bridget Fonda (Wonderful)

Jane Fonda (Well-spoken and genius)

Peter Fonda (Totally out there)

Santino Fontana

Ben Foster

Sutton Foster

Vivica A. Fox

Al Franken (Meh)

Joe Franklin (Owed me money at one point, but always good for a laugh.)

Al Freeman Jr.

Jonathan Frid

William Friedkin

Soleil Moon Frye

Malcolm Forbes (He got off on the downtown scene and the out gays.)

Bob Fosse

Michael J. Fox (Extremely personable)

Connie Francis (She started calling and leaving me messages. I was amazed.)

Joe Franklin

Brendan Fraser

–G–

Zsa Zsa Gabor (Cranky, offensive and colorful—a great interview)

Hannah Gadsby

Jim Gaffigan

Lady Gaga (Deadly serious)

Boyd Gaines

James Gandolfini (Wary)

Andrew Garfield

Janeane Garofalo

Jean Paul Gaultier (He went cold on me too. Whatever.)

Nona Gaye

Crystal Gayle (Supercilious)

Gloria Gaynor

Mitzi Gaynor (Champagne in human form)

David Geffen

Richard Gere (I got a good vibe.)

Gina Gershon

Ricky Gervais

Greta Gerwig

Paul Giamatti (You just want to pinch his cheeks and hug him.)

Giancarlo Giannini

Kathie Lee Gifford

Debbie Gibson

Philip Glass

Joanna Gleason

Crispin Glover (Looney tunes)

Danny Glover

Judy Gold

Whoopi Goldberg (A multi-dimensional star. She invited me to her house and other events, but then that ended. Anyone see a pattern here, lol?)

Al Goldstein

The Go-Go’s

Cuba Gooding Jr.

John Goodman (Kissed my ass, so I love him)

Jeff Gordon

Kim Gordon

Lesley Gore (Way more than just a pop star)

Cliff Gorman

Gilbert Gottfried (Neuro-angst personified. He’s a scream and a catharsis.)

Elliot Gould (I could talk to him for days—and he was OK with me leaving my sunglasses on indoors.)

Farley Granger

Hugh Grant

Lee Grant

Richard E. Grant

Spalding Gray

Al Green (So bizarre. So worth it.)

Seth Green

Ellen Greene

Joel Grey

Pam Grier (She brings so much to movies and interviews. She can turn even a small role into Tennessee Williams.)

Kathy Griffin

Melanie Griffith (Likably vulnerable)

Josh Groban

Jonathan Groff

John Guare

Carla Gugino

Alec Guiness (I was trembling. His kind may never come again.)

Mamie Gummer

Tim Gunn

Steve Guttenberg

Jake Gyllenhaal (His mind is on a different plane, but it’s a good one.)

Maggie Gyllenhaal

–H–

Bill Hader

Nina Hagen (Nutty ingenuity. A star.)

Jessica Hahn

Kathryn Hahn

Anthony Michael Hall (In his messy phase. Publicists frantically wanted me away from him.)

Arsenio Hall

Tamron Hall

Hall & Oates (Hall is haughty, Oates is cool.)

Mark Hamill

Chelsea Handler

Tom Hanks (I found him humble and nice, but what do I know?)

Marcia Gay Harden

Mariska Hargitay

Keith Haring

Valerie Harper

Ed Harris

Neil Patrick Harris (Always affable)

Debbie Harry

Lisa Hartman Black

Josh Hartnett (Charming hunk.)

Anne Hathaway

June Havoc (She was not a fan of Gypsy.)

Ethan Hawke

Sally Hawkins (She comes off like some of her happy-go-lucky characters.)

Salma Hayek

Todd Haynes

Patti Hearst (Very relatable. It’s not for nothing that she’s worked with John Waters.)

Joey Heatherton

Anne Heche

Lucas Hedges (Meeting them on the cusp of stardom is always fun.)

Tippi Hedren

Mariel Hemingway

Taraji P. Henson

Florence Henderson (As nice as Carol Brady)

Pee-wee Herman

Barbara Hershey

John Benjamin Hickey

William Hickey (A cranky drunk, but brilliant)

Murray Hill

Nicky Hilton

Paris Hilton

Gregory Hines (Very social and always radiated artistic magnetism)

David Hockney

Abbie Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman (Many in the business loathe him. I’m not one of them.)

