Flirting with Fame: 50 Years of Celebrity Encounters By A Hollywood Publicist

August 25, 2022

Flirting with Fame: 50 Years of Celebrity Encounters By A Hollywood Publicist, Veteran Hollywood Publicist Dan Harary has released his first book, a memoir, which recounts his long show-business career. Entitled, “FLIRTING WITH FAME: A HOLLYWOOD PUBLICIST RECALLS 50 YEARS OF CELEBRITY CLOSE ENCOUNTERS” and is now available on Amazon.

In “Flirting with Fame,” Harary cites hundreds of stories about his 50 years of interactions, between 1972 and 2022 from age 15 to 65, with well-known celebrities from the industries of film, TV, music, pop culture, 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.

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 24th, 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 celebrities 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 celebrities 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 the summer of 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, 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 Tuesday, March 22nd, 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.”

Now, Dan Harary is finally telling his story. To learn more about Dan Harary, please visit his website: https://www.danhararyauthor.com/