Impostor picks up Emmy, lands in jail

HOLLYWOOD -- Barry Bremen, who has made a career of suiting up for major league sporting events, has taken his impostor act into the entertainment field -- crashing the Emmys show to 'accept' actress Betty Thomas's award.

Bremen, 38, strode on stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium immediately after Thomas's name was read Sunday night as the best supporting actress in a drama series for her role in 'Hill Street Blues.'


A dapper and smiling Bremen told the audience the actress was not present and then started to walk off with the statuette just before Thomas walked on.

'I ran over and jumped on his back and was ready to kill him,' Emmys producer Alexander Cohen later told United Press International, 'but he said 'No, no, no' and pulled out his press clippings. I was absolutely stunned and the cops pulled him away.'

Bremen was taken away in handcuffs and booked for grand theft. The Emmy statuettes are worth about $150. Bremen said after being released on $1,500 bail that he apologized to Thomas and said he hadn't planned on 'taking away her thunder.'

He said he chose her award for his stunt because he saw that she was slow in getting up to accept and thought he had time to pull it off.


'When I saw her come up I was very surprised and disappointed that I took something away from her,' Bremen said. 'But it was a great feeling holding that Emmy and looking out on that crowd.'

Bremen had a $300 ticket to the ceremonies and was sitting in an aisle seat in the third row seat just below actor Peter Graves, the former star of 'Mission Impossible,' who was presenting the best supporting actress award.

'Well,' Thomas told the audience. 'It's definitely hard to follow an act like that, but I will.'

While Thomas was giving her acceptance speech Graves, who had unwittingly handed the award to Bremen, came up to her and said, 'I'm sorry, darlin'. That was a mission impossible, and I think the guy's on his way to the cooler.'

'I would now like to thank him,' Thomas, who plays police Sgt. Lucille Bates, deadpanned backstage. 'That was a great way to be remembered for the award.'

Bremen has made a career of crashing athletic events. He once suited up for an NBA basketball game, warmed up with baseball's major leaguers at an all-star game, infiltrated the New York Yankees team picture and was manhandled by angry officials when he appeared in a skimpy cheerleader's uniform at a football game.


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