Jackie Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Well-reasoned, aiming to please)

Xaviera Hollander

Katie Holmes

Rupert Holmes

Lena Horne (A monument to character and talent)

Thelma Houston

Whitney Houston (She didn’t exactly sparkle, but at that time they were working her to death)

Bryce Dallas Howard

Thomas Howell

Jennifer Hudson (She told me she wanted to play Effie. She did and won the Oscar.)

Kate Hudson

Arianna Huffington

Cady Huffman

Marsha Hunt (An unsung 1930s actress who’s politically and socially active and very liberating to talk to.)

Tab Hunter

Isabelle Huppert

John Hurt (Remote, to say the least)

William Hurt

Lauren Hutton (Called to complain about a write-up. She’s cool.)

Timothy Hutton (Utterly serious)

David Henry Hwang

David Hyde Pierce

Phyllis Hyman (It was sad to see this great singer’s confidence fade.)

–I–

Vanilla Ice (I had a crush.)

Ice-T

Billy Idol (An amiable bloke)

Iman (A delight)

Michael Imperioli

Oscar Isaac

–J–

Marc Jacobs (Personality for days)

Cheyenne Jackson

Dominique Jackson

Hugh Jackman

Janet Jackson (Sweet, insecure and adorable. Love her.)

LaToya Jackson (Always striving)

Randy Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Nikki M. James

Allison Janney (Wry and witty)

Tama Janowitz

Jim Jarmusch

Richard Jenkins

Jewel

David Johansen

Bonus Jones: Feb. 9, 2017 at NYC’s Palace Theatre: Michael Musto and Randy Jones attend opening night of the “Sunset Boulevard” revival. | Photo via shutterstock.com

Scarlett Johansson

Elton John

Don Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson (Offbeat and individual. Some ran from her, but now build statues.)

Kristen Johnston

Cherry Jones (A bright light in theater and TV and always worth chatting up)

Felicity Jones

Grace Jones (Her star presence could light up a power blackout.)

James Earl Jones (He dripped presence, unsurprisingly)

Star Jones

Erica Jong

Jeremy Jordan

Leslie Jordan

Christine Jorgensen (Fun and self-effacing while aware of her own history-making)

Raul Julia

–K–

Carol Kane

Kim Kardashian (She seemed like a good enough celebrity at the time, but enough.)

Jill Kargman

Andy Kaufman (His comic invention didn’t always click, but he was innovative and I was under his spell.)

Lainie Kazan

Zoe Kazan

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Harvey Keitel

Sally Kellerman (A multitalented kook like Karen Black, but with her own drum)

Anna Kendrick

John Kennedy Jr. (Always humble and friendly)

Joanna Kerns

Chaka Khan

Margot Kidder (Honest and self-effacing)

Kids in the Hall (We hit the town with a vengeance)

Jimmy Kimmel

Richard Kind (A lovebug and a half)

Evelyn “Champagne” King

Gayle King (A good interviewer)

Larry King

Greg Kinnear

Sally Kirkland

Eartha Kitt (Not always a snarling cat, she also had a shy side.)

Kevin Kline

Michael E. Knight

Shirley Knight

Keira Knightley

Johnny Knoxville

Ed Koch (Paranoid. He taped our interview.)

Jeff Koons

Michael Kors

Larry Kramer (Always went too far, which was exactly how far to go. He looms over us even now.)

Judith Krantz

Kreskin (He squeezed my hand so hard on greeting me that I predicted arthritis.)

Mathilde Krim

Nick Kroll (I guest starred for him and John Mulaney, but my “comedy” didn’t mesh with theirs.)

Lisa Kudrow

Mila Kunis

Tony Kushner (I’m always in awe of his intellect.)

Ashton Kutcher (Impatient)

Nancy Kwan

–L–

Patti Labelle (There’s no one like her. A Philadelphia legend and Mama Soul.)

Bruce LaBruce

Nick Lachey

Diane Ladd (She’s always pushing, which is a shame. She should be given carte blanche.)

Cleo Laine

Ricki Lake

Lisa Lampanelli (She’s done career transitions with grace.)

Martin Landau

Diane Lane

Nathan Lane (Makes me instantly happy)

k.d. lang

Jessica Lange

Ted Lange

Frank Langella

Greer Lankton

Angela Lansbury

Anthony LaPaglia

Louise Lasser (Lovably cuckoo)

Cyndi Lauper (Complex, loyal, and legendary)

Arthur Laurents

Linda Lavin

Lucy Lawless (She loves that I appreciated Xena’s nod to lesbians.)

