as howled in by Phil Fasso
I remember the thrill I had the first time I met Dee Wallace. Back in 2005, Chiller hosted a rare January show with a small guest list, and here was my chance to meet my favorite horror actress. Only a few conventions into my new pastime I was still petrified at meeting famous people; X and our friend Brando would make fun of how I’d walk past a celebrity’s table over and over again, until X gave the nudge toward the star. My heart was in my throat when I approached Dee. After all, she was the star of one of my most beloved horror flicks, THE HOWLING. Christ, she was Elliot’s mom in E.T. This was a huge deal to me, walking up not only to an actress, but one of my faves. Fortunately, Dee Wallace couldn’t have made the experience more charming had she given me a slice of apple pie with my autograph.
As I introduced myself, Dee was so down to earth that my fears flew away instantly. She has a kind, beautiful smile, with a charm that is instantly disarming. I chose a HOWLING picture in which she wasn’t all wolfed out, explaining to Dee, “You’re a lovely lady, so I’d rather have a lovely picture of you.” Dee was legitimately flattered, which made my experience greater than I could have expected. I sported a huge smile in the picture I took with her, a smile I was wearing all day.
Meeting Dee that first time had effects on me. For one, it solidified early on in my convention-going that some celebrities genuinely enjoy meeting their fans, and will provide a warm experience that’s worth so much more than any signed item. Dee was an early reason I kept going to conventions, knowing that many stars are good people, regardless of their acting abilities or status. I also decided that day that I would get Dee Wallace’s autograph at every convention I saw her, and that holds true through this March, when I saw her at Mad Monster Party in NC. Dee’s awesome every time I meet her, and if I eventually run out of movie stuff, I’ll get her to sign a hotel napkin if that’s what it takes. I’m firm in promoting and supporting causes and people I believe in, and Dee’s right at the top of that list. I’ve occasionally seen Dee tired—sitting for 20+ hours over three days can wear a soul down—but I’ve never seen her without a smile. And of course, I owe her thanks for introducing me to Joe Dante, an experience I’ll never forget.
I only met Dee that first time because she’s a great actress who’s been in so many fun flicks. She’ll always stand out as Karen White from THE HOWLING for me, and I remember her fondly from the summer I turned 10 and saw E.T. on the big screen. Dee plays a lot of mom roles, as I covered in an article I wrote recently, and she shines in CUJO, CRITTERS and others. She’s got great range, and is the genre’s most dependable, solid actress. The best compliment I can give her acting is this: Even if she’s starring in a horror flick that’s atrocious, I know she’ll give a moving performance that will rise above the film itself.
Dee Wallace provided one of the highlights of my five years writing about horror on the net. Late Saturday on the convention floor at Mad Monster Party, she let me interview her for Death Ensemble. It was an absolute treat, one of the most pleasant interviews I’ve ever done. She proved herself a class act who gives her all to her craft and her fans, and for that I thank her. She’s given me some of my greatest experiences as a horror writer and a fan, and she’s done it all with a warm smile.
I look forward to my next meeting with Dee, when I can let her know in person that she’s now in the Hell of Fame. She’s given a lot to the world of horror, and to me personally. Let her induction act as my small way of giving back.