- Articles | Series
- Columns | Departments
- Publicity News
- Events Calendar
- Trending Now
- My Membership
Flirting With Fame a Hit in the Media: Veteran Hollywood Publicist Dan Harary Enjoys Success with Release of Memoir
- Monday, Aug. 8, 2022
Actress Dee Wallace of "E.T." Fame to Introduce Harary August 10 at Book Soup in West Hollywood
Beverly Hills, CA
Veteran Hollywood Publicist Dan Harary is enjoying great success in the media since the release of his first book, FLIRTING WITH FAME: A HOLLYWOOD PUBLICIST RECALLS 50 YEARS OF CELEBRITY CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. The new book, published by Bear Manor Media of Orlando, FL, chronicles Harary's unique, 50-year history with celebrity interactions, beginning in 1972. For more information about Dan Harary, please see: www.danhararyauthor.com. And www.asburypr.com
On Wednesday, August 10th, at 7PM, Harary will discuss and sign copies of FLIRTING WITH FAME at the iconic Book Soup bookstore in West Hollywood, CA. His longtime friend, actress Dee Wallace of "E.T." fame, will introduce Harary at the event.See: https://www.booksoup.com/event/daniel-harary-discusses-flirting-fame-hol...
FLIRTING WITH FAME is available at Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Flirting-Fame-Hollywood-Publicist-Encounters/dp/1...
In the book, Harary cites hundreds of stories about his 50 years of interactions – between 1972 and 2022 (ages 15-65) - with well-known celebrities from the fields of film, TV, rock and pop music, and pop culture, not to mention a Vice President, a few of the world’s biggest porn stars, and two Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon. Many of his stories are funny, strange, off-beat or simply hard to believe.
Since its release, FLIRTING WITH FAME has become a hit in the media:
"'I'm a Celebrity Publicist. These Are My Secrets From Hollywood'" - NEWSWEEK (Click here to read)
"Veteran Publicist Pens Memoir Dishing on 50 Years of Celebrity Encounters From Spielberg to Streisand" - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (Click here to read)
" Longtime Publicist Dan Harary Tells All in New Book, “Flirting With Fame” - VILLAGE VOICE (Click here to read)
"Hollywood publicist Dan Harary talks 50 years of celebrity encounters in new memoir" - LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS (Click here to read)
Among the hundreds of anecdotes presented in FLIRTING WITH FAME:
Dan literally “opened the door to fame” for Bruce Springsteen at a small concert venue in Asbury Park, NJ, in February 1973, years before “The Boss” became famous;
While being introduced to actress Meryl Streep, Dan was so nervous, he called the actress – one of the world’s most famous women - BY THE WRONG NAME while shaking her hand!
Bumping into Jerry Seinfeld at a car wash in 1981, LONG before the comic was famous, Dan told Jerry, “I’m your biggest fan!” to which Seinfeld replied, “Really? Gee, I didn’t know I had ANY fans”!!
In 1973, Bruce Springsteen’s Sax Player Clarence Clemons asked Dan and his best friend Steve Walter (today the owner of New York’s famed Cutting Room nightclub) if they would go on the road with the E Street Band as their road crew. To this request, Harary replied, “Sorry, Clarence, we can’t. We’re only 16, we don’t even drive yet, and I’m pretty sure our fathers want us to go to college!”
When meeting Steven Spielberg, Harary and the iconic film director discussed Spielberg’s mother’s blintzes! When meeting Billy Crystal, Harary and the famed comedian discussed Chinese food - when Dan met Bea Arthur, they were inhaling massive quantities of jumbo shrimp at a Beverly Hills party for Bob Hope and Steve Allen. And speaking of food, Dan had lunch with his childhood idol, Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz, in 1986 at Columbia Pictures – during which time, Dolenz asked Harary if he knew of “any mansions in Bel Air” for sale!
While escorting SEINFELD star Julia Louis-Dreyfus on a red-carpet showbiz event, Dan realized the comedienne had a huge SALES TAG sticking out from the top of her dress! Harary quickly tore off the tag, before the entirety of Hollywood’s press corps would have memorialized that moment on film for eternity.
While introducing his mother, Joan, to Mel Brooks, Dan told the legendary comic and director, “Mr. Brooks - you and my mother went to the same high school!” Mel and Joan then continued with a 15-minute conversation about growing up in Brooklyn.
Other amusing moments from Harary’s long career:
- Tales of working with Jay Leno backstage at The Tonight Show while Leno was in his underwear
- Discussing the joys of bowling with Drew Carey
- Telling actress Ann-Margret, “I’ve been waiting 50 years to meet you!”