Cloris Leachman

NeNe Leakes

Timothy Leary

Fran Lebowitz

Peggy Lee (She exuded magnetic minimalism.)

Spike Lee

John Leguizamo (I’ve followed him from day one and seen the whole unique trajectory.)

Ron Leibman

Janet Leigh (Well-trained by the Hollywood system, yet still showing some winning realness)

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Don Lemon

Annie Lennox

Melissa Leo (forthright and honest)

Tea Leoni

Amanda Lepore (A trans Lorelei Lee who is loved)

Mark Lester

Tracy Letts

Telly Leung

Eugene Levy (We have the same eyebrows, but failed to create sparks together.)

Monica Lewinsky

Gary Lewis

Jerry Lewis (I must be French because I think he was a genius. But I’d heard so many horror stories that by time I met him, I wasn’t that thrilled.)

Juliette Lewis

Liberace (He lived to entertain, and he loved to tell racy jokes.)

Judith Light

Lil’ Kim

Limahl

Richard Linklater

Laura Linney (Along with Kerry Washington and Annette Bening, one of the most articulate people to talk to)

James Lipton

John Lithgow

Jennie Livingston

Heather Locklear

Gina Lollobrigida (Her wig was as fab as her acting.)

Kenneth Lonergan

Traci Lords

Sophia Loren

Dorothy Loudon

Tina Louise

Courtney Love (Dedicated a show to me because I had raved about her in the Larry Flynt film.)

Darlene Love

Rob Lowe

Susan Lucci (Gracious to a fault, so you never confuse her with Erica Kane)

Laurence Luckinbill

Lorna Luft

Rebecca Luker

Lulu

Jenny Lumet

Sidney Lumet (Years after The Wiz flopped, he told me he was still happy with it.)

Joanna Lumley

Diego Luna

Dolph Lundgren

Patti LuPone

Jane Lynch (Witty and wise)

–M–

Taylor Mac

Bob Mackie

Kyle MacLachlan (Has a good attitude about Showgirls)

William H. Macy

Rachel Maddow (When she subbed for Keith Olbermann, she would interview me about gossip. I doubt she was thrilled, but she was a pro.)

Virginia Madsen

Ann Magnuson

Rami Malek

Camryn Manheim

Marilyn Manson (A little off, as would be expected)

Joe Mantello

Ann-Margret (I made her uncomfortable.)

Teena Marie (A great singer, if not the greatest interview)

Constantine Maroulis

Andrea Martin

Pamela Sue Martin (She moved far away from the biz and has the right attitude.)

Margo Martindale

Jackie Mason

Edith Massey (Always seemed like she couldn’t remember her lines on screen and off. Loved her.)

Trixie Mattel

Armistead Maupin (A healthy sense of outrage)

Maxwell

Albert Maysles

Debi Mazar

Andrea McArdle

James McAvoy

Melissa McCarthy (Friendly and out to help good causes

Tom McCarthy

Dylan McDermott

Audra McDonald (A flawless talent and a breath of fresh Broadway air)

Reba McEntire

Mary McFadden

Kelly McGillis (I was walking on eggshells.)

Elizabeth McGovern

Rose McGowan

Jay McInerney

Michael McKean (He and Annette O’Toole are classic.)

Donna McKechnie (Broadway’s finest)

Ian McKellen (A fine actor and a gay gent)

Don McLean

Terrence McNally

Katherine McPhee

Steve McQueen [director]

Janet McTeer

Meat Loaf (I wasn’t hungry.)

Anne Meara (I loved her a much as Jerry.)

Larry “Bud” Melman (A nerdy character actor—from the Letterman show—who was game for anything)

Christopher Meloni

Idina Menzel

Walter Mercado (He was a trip and a half. And he wanted to talk about Jennifer Jones.)

Merchant/Ivory
Debra Messing

Laurie Metcalf (Focused and fab)

Mike Meyers

Bette Midler

Toshiro Mifune

Sylvia Miles (“It’s me, Sylvia!”)

Michael Musto with Sylvia Miles at the Russian Tea Room, 1978. | Photo courtesy of the author

Milk (A drag queen with a difference)

Ann Miller

Donna Mills

Hayley Mills (The beloved child star has long been an irresistible lady.)

