About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Femme fatale Donna Rice

A classic case of the girl who lapses into bimboism in her early years, then finds God and does something good with the rest of her life is that of Donna Rice. Older Americans who remember her sudden media celebrity will have in their mind's eye the photo of Rice, showing a lot of leg while sitting on the lap of a smiling (and married) Sen. Gary Hart, a leading candidate for the presidency, while aboard a yacht called (and I am not making this up) the Monkey Business.

Growing up, Rice had been truly outstanding--popular, highly itelligent, graduating with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa from the Unversity of South Carolina. She was also blessed with blonde good looks and had been that school's head cheerleader. She became Miss South Carolina World, discovered the advantages of dating older guys and moved to New York City to seek her fortune in that most empty-headed of job fields, modeling.

A few older guys later, she moved to Miami to work in commercials and there met the handsome, horny Mr. Hart (born Hartpence). The self-confident Hart had made a run at the White House in 1984 and was the apparent Democratic leader in the 1988 race at the time he and Rice met. Rumors of his JFK-like womanizing circulated among the press, and not long after the merry voyage of the Monkey Business, reporters began asking embarrassing questions.

As politicians will, Hart denied all wrongdoing and, absurdly full of himself, challenged reporters to follow him if they liked. They did, and soon they spotted Rice emerging from Hart's D.C. townhouse. As high-placed politicians' wives so often do, Mrs. Hart stood by her man, but as a presidential candidate, he was toast. Hart soon dropped out of the running.

Hart, who already had degrees in law and, of all things, theology, added an Oxford doctorate in politics in 2001 and became a celebrity professor.

Rice lay low for quite a while but turned to religion and married in 1994. She went to work for Enough Is Enough, a non-profit that combats child pornography. Then in 1998 she published a book, Kids Online, and in 1999, started her own website (www.protectkids.com).

Now Donna Hughes, she is an example of the old truism "It's not how you start but how you finish."

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