Posing In Front of the Camera
The Modern Family actor was just doing his own thing at an airport lounge when this woman approached him and asked to take a photo with him. She was excited, and she happily thanked Ed for the photo and walked on and later uploaded the photo on social media. The internet went wild when they found out her identity.
What’s Special About Ed?
Ed O’Neill and Catherine Rusoff attend the Global Green 20th Anniversary Environmental Awards at Alexandria Ballrooms on September 29, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
Ed is such a naturally funny actor that it’s not surprising fans of the TV show would want to take photos with him. He bounced back to fame in 1987 when he appeared as the lead in the TV series “Married with Children“. The show and his performance became critically acclaimed with Ed leading the series to its success. The show ran for many seasons, a total of 11 so he wasn’t expecting that this fan of his was also a star.
Ed O’Neill’s Awards
Actors Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate, David Faustino, Amanda Bearse, and David Garrison attend the Comic Relief III Benefit on March 18, 1989 at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
The internet was surprised to learn who his mystery fan was but it was understandable why she would be stars truck by him. O’Neill’s role as Al Bundy in his TV show Married… Children earned him 2 Golden Globe awards which pushed him to the spotlight. After winning, Ed received more opportunities to play more lead roles in movies. That is why it was surprising that he didn’t recognize his unexpected fan at the airport when she most likely attended several Hollywood events with him.
From TV to the Big Screen
Queen Latifah and Angelina Jolie star in ‘The Bone Collector.’ Photo credit: Takashi Seida Columbia/TriStar
Ed’s dazzling awards allowed him to make waves in the movie industry which put him further into the limelight. He got the interest of many producers and studio heads who were in awe of his acting skills, and he became sought after. From here on, he started appearing in movies including The Bone Collector and Little Giants among others. The more he played more prominent roles, the more the public grew in love with him which made him climb up to a new celebrity level.
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
O’Neill and his wife have been married for thirteen years before they decided to have kids. They got married in 1986 and waited before starting a family. The couple said that they wanted to focus on their marriage first as well as Ed’s soaring career so they can later give full attention to their children. His wife gave birth to their first child in 1999 and a second one after a couple of years. His two daughters were old enough when Ed’s photo with the mystery fan took over the internet.
Going Back to Sitcoms
(L-R) Julie Bowen, Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara and Eric Stonestreet attend the ceremony honoring Sofia Vergara with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on May 7, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
After his many successful Hollywood movie appearances, Ed eventually returned to TV, doing sitcoms. He was offered a role that had great potential for him to become a big TV star in this soon-to-be-famous TV series. Ed was approached to play this warm and funny grandpa in a big family and Sofia Vergara’s (Gloria) husband in Modern Family which aired on the ABC Network. After just a couple of seasons, his fans and TV critics couldn’t get enough of Ed and the rest of the cast. The show has been renewed for more seasons and has been a great success since then.
A New Generation
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Because of his new show, younger viewers got to know Ed O’Neill more, and he acquired a fan base in the new generation. Younger fans wanted to have his autograph and take photos with grandpa Jay of Modern Family. Because of this, the young mystery fan asked him to pose with her on a photo at the airport lounge, and Ed didn’t think anything of it. He thought she was just another of his young fans until she posted the photo on social media.
Keeping It Private
Actor Ed O’Neill attends The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. 26592_012 (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TNT)
His fans know that Ed is a private person. Ed’s private life has been mostly secret to the public eye. This is why you wouldn’t find him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram which may come as a surprise since he’s a prominent actor. In 2012, a YouTube video of Ed emerged saying that he didn’t like taking photos with fans. The video showed Ed walking away from a crowd who all wanted his photo and autograph.
Same With His Mystery Fan
Radio host Jenny McCarthy and actor Ed O’Neill pose for photo at ‘Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy’ at SiriusXM Studios on June 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Ed’s attitude about not wanting to take photos with fans was similar to his mystery fan who posed on the photo with him. This woman’s fans know that she also shies away from the limelight and keeps her life private. They were surprised that she and Ed posed for a photo together. Their similar attitudes may be the number one reason why the said photo went viral so quickly. The picture taking happened in both stars’ private time.