Juliet Mills

Mike Mills

Yvette Mimieux

Liza Minnelli (She acts like you’re best friends. There’s no one else in the room when she’s talking to you—and you feel the same way.)

Kylie Minogue

Helen Mirren (Has a saucy sense of humor, which is refreshing from a Dame)

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Isaac Mizrahi

Moby

Monet X Change

Mo’Nique

Erin Moran (She seemed poignant. You wanted to catch her from falling.)

Jeanne Moreau (Started screaming at me for no reason. She and Ekberg were the pits.)

Demi Moore

Julianne Moore

Mandy Moore

Mary Tyler Moore (No, she wasn’t Mary Richards—Who is?—but she wasn’t her Ordinary People character either.)

Melba Moore (As I left the room after I interviewed her years ago, I caught her rolling her eyes, lol.)

Roger Moore (Self-effacing and terrific)

Cathy Moriarty (I followed her from sultry siren to crafty comic actor.)

Paul Morrissey

Matthew Morrison

Rob Morrow

Samantha Morton (One of the realest interviews I ever got, penetrating through the b.s. of Hollywood)

Elisabeth Moss

Tommy Mottola

Cookie Mueller (An edgy diarist, actor, and party girl)

Jessie Mueller

Megan Mullally

Anne Murray (Very cool about her lesbian following, back when celebs didn’t say such things)

 

–N–

Jim Nabors (Golly, he was nice. And no, he never married Rock Hudson, but he was a friend of Dorothy.)

Mira Nair

Kathy Najimy

Patricia Neal (So much presence. I was in her thrall.)

Kate Nelligan

Bebe Neuwirth

Phyllis Newman

Julie Newmar (A quirky lady, very special)

Jack Nicholson

Willi Ninja

Cynthia Nixon (I was behind her gubernatorial campaign. She wanted to improve things.)

Klaus Nomi

Chuck Norris

Graham Norto

–O–

Jerry O’Connell

Sinead O’Connor (Burrowed into me with her eyes and blew off my question)

Rosie O’Donnell

Catherine O’Hara

Kelli O’Hara

Maureen O’Hara

Denis O’Hare

Keith Olbermann (Let me romp on his show for years. I dished, he blushed. It was great.)

Todd Oldham

Omarosa (She actually seemed reasonable.)

Tatum O’Neal

Orfeh & Andy Karl

Kelly Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne (Surprisingly blah)

Sharon Osbourne (Rivetingly wack)

Haley Joel Osment

Donny Osmond (Radiates niceness to the nth degree)

Laura Osnes

Cheri Oteri

Frank Oz

–P–

Elliot Page

Geraldine Page (Quirky and in a recessive mode, but I was in awe)

Tommy Page

Keke Palmer

Robert Palmer

Gwyneth Paltrow

Mary-Louise Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker (Always on point)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone (My heroes)

Barbara Parkins

Suzan-Lori Parks

Jim Parsons

Dolly Parton (Personality plus. She makes you feel welcome. And she funds vaccines!)

Adam Pascal

Benj Pasek

Vincent Pastore

Mandy Patinkin

Sarah Paulson

Diane Paulus

Teddy Pendergrass

Peppermint (From Barracuda bar to now, she has lifted me up.)

Rosie Perez

Anthony Perkins (A tortured soul, trapped in Norman Bates and the closet)

Valerie Perrine

Katy Perry

Tyler Perry (Low-key and soft-spoken, sans the wig)

Joe Pesci (Like one of his characters, but nice)

Pet Shop Boys

Lori Petty

Regis Philbin (Always friendly, but winced when I said, “Put me on your show.”)

Ryan Phillippe

Bijou Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips (Another good egg)

Pink

Tonya Pinkins

Brad Pitt (Was charming, attentive, and loved my gayness)

Mary Kay Place

Martha Plimpton

Amanda Plummer

Christopher Plummer (I made the mistake of bringing up The Sound of Music.)

Amy Poehler

Jeremy Pope

Billy Porter

Parker Posey (A true individual in everything she does)

Jane Powell

Stefanie Powers

Paula Prentiss

Lisa Marie Presley (I fell for her star power.)

