LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — “Hangover 3″ star Zach Galifianakis turned a Hollywood premiere into a night to remember for a former homeless woman.
On Sunday, Galifianakis was escorted by 87-year-old Elizabeth “Mimi” Haist, whom the actor first met at a Santa Monica laundromat in 1994 when he was still a relatively unknown comedian.
“We met here at the laundromat. He used to come and wash his clothes here,” Haist said. “I used to house sit for him when he went out of town.”
Haist worked at the Fox Coin Laundry at 2439 Santa Monica Blvd. at the time, and has since been seen at Galifianakis’ side at the premieres of “The Campaign” and “The Hangover 2″ before her latest red carpet appearance.
She was even featured on a 2010 YouTube video documenting the Fox Laundry business, where she told an interviewer she had worked for the past 16 years.
“Meeting people all the time, I like that,” she said. “And then of course, I can sing and dance.”
Galifianakis found out Haist had become homeless two years ago and was sleeping at the laundromat. A year ago, Galifianakis found a one-bedroom apartment near fashionable Montana Avenue for her, and pays for her rent and utilities.
Haist is also the subject of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a documentary about her life, directed by Yaniv Rokah.
“She has one famous saying. She’s like, ‘Yesterday is gone, leave it there,’” Rokah said.