Degrees of Separation

I was trying to distract myself and I started thinking of degrees of separation. Actually, I was thinking of the Erdős number, but that’s just a specific example of the general idea. It’s better known to most through things like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”

So the game is simple, list “important” people and your degree of separation from them, so that we can all be connected to the same person through you!

Easy mode:

You know someone who met someone, however briefly.

Hard Mode:

You are related to/close with, or work with, someone who worked with someone. Or you’re just straight up related.

ETA: Did I mention the people can be dead? They can be dead. It makes the game easier.

I’m first cousin to a British ambassador. I’ll not say which one, to spare him blushes. My mum would mention that he was doing well in the diplomatic corps occasionally, but I didn’t realise how well until I looked him up in Google a couple of years ago.


Easy Mode:

Through my girlfriend: Isabel Allende and Lara Fabian. (1 easy degree)

Through my eleventh and twelfth grade English Teacher: Patrick Stewart. (1 easy degree)

Through my college roommate who was a Fulbright scholar from Iraq, George W. Bush. (1 easy degree)

Hard Mode:

Cheating a bit here, maybe more intermediate mode: My second semester organic chemistry professor studied under Robert Burns Woodward. (1 intermediate degree)

My grandparents knew and had invited to their home a number of times, Pablo Neruda. (1 hard degree)

My father is acquainted through his work with Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He was also was acquainted with his late father. (1 hard degree). This puts me at 2 hard degrees from every world leader he has ever met as the ruler of a strategically important country.

I have met, though through far less than ideal circumstances, Elinor Ostrum, the Nobel Laureate. (0 hard degrees).

Through a close friend: Douglas Hofstadter (though he didn’t exactly have nice things to say about him.) (1 hard degree.)

ETA: I just remembered. One of my high school music teachers was at one point one of Rihanna’s music teachers.


I work with someone who cowrote a paper with someone who cowrote a paper with Paul Erdős, making my Erdős number 3.

I’ve met most of the top taiko performers in North America and Hawaii and been instructed by a few of them. I never had the chance to meet Daihachi Oguchi, the founder of modern taiko, but the group I performed in was started by him and several members have met him.

A friend/former coworker/former roommate worked for Marion Zimmer Bradley.

I managed a fan forum for Mercedes Lackey and was personally shit on by one of her exotic birds in her RV.

I bought books from Glen Cook, not realizing who he was until he asked if I wanted him to sign the copy of “She Is The Darkness” I was buying.


A relative of mine works with celebrities so I have it easier on that front.

My mom’s first cousin was a nationally known politician in Mexico – was too conservative for the place, if you can imagine such a thing.


Ricky Gervais grew up next door to my mum.

My brother in law, from working in the military, knows the McCain family well, and was offered a job by Shrub.

My uncle was a radio DJ/minor celebrity in Liverpool and involved in the Variety Club and as a result knew all the famous northern comics of the 70s/80s. Jim Bowen, Jimmy Tarbuck etc.

One of my high school teachers once taught Richard Beckinsale.


The first job I had, in the early 90s, was wrangling data for a direct mail marketing company (aka junk mail) which handled mailings for the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. The data they sent us was a mess – a different format for each camp or event, and lots of two- or three- letter abbreviations for field names – and it often included unencrypted credit card numbers with expiration dates. I didn’t check to see if Monica Seles or Andre Agassi were in there though. :smiley:

Agassi once visited the arcade my dad managed, and was reportedly kind of a dick.

My spouse got to interview Lech Walesa while in journalism school.


I’m zero-or-one-degree from a lot of music people I admire just from a lifetime of going to shows and clubbing. Played hackey sack with The Get Up Kids, chatted with Diamond D, bowed excessively and welcomed DJ Krush to Atlanta before a show, saw Joe Lally unloading gear in the parking lot and asked if they (Fugazi) would consider playing “Suggestion” (he was receptive to the idea, but they ultimately didn’t,) was penpals with one of the Dead Milkmen for a few years. I’m one degree from probably most of the Native Tongue hip hop people and Public Enemy through people I am cool with and used to gig with/hang out with. That type of thing.

My photo professor was taught by (and I think was like a GTA or lab assistant to) Minor White, who is a Big Deal in the photography world.

