Actor/singer/comedian — Event coordinator at WFYI
Fox says she has to be careful when making reservations, especially when traveling, so she’s not roomed with someone expecting her to be a man. But those who meet her face to face have no problem distinguishing her from the comedian.
Still, they have fun with her, asking if she has starred in movies like Ray and in the TV show “In Living Color.” “Somebody actually did the shoulder lean from the song ‘Gold Digger’ when they met me,” Fox says. “That was one of my all-time favorites.” But for the most part, “The jokes are always the same.”
Jim/James Brown (at left in the picture at right)
Football player/soul singer — Grant writer at WFYI
The local Brown says he’s never mistaken for the football player Jim Brown. “There’s a most definite differential with race,” the Hoosier says. “I’m as Caucasian as they come, so that’s never been a problem.”
As for the singer James Brown, well, the local Brown has been asked to sing more than once. But Brown says he’s no Famous Flame:
“They’d never want to hear my solo singing voice, because they’d probably never listen to music again if they had. The good thing is these days I can actually say I’m the living James Brown.”
Brown’s partner has a famous name, too: Tony George, as in the former president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When the two go to restaurants, they are sometimes introduced like this: “We have a famous couple visiting us today!”
Fitness Personality — HR Generalist
This local HR guy doesn’t wear little red shorts when he works out. (At least “not usually in public,” he says.) Simmons does play tennis—though maybe not as enthusiastically as the exercise guru of the same name.
Just recently, it dawned on Simmons’ tennis partner that he shares his name with a famous type. Simmons says this happens often: People he has known for years realize his celebrity tie-in belatedly.
“When people find out what my name is,” he says, “they all seem to do jumping jacks.”
Cartoon character — Taco Bell & KFC franchiser
Local franchiser Charlie Brown was born around the same time as Charles Schulz’s cartoon creation. “We kind of share the same birth date,” says Brown.
As a child, sharing the name with the beloved bald cartoon character was tough on Brown, especially when the “Charlie Brown (He’s a Clown)” song came out. But now that he’s older, he says he cherishes the name. It’s something people remember. He even has Charlie Brown memorabilia in his office and a Charlie Brown themed bathroom at home.
When Brown introduces himself, he usually says, “Go ahead and laugh” to address what he knows people are thinking. In response, he gets the usual remarks: “The Snoopy thing, the Lucy thing. Everybody thinks they’re pretty creative.”
Talk show host/1940s actress — Sponsorship coordinator at WFYI
While most people her age crack jokes about the talk show host Jenny Jones, the local Jones said people of the “older generation” think of Jennifer Jones, the actress. When Jones was born, the nurses came into the room to say to her mother, “Oh, your daughter is on TV!”—referring to one of Jennifer Jones’ movies.
Indy’s Jones hasn’t been able to use her famous name to her advantage: no hotel discounts or quick seating at restaurants. The talk show host is “too C-list these days,” she says.
A similar “famous names” piece appeared in the April 2012 issue.