- Urinating side-by-side with Sylvester Stallone, Academy Award winning director Robert Wise, Jerry Springer, Tobey Maguire and Ryan Phillipe
- Working with a 15-year-old Brooke Shields and her mother and watching The Blue Lagoon together, alone, in 1980
- Having his two kids serve as “hosts” onstage at The Price is Right along with Bob Barker
- Accidentally catching actress Karen Black naked after a shower
- Flirting with a young Kirsten Dunst at a wedding party at which HER mother then ushered the young actress away
- Inadvertently annoying Sally Field, Harvey Keitel and Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Scrapping bubblegum from Lassie’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just moments before a major media event
- Watching naked Playboy Playmates frolic in the backyard at the Playboy Mansion while standing next to Hugh Hefner
- Smoking a joint in silence in Central Park with actress Jill Clayburgh
- Falling in love with Supermodel Amber Smith
- Having two staring contests with Barbra Streisand
- And enjoying a private dinner with legendary Beach Boy Brian Wilson
Dan Harary was born and raised in Ocean Township, New Jersey - a town just adjacent to the famous city of Asbury Park. Starting in 1972, at the age of 15, Harary began working with famous celebrities during his time as the Stage Manager and Lighting Director at The Sunshine Inn concert hall in Asbury Park. His very first “celebrity encounter” was with Woodstock singer Richie Havens on March 24, 1972; the next year at the Sunshine Inn, Harary worked with Bruce Springsteen and an early incarnation of the E-Street Band, two years before Bruce’s release of Born To Run. Between 1972 and 1974, Harary worked with dozens of iconic rock bands there, including KISS, Fleetwood Mac, Humble Pie, the J. Geils Band, Deep Purple, King Crimson, Edgar Winter, Mott the Hoople, Focus, Procol Harum, and many other ‘70’s bands now lost to history.
Between 1974-1980, Harary had various close encounters with a number of famous show-business names, both during his days at Boston University and following his college graduation. These celebs included Joan Rivers, Jack Lemmon, Woody Allen, Brooke Shields, John Cassavetes, Fran Drescher, John Ritter and Jill Clayburgh.
Relocating to Los Angeles in 1980 at the age of 24, Harary struggled for two years to gain a foothold within the entertainment industry. However, that did not stop his natural proclivity to, almost literally, “bump” into top performers, including Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal, Dick Van Dyke, Dudley Moore, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Murray, and others.
Finally securing his first full-time position, at the American Film Institute, in January 1982, Harary continued having interactions with well-known Hollywood producers, directors and performers, including Dustin Hoffman, Monkee Mike Nesmith, Director Robert Wise and Soap TV star Katherine Helmond. Moving over to The Playboy Channel in mid-’83, Harary worked with Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner and many of the alluring Playboy Playmates who graced the pages of that magazine, while also meeting other celebs at Playboy Mansion parties, including Garry Shandling, Bill Maher, Robert Vaughn, Christie Hefner and Weird Al Yankovic.
In December 1985, Dan became a Senior Publicist at Columbia Pictures Television at their studios in Burbank. Working on a major studio lot enabled him to meet – or interact with – numerous movie stars and notables, including Sally Field, Barbra Streisand, Monkee Micky Dolenz, Arsenio Hall, Jim Henson, Richard Dreyfus, Clint Eastwood, Madonna, Alice Cooper, Bob “Gilligan” Denver & Alan “The Skipper” Hale, Jr., Jaclyn Smith, the cast of What’s Happening Now!! and others.
In summer 1987, Harary moved his career over to a major, Hollywood PR agency that handled many of the biggest stars in the world at the time, including Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Van Halen, Frank Sinatra, The Monkees and others. At that PR agency, Harary was the publicist for TV comedy icon Sid Caesar, comedian Jay Leno (who had just been named by Johnny Carson as the “permanent guest host” of The Tonight Show,) actor Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund, and various film, TV and new media production companies. During his two years there, Harary also worked and/or interacted with Tommy Chong, Eddie Van Halen, Christian Slater, Lorenzo Lamas, Karen Black, Divine, Milton Berle, Tim Burton, and more.
