As longtime friends, kindred spirits and fellow activists, Sam Simon and Pamela Anderson shared a close bond. We asked the actress, model, producer and author to share memories of Simon in advance of The Creative Genius of Sam Simon: A Lifetime of Memorabilia, one of Sotheby's upcoming auctions featuring property whose proceeds will benefit the Sam Simon Charitable Giving Foundation.
Sam was a rebel. Dignified about it, with an interesting selfless grace, an artist with an exceptional art collection. His philanthropy matched his colourful style. It was eclectic, but made perfect sense. His home was pure compassion – a fighter, literally – a boxer.
A gentle boxer.
His collection is wild. It has one of my favourite Mel Ramos images where we both agreed “the woman looked hot.” Respectfully, it wasn't always the case with Mel. (I know. I sat for Mel.)
Sam was a lover of beauty and colour, wine and cigars. He liked a bit of poker, but was sad to take money from friends or see anyone lose. So it bored him finally. I think he liked the social part of it, the curiosity of darkness. (Con artists are fun to watch.) They are like cartoon characters, with bad habits and dirty mouths.
“[SAM'S] LIFE IS A PIECE OF ART.”
Sam was so curious. And sweeter and funnier than anyone I know. I know there will be themes to these auctions, a lot of TV memorabilia and some of the most beautiful art pieces. I wish he were here to give you the tour. I was fortunate to get the tour a few times. He was so proud of his Rodin, his collection of Alberto Vargas – I could go on and on. I introduced Sam to Ed Ruscha a few months before he passed and he said it was “like Make-A-Wish.” We went to Ed’s studio and spoke of Sam's mother who Ed remembered. She had her own gallery, so Sam was exposed to art his whole life.
His life is a piece of art. He painted it, the most beautiful picture (in felt pens of course). He danced his way to the end. I was honoured he liked to draw me – in Lisa Simpson’s dress – saying I "stole it.”
I just miss him like crazy. He was so vulnerable, but so, so strong. He showed me what love is and it looked like nothing I've ever seen. And he promised me not to settle for less. That’s why I have two puppies. (That's enough for now.) I don’t feel alone. I feel like Sam is all around me. I was blessed to be so close to him. To know that I made him happy, when he was struggling so much, is a memory I’ll cherish till the day I fly away and meet him and have those talks and laughs again, sitting on the edge, just being us.
He was a ball. God, I miss him.
by Alexandra Owens SOTHEBY’S AT LARGE