Faith Prince

–Q–

Queer as Folk cast

Queer Eye guys, old and new

Colin Quinn

Zach Quinto

–R–

Eddie Rabbit

Daniel Radcliffe (Rattles off interviews like the seasoned pro he’s been for a long time)

Gilda Radner (Endearingly friendly, radiating accessibility)

Randy Rainbow

Charlotte Rampling

Joyce Randolph

Andrew Rannells

Cupped his help voices carry, but Michale Musto’s insistence that The Gipper “f**ked up AIDS” fell on the deaf ears of Patti Davis Reagan. | Photo by Andrew Werner

Sally Jessy Raphael

Anthony Rapp

Rachael Ray (One of her staff whispered something in her ear about me before we met; awkward.)

Patti Davis Reagan (A smart cookie, though I couldn’t get her to agree that her dad had f**ked up AIDS.)

Helen Reddy

Lynn Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave (Mesmerizing. I wanted to hand her another Oscar after our brief chat.)

Eddie Redmayne

Rex Reed

Norman Reedus

Mason Reese

Christopher Reeve (Always friendly and delectable)

Keanu Reeves

Martha Reeves

Tara Reid

John C. Reilly

Liz Renay (A gun moll turned underground movie star, and loving the spotlight)

Debbie Reynolds (Old school professionalism)

Ving Rhames

Caroline Rhea

Christina Ricci

Cliff Richard

Miranda Richardson (Has the great ability to laugh at herself)

Nicole Richie

Diana Rigg

Rihanna (Loved)

Molly Ringwald

Lisa Rinna

Alice Ripley

Lionel Richie

Nicole Richie

Chita Rivera (A living, breathing master class)

Geraldo Rivera

Sylvia Rivera (She was devastated by the community having turned its back on her. She wanted to join Marsha in the afterlife.)

Joan Rivers

Melissa Rivers

Jason Robards

Tim Robbins (Thanked me for supporting ACT UP)

Eric Roberts

Cliff Robertson (Kissed my ass!)

Smoky Robinson

Chris Rock

Sam Rockwell (A NYC actor made good, so we cheer him on)

Nile Rodgers

Al Roker

Mark Ronson

Roseanne (In the day, we had great repartee and she did listen.)

Annie Ross

Diana Ross (Contrary to reports, she was dreamily friendly and professional when I met her.)

Isabella Rossellini (So classy, oozing sincerity)

Tim Roth

Johnny Rotten

Mickey Rourke (Always a bumpy ride)

Gena Rowlands

Steve Rubell (No one could throw a party with a “mixed salad” approach to a crowd like he could.)

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Zelda Rubinstein (A 4 ‘ 3 ” bundle of fun)

Paul Rudd

Paul Rudnick

Maya Rudolph (Comic gold)

Mercedes Ruehl

Mark Ruffalo

RuPaul (“Everybody say love!”)

Geoffrey Rush

David O. Russell

Kurt Russell

Vito Russo (Well-versed, justifiably angry, and sweet. One of the few who congratulated me when I first landed my Voice column.)

–S–

Flawless Sabrina

Oliver Sacks

Sade (She was awash in depression and almost had me in tears.)

Bob Saget

Lea Salonga

Chris Sarandon

Susan Sarandon

Peter Sarsgaard

Tura Satana (Told me a slew of fake, over the top stories from her life, thinking it would be funny to punk me. The interview was a bust, as it were.)

Jennifer Saunders (No eye contact. Weird.)

Fred Savage

Diana Scarwid

Francesco Scavullo (Old-school ethics and racy-mouthed chitchat)

Kenny Scharf

Roy Scheider

Rob Schneider

Marcus Schenkenberg

Joel Schumacher (Always chatted up a storm; super entertaining)

Annabella Sciorra (My paisan from the old neighborhood)

Julian Schnabel

Heidi Schreck

Liev Schreiber

Stephen Schwartz

Martin Scorsese (Said hi, then ran from me.)

Amy Sedaris

Kyra Sedgwick

Jerry Seinfeld

Marian Seldes (She deserved a Tony just for playing herself.)

Irene Selznick (I adored her allowing me a glimpse into the old Hollywood.)

Keala Settle

Chloe Sevigny (She’s one of us; a gem.)

Mark Shaiman/Scott Wittman

Shangela

Michael Shannon

Jake Shears

Duncan Sheik

Tony Sheldon

Carole Shelley (“I hope you don’t plan to go into journalism, do you?” Whoops!)