Relocating to another major, Hollywood PR agency in 1989, Harary’s career kicked into high-gear as he represented network TV shows, major Hollywood events, celebrities, and film & TV production companies. Among the many celebrities Harary worked with during this era were Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Dixie Carter, Bruce Davison, Richard Mulligan, Ron Reagan, Jr., Cristina Ferrare, Meryl Streep, Kevin Costner, Jane Fonda & Ted Turner, Sting, Chevy Chase, Shirley MacLaine, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Grace Slick, Stephen Stills, The Who, Michael Jackson, Vice President Al Gore, Michael Landon, Tom Hanks, Sylvester Stallone, Bob Hope, Steve Allen, Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin & Eugene Cernan, and others.
Concurrent with his 40th birthday in 1996, Harary launched his own company, The Asbury PR Agency, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in October 2021. During these past decades, Harary has met, worked with, or interacted with a virtual “who’s who” of show-business, including Mel Brooks, Billy Crystal, Jon Voight, Kirk Douglas, Ann-Margret, Jack Black, Rene Russo, Richard Lewis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brian May of Queen, Bob Barker, Drew Carey, Jason Alexander, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley of KISS, Victoria Principal, Jonah Hill, Steven Spielberg, Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Jenna Jameson, Marc Summers, Dr. Ruth, Cheri Oteri, and Supermodel Amber Smith, to cite just some.
On March 22, 2022, ALMOST EXACTLY 50 YEARS TO THE DAY after meeting Richie Havens, Harary co-produced a high-profile entertainment-industry event for his client, Hollywood’s iconic Musso & Frank Restaurant, and Vanity Fair Magazine, for 200 Young Hollywood celebrities. At the conclusion of that event, Harary drove home, realizing that “there were no more movie stars” and that his career had come “full-circle."
Here's what some of Harary’s colleagues and friends have said about FLIRTING WITH FAME:
I first met Dan on the set of my TV show New Lassie back in 1989, and he and I became friends very quickly. He was a terrific publicist and generated a great deal of media coverage for our series. I enjoyed his book, Flirting with Fame, because he is so open and honest about his encounters and adventures with celebrities–some very funny, some odd, and some even hard to believe–but all told from an “everyman’s” point of view. Dan quite often found himself in rather bizarre circumstances while interacting with famous people–like having a staring contest with Barbra Streisand, twice; smoking a joint in silence with Jill Clayburgh in Central Park; talking with Billy Crystal about Chinese food at Sid Caesar’s funeral or introducing his mother to Mel Brooks and finding out they both went to the same high school. In this book, Dan successfully encapsulates his 50 years of “celebrity close encounters,” all while serving the reader as a skillful narrator. I wish him only the best of luck with his new career as an author. – Dee Wallace, Actress, Teacher, Healer, Star of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
I don’t think too many Hollywood professionals other than Dan Harary would be so painfully open and brutally honest about some of his strange misadventures during a long showbiz career–like the perils of pissing off Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sally Field, Jerry Seinfeld, and Kirsten Dunst’s mother; insulting Meryl Streep, Harvey Keitel and Julia-Louis Dreyfus; accidentally catching actress Karen Black naked in the shower; hitting on Rene Russo while on a date with another woman; or meeting his hero, Sylvester Stallone, while urinating! Are all of his stories one-hundred percent true? Well, he is a publicist after all! To anyone looking to connect with his inner Zelig, and to any fan of the entertainment industry during the past half-century, I’d say that Dan’s book, Flirting with Fame, can guarantee the reader a truly unique–and fabulous–ride. - Marc Summers, TV Host, Producer, Star of Double Dare
Dan Harary was an excellent publicist when we worked together on the New Gidget TV series in the mid ‘80s. I always enjoyed his company and when he told me he was now an author, I was delighted to see that he’d branched out beyond his PR duties. His book, Flirting with Fame, was very entertaining and I laughed out loud several times while reading it. Who else but Dan would forget Meryl Streep’s name while talking face-to-face WITH MERYL STREEP HERSELF? He shares countless tales, all written in an engaging way, of how his life often accidentally crossed paths with celebrities from every area of show business. His stories convey to the reader a sense of his almost disbelief that he was even interacting with them in the first place! Dan’s stories are charming and humorous. He is the ultimate Hollywood fan and I am proud of his new accomplishments as an author. – Caryn Richman, Actress, Teacher, Spokeswoman, Star of The New Gidget
Dan Harary is the Leonard Zelig of Hollywood, the Forrest Gump of show business. Wherever there is a celebrity, he'll inevitably be close by. Whether this is due to his persistent stalking or simple coincidence is a legitimate question. What's undeniable is Dan's colorful ability to spin a great story. His book is a treasure trove of golden star anecdotes from 50 years of his truly unique life. – Ray Richmond, Longtime Hollywood Journalist and Author of Betty White: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life