Just before my 15 minutes of fame were up, along comes "Ocean's Thirteen."
First, some background: During my career, I've been manhandled by a British prince, hit on by one of Johnny Carson's favorites and bitch-slapped by Pete Rose and baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth (not the same night, fortunately).
England's Prince Andrew grabbed me by the lapels of my tuxedo and repeatedly ordered me to leave a reception at a British Olympic Committee fundraiser in Beverly Hills. My sin: I was talking to two fetching beauties when Randy Andy walked up. Introducing myself as an Associated Press reporter wasn't my smartest move, but the honorable one.
Later, Carson friend Dyan Cannon asked me to escort her to the ladies room after asking me to sit next to her. Looking back, maybe it was an act of mercy, if she saw the royal rumble.
There was my tongue-tied guest appearance on NBC's "Las Vegas" in early 2006 that is notable for one achievement: It knocked Lorenzo Lamas out of first place on the worst-actor list. I had eight lines and forgot all of them except, "Hello Mary," during a scene with Nikki Cox and Josh Duhamel.
Among my claim-to-fame sports moments, I wrote the bulletin and lead when Henry Aaron tied Babe Ruth's home run record with No. 714 at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium on April 4, 1974.
The wildest day of all was being in Candlestick Park on Oct. 17, 1989, when San Francisco rocked and rolled during a major earthquake.
The toughest? Thirty years ago on May 28, I was the first or second reporter at the scene of the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire that claimed 165 lives in northern Kentucky.
But the shining moment was supposed to be in 2001, when the casting director of "Ocean's Eleven" invited me to sign up for a cameo with Mayor Oscar Goodman during the fight scene.
Within days, however, I was disinvited after acquiring the script and spilling some palace secrets.
But this time I made it. Review-Journal colleague Carol Cling, our film critic, got a sneak peek at "Ocean's Thirteen" in Burbank, Calif., and there I was, in the final scene with George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
OK, so maybe I wasn't hanging with them, but I'm there, in the background, on a TV monitor. That's me, in a Review-Journal ad shot last fall with Penny Wiggins, better known as Amazing Johnathan's ditzy sidekick, Psychic Tanya.
Also in the film, Siegfried & Roy's manager, Bernie Yuman, in a scene with Al Pacino, and Bob Ansara of Ricardo's Mexican restaurants, in a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce ad.
More than 150 media have been credentialed by CineVegas to cover the "Ocean's Thirteen" red carpet opening night benefit screening tonight at the Palms.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld are returning to The Comedy Festival Nov. 14-17 at Caesars Palace. ...
KXNT-AM, 840, talk-show hosts Alan Stock and Kerri Kasem are in New York on Thursday, broadcasting from the United Nations. They will announce the five finalists from KXNT's "Radio Star 3" competition. That night they appear on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes show. ...
Bravo kicks off "Top Chef 3 Miami" with an hour-long special "Top Chef: 4-Star All-Stars" at 10 p.m. tonight. Among the Las Vegas cast members: Marcel Vigneron, Stephen Asprinio and Tiffani Faison. "I've got two words for you: saffron foam," Vigneron told me.
Lorraine Bracco of "The Sopranos," holding court during dinner at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare. Chef Paul Bartolotta stopped by to chat with Bracco and her table, which included Luxor President Felix Rappaport; Don Marrandino, president of Harrah's Las Vegas and Flamingo Las Vegas; Southern Wine execs Rino Armeni and Mike Severino; businessman Frank Bonanno; Louise Rappaport; Bracco's boyfriend, Jason Cipolla, and assistant Monica Castellones. Cashing in on the popularity of "The Soprano's," Bracco's wines are in more than 100 Las Vegas businesses, with Planet Hollywood planning to add her vino at eight nationwide locations.
THE PUNCH LINE
"May I have your autograph Miss (Lindsay) Lohan?" -- From David Letterman's Top Ten Things Paris Hilton Heard in Prison