DECEMBER 02: The Singer-fan performs on stage during the 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2016 on December 02, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
The woman in question was lucky to run into Ed when he was having a good day, and he happily obliged for the picture taking. Although, his expression clearly said he was not so thrilled about it. But the encounter was a pleasant one and this then unknown fan told him she loved his show, Modern Family. The mystery woman also called him “Mr. O’Neill” which showed how much she respected the actor and comedian but also revealed her southern background. That and her manners during the encounter.
A Photo Paints a Thousand Words
Ed O’Neill attends AOL Build to discuss his new movie ‘Finding Dory’ at AOL Studios on June 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
The two stars’ facial expressions on the photo were enough to tell fans what they were thinking at the time. Ed’s mystery fan couldn’t contain her excitement at having the chance to be in a photo with him. He was one of her favorite stars. Ed’s expression told a bit of a different story. He appears not to be so impressed with the situation while he sat with her. Just because he obliged for the photo doesn’t mean he was going to appear happy in it. Still, the actor was pretty cool about it.
It Blew the Internet Away
Right after the photo was taken, Miss Mystery fan uploaded the photo on social media, expressing her delight that she had a short encounter with O’Neill. Not long after, the photo had thousands of likes and shares and eventually got to the media outlets. Media personalities started commenting on different aspects of the picture including what the two may have been thinking while the photo was being taken. The two stars had no idea this would be the internet’s reaction, but it was mainly because his fan was also a big star.
(Photo by Chris Wolf/FilmMagic)
The photo was initially uploaded on Twitter, and it was accompanied by a caption that said she was thrilled to run into O’Neill. “Such a sweetheart!” She added. Despite the post reaching thousands of people, the TV actor was not able to see it since he did not have social media accounts. He only knew about after people who were close to him started texting him that they saw the photo. Surprisingly, Ed was not aware who this person was. It took a call from his manager who told him who the fan was for Ed to realize why it was such a big deal.
A Happy Day
The Singer-fan performs onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/FilmMagic)
It was lucky that it was such a pleasant encounter because it was a light and happy day for the TV star. Ed happily accepted the request from the excited fan. If it had not been such a good day, Ed would have declined to take the photo, and the mystery star fan might have posted a comment about his rudeness instead. The news would have splashed all over the internet and TV. If this happened with an ordinary fan, it wouldn’t have such significant effects, but this was someone of interest to the public and would’ve blown up, so it was great that her timing was perfect.
(Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
Ed’s mister fan is usually a highly recognizable face. She has been in the spotlight growing up and just like many stars; she was continuously scrutinized in her every move. Both she and Ed were regulars on high profile red carpet events. Due to her big popularity, it was truly baffling that O’Neill had no idea who she was until someone told him and explained to him why the photo was relevant.
Ellen Got to It, Too
After their photo went viral, Ed was invited on The Ellen Show in June 2016. Ed and Ellen were promoting the movie Finding Dory where the two worked together. Ellen started the interview talking about how they both enjoyed doing the voiceovers for the animation. But Ellen DeGeneres just couldn’t resist poking on the viral photo that went out which got Ed so much attention from Netizens. Ellen did what Ellen does best and got the juicy details of the little encounter.
Not So Obvious for the TV Star
Ed’s fans may not be too surprised that he was oblivious about the situation, having known him through the years. In Ellen’s show, when Ed he started talking about doing the voice of his character in Finding Dory, he revealed that he didn’t realize how important his role was until he was brought to the studio months on end. The audience gave him warm laughter for his confession. They and Ellen found it utterly hilarious.
After he and Ellen finished talking about their new movie together, the two finally addressed the elephant in the room, the story behind the photo that shook fans all over the world. It was totally hilarious for Ellen DeGeneres herself who had Ed’s mystery fan on her show several times! The woman has been involved with various projects with Ellen in the past. The host couldn’t believe that Ed didn’t recognize his fan from the airport lounge.