Cybill Shepard

Sam Shepard (Nasty)

Brooke Shields (Always a pro, so delightful)

Bobby Short (A bit testy. What was he hiding?)

Janis Siegal

Siegfried (Fom Siegfried and Roy)

Ron Silver

Sarah Silverman

Alicia Silverstone

Gene Simmons

Richard Simmons (Effusive, till things got too gay and the interview was over)

Paul Simonon

Neil Simon

Nina Simone (Magnetically withdrawn; she’d been through hell.)

Jessica Simpson

Valerie Simpson

Nancy Sinatra (A talent, a treasure, so loyal to her dad)

Christian Siriano

Christian Slater

Naomi Smalls

Jean Smart (My favorite of the Designing Women)

Anna Nicole Smith (Dumb and lovable)

Kevin Smith

Maggie Smith (Imperious, but a real Dame. Slapped me on the wrist, but talked to me anyway.)

Wesley Snipes

Phoebe Snow

Steven Soderbergh

Todd Solondz

Suzanne Somers (A smart blonde—except for being a Trump supporter)

Elke Sommer

Britney Spears (Slow, but I love her)

Ronnie Spector

Tori Spelling (Lively and campy)

Jerry Springer (Not what you think. He’s got many layers.)

Dusty Springfield

Stephen Sprouse

Jackie Stallone (She was aggressively self-promoting, but a camp.)

Harry Dean Stanton

Maureen Stapleton (A drunken delight)

Imelda Staunton

Joey Stefano

Howard Stern (Didn’t want me coming too close)

Connie Stevens

Stew

Kristen Stewart (Talked to me at a party, but then turned down the cover interview I had been pitched. Maybe she didn’t want to play up her lesbianism at that moment.)

Patrick Stewart (Bristled)

Ben Stiller

Jerry Stiller (Always a story or a joke. I got to sit next to him more than once and pinched myself.)

Michael Stipe

Mink Stole

Shirley Stoler

Eric Stoltz

Larry Storch

Elaine Stritch (She ran hot and cold. She could be terrifying or a total lovebug. Take your chances.)

Jeff Stryker

Anna Sui

Yma Sumac (“The Queen of the Incas” was a treat to get to know when she entered the cabaret and nightlife world.)

Hilary Swank

Patrick Swayze (Really kind of a doll)

Julia Sweeney

Terry Sweeney (The original SNL gay!)

Tilda Swinton

Loretta Swit
Wanda Sykes

Sylvester (Distrusting, but groundbreakers often are. Like Ed Koch, he taped our interview.)

–T–

George Takei (His righteous anger is fun to behold.)

Audrey Tautou

Lili Taylor (I love her dark side and her bright side too.)

Renee Taylor

Rip Taylor

Julie Taymor

Charlize Theron

Emma Thompson (A wit and a charmer)

Justin Theroux

Uma Thurman

Marlo Thomas

Richard Thomas

Tiffany (Underrated musical talent)

Jennifer Tilly

Charlene Tilton

Tiny Tim

Marisa Tomei

Lily Tomlin

Pete Townshend

Pauline Trigere (Erte in female form; pure class)

Ivana Trump (Personality for days, but don’t step on her designer shoes)

Tommy Tune

Kathleen Turner

Tina Turner (A woman with a mission and star quality to burn)

Aaron Tveit

Twiggy

Liv Tyler

Susan Tyrell (A brilliant oddball, always in pain)

Tyrese

Cicely Tyson

–U–

Leslie Uggams

Tracy Ullman

Michael Urie

Peter Ustinov (Only Elizabeth Ashley could talk longer without pausing for breath.)

–V–

Brenda Vaccaro

Wilmer Valderrama

Frankie Valli

Mamie Van Doren (A sexpot with a conscience, she’s the best.)

Luther Vandross (Trapped in the closet and sweet)

Gus Van Sant

Greta Van Susteren

Agnes Varda (Condescending)

Nia Vardalos

Junior Vasquez

Ben Vereen

Sofia Vergara (The new Charo)

Gianni Versace

Veruschka

Gore Vidal

The Village People (I liked them all, except for the straight one.)

Michelle Visage

Monica Vitti

Viva (and daughter Gaby Hoffmann)

Rosa von Praunheim

Dita Von Teese

 

–W–

Mark Wahlberg (He grew up in the spotlight, by necessity.)

