Alumni Association

University of Colorado Boulder

Creating star power

One of Phil Lobel’s (A&S ex’79) favorite stories, stretching back to his early days as a Hollywood publicist, took place in a sushi restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in 1987.

As he chatted with a prospective client, a young unknown actor from the Midwest — Sean Penn and Madonna strode casually by and sat down at a nearby table — followed by a cluster of autograph seekers.

After observing the scene for several moments, the struggling actor turned to Lobel.

“Someday, do you think people will come up to me for my autograph?’’ asked Brad Pitt, who at the time was sharing an apartment with five roommates, sleeping on a mattress on the floor and eating at Taco Bell.

The answer became obvious a few months later when Pitt started to pop up on the cover of top teen magazines. Lobel managed Pitt’s TV and nascent film career prior to his movie debut in Thelma and Louise.

Read the rest at the Coloradan online.

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