Got to interview John Waters at some length once. He’s as real as they come, same in private as he is in public.

I once wrote a letter to the illustrator Adrian Tomine when he was doing the Optic Nerve comic and he sent a postcard back.

My mom and I used to do gardening/groundskeeping/housekeeping for the guy who wrote the writ for the state of Tennessee in the Scopes monkey trial. He was on the legal team and in the courtroom through the whole thing. A really interesting guy, he was listed in Who’s Who and stuff. He was probably 90 and I was like 14 when I met him, though. His family gave me his original barrister’s suit with tails and everything when he passed since we were the same size and I was into vintage clothes. Great family.


A national treasure, that man. The closest I got to John Waters was eight rows away when he spoke at our university (sadly, not a commencement speech, as wonderful as that would’ve been).


Through a university friend, I’m one degree from many contemporary non-fiction writers (including the late E.L. Doctorow). I don’t consider that kind of single degree exceptional, though; all it takes is knowing the right person.

I do have the home phone number of one of these (still-living) writers, given to me as was deemed potentially necessary at the time. For obvious reasons, I can’t divulge the name and I never intend on using it without due necessity and clearance from that well-connected friend.


Easy Mode - I met Bez from the Happy Mondays at a festy years ago. Or at least he looked liked Bez and I couldn’t understand a single fucking word he said so it must have been him. Or we were both billyed up to the eyeballs and a random stranger has got this story about this one time he met Jesus in the crowd at a gig. Who for some reason kept calling him Bez.

Intermediate mode - I was taught by someone who danced professionally with Nureyev and Fonteyn.

Hard Mode -
One of my closest friends (in so much as I have them these days. Lets just say they understand me a bit better than most.) has a string of some pretty heavyweight honours after their name, so I figure they must be on first name terms with Brenda and Phil Windsor.


I did community theater in the 90’s with Tom Lenk, which puts me one or two degrees from everyone Joss Whedon ever worked with. But it’s not really fair for people who grew up in Southern California to play this :wink:


In 1990 (-ish), I served frozen yogurt to Lou Diamond Phillips and his younger cousin. He was kind of flirty and even asked my name, while the cousin rolled his eyes.

And, that’s it for me. I am (in the world of Celebrity) a nobody. Ah well, no real loss for a hermit.


Yeah, I think @Donald_Petersen wins this game, hands down!


Well, I do have a Bacon number of 1:

But outside of professional associations, well, my brother has lots of famous pals, and my wife has an (in)famous grandfather, and my mother once dated Frank Sinatra, but I myself just work with famous people.

I did once get a truly lovely answering-machine message from Tom Stoppard. That was nice.


Hard mode:

My grandma was friends with John and Cynthia Lennon.

Keith Jefferson, the guy who ran my local record shop in Carlisle was friends with the members of Earth, who later became better known as Black Sabbath.

I just remembered two more:

I went to primary school with Bryan Dick, and both primary and secondary school with Roxanne Pallett.


I dated one of Kevin Bacons (kids) babysitters.


The bass player and the guitarist of my old band both attended high school with Jimmie Johnson.


I vaguely knew Ben Challenger, former international high jumper and son of Romeo Challenger out of Showaddywaddy.

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I live in the greater L.A. area, and while I’ve seen many celebrities at LAX, I’ve actually met the famous elsewhere.

I met Richard Kiel (“Jaws” from James Bond) while making copies for him at my work in Fresno. Very sweet man who insisted on giving us each a signed picture.

My husband sat next to a recurring Rescue Me actor on a flight from L.A. to probably Boston. When my husband told him that I was a huge fan of the show, he insisted that my husband call me so he could say hello. Very sweet.

Met one of the actors from Slap Shot on a flight from LAX to Vancouver (All-Star Game). He was genuinely lovely and was thrilled that we enjoyed his performance.

But I guess my biggest meet was when I went diving off of Key West and I partnered up with the drummer of a very famous rock group. I didn’t recognize him at first because of hat, sunglasses, and really long board shorts. But when we started exchanging pleasantries, he told me what he did for a living. (It was funny that didn’t recognize him immediately because I had been a big fan.) He was an excellent dive buddy and extremely nice.