Rufus Wainwright

Christopher Walken (Weirdly wonderful)

Shani Wallis

Jessica Walter

Barbara Walters (She didn’t make me cry; in fact, she made me chuckle.)

Julie Walters

Christoph Waltz

Andy Warhol (Always bemused, always appearing like a vision)

Diane Warren

Dionne Warwick

Denzel Washington

John Waters (Never a dull moment, and so observant)

Naomi Watts (Funny and witty)

Sigourney Weaver

Steven Weber

Johnny Weir

Mary Weiss (Lead singer of the Shangri-Las, with great politics)

Raquel Welch

Dawn Wells

Dr. Ruth Westheimer (Omnipresent, but with a fab message, delivered cutely at a crucial time)

Vanna White

Jocelyn Wildenstein (Her surgery had settled a bit and she almost seemed like a real person.)

Michael Musto and Jocelyn Wildenstein at Life nightclub, 1998. | Photo courtesy of the author

Gene Wilder (Shy and maybe passive aggressive, but genius)

Brian Williams (Praised me, but then got busted for lying, lol)

Esther Williams (Old Hollywood expertise)

Jobeth Williams

Michelle Williams

Robin Williams (Making him laugh was a high for me.)

Vanessa Williams (Pure charm)

Wendy O. Williams (A real punk—not faking it. She once called to tell me off.)

Fred Williamson

Rita Wilson

Wilson Phillips

Oprah Winfrey (She grew on me, and not like a fungus.)

Mare Winningham

Marissa Jaret Winokur

Shelley Winters (Everything you would expect)

Anna Wintour (Charismatic, but seemed clueless about how I would fit into Vogue. I didn’t.)

Reese Witherspoon (I’m in awe as she turns on a switch and becomes Reese Witherspoon.)

Finn Wittrock

George C. Wolfe

Lee Ann Womack

B.D. Wong

Elijah Wood (Adorable)

Holly Woodlawn (A classic clown)

Alfre Woodard (She seems a little spacy but isn’t. An awe-inspiring actor.)

Joanne Woodward

World of Wonder (Randy Barbato & Fenton Bailey)

Mary Woronov

Jack Wrangler (Genial, and a real theater person with a porn past. He and Margaret Whiting together were so wrong they were right.)

Doug Wright

Tammy Wynette

–Y–

David Yazbek

Michael York

Tina Yothers

Sean Young

Henny Youngman

Michael Musto and Muppet Zoe, at Garden Party 20’s June 23, 2003 Pride Week kickoff event. Photo via shutterstock.co

–Z–

Paula Zahn

Jerry Zaks

Dweezil Zappa (Wouldn’t make eye contact)

Frank Zappa (Wouldn’t make eye contact. Is it genetic?)

Jill Zarin

Rob Zombie

ALSO

Donald Trump (Tried to flatter me into submission—didn’t work)

Melania Trump (Always said hello. I wish I’d said, “F**ck off.”)

Ivanka Trump (Oy)

Jared Kushner (A glorified snake oil salesman)

Kimberly Guilfoyle (A follow-the-wind wannabe)

Tonya Harding (Ugh)

John Wayne Bobbitt (Ick)

Michael Alig (I was a critic, but also a cohort)

O.J. Simpson (Yikes, though I could see how he could melt people with charisma)

James Woods (He gave me a brilliantly bitter interview, but later on turned totally daft.)

Russell Simmons (Arf)

Harvey Weinstein (Double arf)

Jeffrey Tambor (Wah)

Morton Downey Jr. (Triple arf)

Mary Boone (Hmm)

The fake J.T. Leroy and her fake girlfriend (They sucked me into their massive literary mess, but in the process managed to score points about libs’ desperation to find poster people for their causes.)

Tan Mom (Eek-a-deek)

Big Ang (Horrors)

Dame Edna (Vomit; Barry Humphries is a transphobic toad.)

AND
Madonna (We were face to face twice, though others did her communicating to me.)

And many, many more

Thanks for all the good copy, celebrities!

Michael Musto is a columnist, pop cultural and political pundit, NYC nightlife chronicler, author, and the go-to gossip responsible for the long-running (1984-2013) Village Voice column, “La Dolce Musto.” His work regularly appears on this website, as well as Queerty.com and thedailybeast.com. Follow Musto on Twitter, via @mikeymusto.

 

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