This Oscar party is all designated drivers

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Of all the industry parties to celebrate the Academy Awards, one was notable for having very few women, no bar, and the best rides in town all parked outside — Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Cadillacs and countless Lincoln Towncars.

The limo drivers who shuttle the stars to and from the Kodak Theatre spend Oscar night watching the telecast and eating dinner under heat lamps on a patio at the Hollywood Bowl while they wait for their clients.

‘‘Los Angeles doesn’t have enough limos for this event,’’ said Rick Ham, who has been driving limos for 26 years. ‘‘They call the companies in Orange County and San Diego to help out.’’

Britt Chichester was driving Casey Affleck’s manager and agent around for the evening, and after Javier Bardem won for best supporting actor, he guessed that his clients might call it an early night.

And just like the folks watching at home, they have their opinions: ‘‘This dress is just disgusting,’’ Chichester said to the television as a presenter approached the podium.

Other drivers planned to be out until 4 a.m. shuttling revelers to after-parties.

Feliz Santillan said he enjoys driving first-time Oscar nominees because they’re so happy to be there.

‘‘They were taking photos and calling mom, telling her, ’We’re stuck in a limo traffic jam,’’’ he said.

After Tilda Swinton won for best supporting actress, Nicolas Vartanian bragged about his good record: In six of the last seven years he has worked on Oscar night, someone in the back of his limo has won an award.

‘‘Every single one of us is trying to make a living. We have horror stories and beautiful stories too,’’ he said.

Several drivers complained that celebrities are poor tippers, because they assume the studio will take care of gratuity.

AP

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1 Comments

I feel like the article was cut off. After the last sentence about tippers, I wish the author would have continued. Are the celebs right? What's the deal with the tipping situation? Tales like these would make excellent personalizing stories!

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on February 25, 2008 12:06 PM.

Let the buying of Oscar winners begin was the previous entry in this blog.

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