Celebrities share top Valentine’s Day memories

Time to turn the spotlight on some of our favorite Valentine’s Day couples.

Things worked out more than OK for Oscar Goodman, who didn’t make a good first impression.

You won’t find Mirage headliner Terry Fator and his wife, Taylor Makakoa, at one of the Strip’s most romantic restaurants tonight.

Murray (the Magician) Sawchuck flirted with disaster the night he proposed to British beauty Chloe Crawford.

And Rita Rudner had the best line.

Let’s start with Goodman, who got off to a bad start.

“When Carolyn’s (Goodman) friend introduced the two of us, she thought it was the perfect match. But I heard whisper she thought I was the biggest jerk she ever met.

“When I finally got her to see the light, it was the best 52 years of my life,” the ex-mayor said.

And just how did he get her to see “the light?”

“On our first date I took her to my favorite bar, the Mainliner, City Line Avenue. We were in college. She was attending Bryn Mawr, and I was at Haverford, the sister college.

“I said, ‘What would you like to drink,’ not knowing I was a degenerate even in those days,” Oscar said.

“I’ll drink what you’re drinking,” Carolyn responded.

“I ordered a boilermaker, and she followed suit. That was the beginning of the end.

“Shortly thereafter, I introduced her to my sister, a ballerina. I think she thought, ‘If he can have a sister this great, he can’t be all bad.’ ”

They’ve been married 52 years — “best 52 years of my life,” he said.

Sawchuck met his future wife in 2007 while they were working on different shows in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

He was looking for a new assistant, and he put the word out: “I want somebody who wants to be there.”

When Chloe showed up, Sawchuck gasped. He was smitten at first sight and noticed she was would regularly be watching the show from the side of the stage.

After the show, when everyone else left, she remained behind and helped him pack.

Their first date was at a Starbucks in Puerto Vallarta, and they dated off and on for about five years, until she called him from England one day and said she wanted to come to Las Vegas.

It was time, he said, “to park it or drive it.”

One night after she finished working at “Fantasy,” the topless show at Luxor, they were walking their dogs in a park at The Lakes.

He had tied an engagement ring around their Chihuahua’s neck with a pink pipe cleaner.

But his plan went awry when she picked the other dog.

So Sawchuk went to Plan B and suggested they take the leashes off the dogs and let them run.

“The (Chihuahua) puppy ran all over that park and I’m praying to God that ring doesn’t come off,” he said.

He picked up the other dog and gave her the Chihuahua’s leash.

When she spied the diamond ring while taking off the pipe cleaner, he dropped to one knee. They got married in 2012.

Fator and Makakoa travel so much that their idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day was spending the night at home with their six dogs.

“He said he would cook dinner for me,” Makakoa said.

“I’m supposed to help, but I don’t see that happening,” she said, with a laugh. “I’m not a food person. I’m a chocolate person.”

Fator, who loves to cook, has that chocolate thing covered in the five-course meal he’s cooking up.

He’s leading off with macaroni and cheese, followed by Caesar salad — “everything’s homemade,” he said.

After a palate-cleansing lemon rosemary sorbet, a tenderloin roast will be served with baby red potatoes cut in the shape of mushrooms.

Dessert will be ice cream and chocolate cookies cut in the shape of a heart.

Topping it off, a chocolate ganache sauce, said Fator, who is celebrating his fifth year at The Mirage on Saturday with friends.

Rudner, who headlines at The Venetian, had fun at the expense of her British husband/manager Martin Bergman.

In an email to me, she wrote: “I’ll never forget my husband’s romantic proposal to me on Valentine’s Day. ‘Darling, will you marry me? My green card is about to expire.’ ”


Calling all Cupids. The “d” in The D stands for speed dating tonight. The hotel is out to break the world record for speed dating and need 1,000 couples between 6-9 p.m. for the D Date-a-thon. Participants must register and be 21 or older.

For more information: vegasspeeddate.com or theD.com.


Veteran actor Michael Madsen, filming scenes Wednesday for Hollywood’s version of the Ted Binion saga at Sapphire, the adult entertainment club. Madsen was shooting the scene with a stripper.

The film is tentatively titled “Silver,” a reference to Binion’s fortune in silver that was stored in a desert vault west of Las Vegas. Binion’s girlfriend and former topless dancer Sandy Murphy and his handyman Rick Tabish were convicted and later acquitted of murdering him in 1998.


“The Slovenian woman who won the gold medal in alpine skiing is also a pop star in her country. So Justin Bieber’s not the only pop star going downhill fast.” — Conan O’Brien

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.