It's amazing he has made Hollywood's A-list at all, what with his rigid demeanor, mouth agape to emit a stress-induced scream and...well, let's not even mention that hair. But Scared Guy, a simple line-drawing creation of Los Angeles artist Katie Freedman, has become a certified star, appearing on T-shirts, hats and jewelry worn by the likes of Janet Jackson
and the stars of Blossom and Beverly Hills, 90210. He was also the celeb-of-the-moment at the Oct. 2 benefit for the Starlight Foundation (which grants wishes to critically,
chronically or terminally ill children) in Santa Monica, Calif., where Mel Gibson and Emma Samms helped stage a silent auction of Scared Guy merchandise while standing before a mural of His Guyness. Freedman, 34, a ceramic artist who designed the dishes used at the wedding of Bruce Willis
and Demi Moore
, first drew her anxiety-ridden character in 1986 to decorate a plate for a young patient she had met as a Starlight Foundation volunteer. "When you're scared," she told the boy, referring to the figure on the plate, "you let him be the Scared Guy for you." That, Freedman says, is the appeal of her worried fella to Hollywood types who are troubled by crime, drugs, AIDS and the uncertainty of their own careers.
Freedman, who is married to Jerry Davis, a TV and film story consultant, began selling Scared Guy merchandise at an L.A. store in 1991 and has since signed a licensing agreement with Landmark Entertainment to market Scared Guy worldwide. Given the state of the planet, his appeal may well prove universal. Says Samms: "When I first heard about Scared Guy, I thought he was one of David Letterman's characters. Then I found out what it was really about, and I couldn't have been more delighted."