What Ed Revealed About That Day
Ellen, being the fun talk show host that she is, started quizzing Ed on the encounter. The Modern Family star said that he was going on a flight alone to Hawaii and was just waiting to board. When he heard that they were boarding, he picked up a little Modern Family hat and saw the woman approaching him, so he just wore it on his head to signal that he was leaving. But the fan came up to him and called him “Mr. O’Neill” and told him how much she loved Modern Family. His fan said that Ed was her favorite on the show, but there was more to come…
A Polite Star
Ed hesitated, but he told his fan that he was already there and they were alone. She said she knows Ed’s in a hurry but politely asked for the photo. She was nice, so Ed said sure and posed with her. She sat with him and took the photo and wished him a nice trip. Then she said she was going and casually walked away. Ed didn’t think anything of it and went on to board his flight to Hawaii. He was happy to oblige with a polite fan but little did he know that he was about to be bombarded with messages about her.
Who Was She?
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)
One of the people who tried to get a hold of Ed was, of course, his manager. He sent him a few messages saying the photo had 53,000 likes! Though Ed had no idea who she was, the mystery fan was an international pop superstar who likes him, is a great success in her career. Although the woman was a lot younger than him, her presence in the US and globally made her a household name. Many young girls looked up to her.
Among the people who were most surprised that Ed didn’t have a clue who the superstar was, was his daughter. She grew up listening to the pop star’s music, and the thought of meeting her in person was an incredibly exciting prospect. His daughter said she was so jealous of her father meeting her idol that she was so frustrated to know that Ed had no clue about her identity. Ed recalled that his daughter texted him jokingly, calling her father a moron for his mistake.
The TV Star’s Apologies
(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Once the pop superstar’s identity was known to the Modern Family star, he laughed at himself and was embarrassed that he didn’t even know what she looked like. But he said he was slightly familiar with her name. When he realized his mistake, he made a call to the singer’s manager and apologized in a great degree for his mistake of not recognizing her. After all, the pop star is one of the most famous women in the world in her generation. It was clear that Ed O’Neill needed to brush up on his pop knowledge as his mystery fan was an incredibly talented public personality.
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
And to not prolong the agony any further, Ed O’Neill’s mystery superstar fan was none other than an international pop princess, Britney Spears!!! She was doing a Las Vegas tour and was taking a private vacation with her folks to take some rest from her busy schedule. Though there have been many controversies about the pop star, Spears was pretty private as a person and kept her affairs as secret as possible. Ed had no idea because she didn’t even have an entourage in the airport. If she had, Ed wouldn’t have been so clueless as to who she was!
Britney Spears was so polite in asking O’Neill for a photo. It was clear that she knew what it was like for a celebrity like the two of them to be constantly harangued by fans for autographs and photos and these days, selfies. The pop superstar is someone who knows how some fans as well as critics to be always at their backs and they can be incredibly overwhelming. She said that they often feel like being under a constant microscope. Years ago, intense paparazzi invasion on her life as well as her fans scrutinizing her led Britney to a mental breakdown. It was back in 2007, but Britney remained to be a sweet girl at heart.
Ed and Britney
(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
One person who picked up on Ed’s facial expression on their photo was Ellen DeGeneres. She told Ed when she had her on The Ellen Show that he didn’t look thrilled at all. Ellen’s audience laughed boisterously when Ed confessed his mistake. Ellen asked if he knew who his fan was and Ed said by the look on his face, it was clear that he had no idea he was sitting with Britney Spears!
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Britney Spears’ tweet reached over 53,000 likes because she was a star on her level. She had millions of followers, but because her fans were much younger, most of them also didn’t know who Ed was! Many replied to her tweet asking her who he was.
The Pop Superstar’s Guest Appearance
(Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
When the two stars’ photo circulated the internet, fans of the Modern Family show requested her appearance on one of the episodes. The rumors sent the producers into overdrive. The show has been renewed to more seasons, so there were plenty of opportunities to make the request happen.
Familiar Faces of the Future
Britney didn’t say anything about Ed not knowing who she was, but hopefully, the two would have some time to talk when they next meet in Hollywood. It seems like a world where everyone knows everybody, so probably next time, Ed won’t say “Oops, I did it again!”