Modern Family Star Takes Photo With An Unexpected Fan

‘Married… With Children’ star, Ed O’Neill posed for a picture with a young woman. Then social media exploded and he realizes that she was no ordinary fan.

At The Airport

In the lounge of the airport, patiently waiting for his flight, Ed O’Neill glanced at a young woman heading his way. Extremely politely, she asked him if she could snap a picture with him. He obliged graciously, but what happened next took him completely by surprise.

Role Model
The man, known for his grumpy grandfather role on ‘Modern Family’, Ed O’Neil did not know that the person, so enamored with his TV series roles, was going to be the catalyst for the ensuing widespread sensation that soon followed.

Silver To Big Screen

Hollywood film producers couldn’t help but take notice of Ed. He was racking up Television roles as quickly as he was starring in films. He was hot property, starring in movies including The Bone Collector, Finding Dory, and Wayne’s World.  What he didn’t know was that she had some shows of her own up her sleeve.

Sitcom Star

She too was no stranger to appearing on television, having made numerous appearances in sitcoms. She appeared in How I Met Your Mother, and a few other well-known shows as well. Always incredibly excited and eager about the roles she has taken on. Her successful reputation on screen may even reach the ears of the Modern Family producers.

Family Matters

With his career booming, Ed and his wife Catherine Rusoff made the hard choice of waiting before starting a family — focusing on their own relationship and building a rock-solid foundation. 13 years later they brought their first daughter, Claire O’Neill, into the world closely followed by Sophia O’Neill. Both of these teens would know exactly who was with their father that day. And they were not happy about it at all.

Annoyed Daughter

The person probably most frustrated to see the picture with Ed and the superstar was his daughter. Having grown up listening to the pop star she would have given anything to meet her. She was so envious of her father that when she found out he didn’t even know who the star was she sent him a text which dryly stated: “You are a moron”, in a tone that only a teenager can produce

Taking The Internet By Storm

Uploading her hard-won photo straight to the internet was the first step at the beginning of an internet onslaught. Due to her own fame, social media exploded instantly. Thousands of people shared the post with comments. The reactions were not so much for Ed, but surprisingly for the younger idol. Soon his phone would be besieged with messages.

Talk Show Appearances

As only Ellen DeGeneres can, she questioned him laughingly on her show. What he told her was unbelievable. Here’s what he said: “I was flying alone to Hawaii. I was waiting for my flight to board, they told me the flight was boarding and I picked up — that’s a little Modern Family hat. I saw a woman approaching me so I just flopped it on, you know, I was leaving. She came up and said, ‘Oh, Mr. O’Neill, I love Modern Family, and you’re my favorite on the show.’” But that was just the beginning.

So Who Was It?

When he landed and was able to use his phone again he saw a ton of messages, but opened the one from his manager first asking “What is this? It’s 53,000 likes”. His manager then filled him in. The woman in the photo was an international pop superstar! She was extremely successful and a long-time household name, and she was looked up to by millions of women and girls alike.


She was at the airport that same day, taking a well-deserved family vacation during the middle of the Las Vegas show residency. The famous fan was the incredible international pop princess, Britney Spears! Perhaps, just like Ed, she also tried to keep a low profile so you would really expect Britney to have an entourage following her every move. Why not today?

They’re On The Same Page

In the same vein, Britney also follows the same practice as Ed regarding her fans and their demands for never-ending pictures, selfies, and autographs. That’s what makes this particular picture extremely strange. Neither readily agrees to take photo’s and yet somehow, together, they did.

Why It All Happened

She is a charmer, that’s for sure. Either that or Ed was having a great day, despite the look on his face in the picture in question. The Superstar thanked Ed, even calling him by his formal name, O’Neill, exposing titbits of information about the person’s southern background. But still, he didn’t click.

A Close Call

If this had been any normal fan, Ed’s precedence for declining fan photos could have gone horribly wrong. On this particular day, he luckily obliged the starry-eyed fan. If he hadn’t, recounts of his rudeness could have had far-reaching implications. Being such a sweetheart, that probably wouldn’t have been the case, but you never know.

Not This Happy Face

Looking at this quick snapshot you can tell exactly what the two stars were thinking. Ms. Spears, clearly ecstatic about meeting her favorite ‘Modern Family’ actor, perched on the edge of the armrest, beaming to the camera. Ed, on the other hand, looks tired and indifferent, sitting in the armchair — poised to leave after his flight had been called. He should have been concentrating instead of thinking about his flight… Things could go much worse.

Secret Identity

Not being on any social media himself, Ed didn’t even know that his photo was trending on Twitter, and with such a sweet message which read, “Fancy running into this guy! Such a sweetheart!!”, only to find out after his flight, via a text message from his manager, that he was the point of conversation. But he had no idea why. His manager explained gleefully that the woman in the photo was an even bigger star than he was himself.

Back On Ellen

Ed Appeared on The Ellen Show in June 2016 in order to promote his latest movie ‘Finding Dory’, in which he stars opposite Ellen DeGeneres. The voice of Dory began the interview by speaking about the making of the movie but just had to ask about the picture taken just a short while ago. Ellen wanted all the details on just why Ed looked so grumpy in the presence of a pop star.

Missing The Plot

There may have been a reason why he didn’t recognize Britney. On the set of Finding Dory, he related that when asked to play the role of Hank, he assumed it was a small part of the film. He had no script and it took months — nearly a year — before it dawned on him that “This is kinda a big part”. Ellen couldn’t contain her laughter but soon brought round the embarrassing question that left Ed shuffling uncomfortably.

Ellen Wants Answers

Ellen poked at Ed about the story behind the picture that everyone wanted to know. Unbelievingly, Ellen couldn’t get over how Ed had so completely failed to realize just who had asked for that famous photo. She had been on Ellen’s show frequently over the years, also engaging in many different projects with the talk show host. Ellen simply didn’t believe that he was unaware of the girl’s fame.

Ellen Pokes Fun At Ed

Ellen, always keen to make light-hearted jokes and allow people to feel comfortable enough to laugh at themselves, commented: “You don’t seem thrilled”, to which Ed’s swift retort was, “Look at the look on my face, do I look like I’m sitting with Britney Spears?”. He had everyone in the studio in stitches over his blunder.

Southern Spears

Britney is no stranger when it comes to signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, but stardom has its own pitfalls. In 2007 the constant hounding by fans and paparazzi threw Britney into a complete mental breakdown. It seems she has learned from these experiences and that was why she was so polite when asking for the fan photo.