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.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Femme fatale Fawn Hall

Striking blonde Fawn Hall was not a femme fatale in the usual sense in that she was not romantically linked with the powerful political figure she served as secretary. She was merely a glamorous looking young woman who stood by her boss despite the legal risks involved.

Specifically, she doctored and shredded documents linking her boss, Lt. Col. Oliver North, and other conservative government figures to the tangle of deceptions that came to be known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

In brief, the Reagan administration was playing fast and loose with the U.S. Congress regarding the sale of weapons to Iran after which some of the money was diverted to support the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua, which was illegal but suited the conservative agenda just the same.

Hall, who had a mane of blonde hair second only to that of actress Farrah Fawcett, testified under oath, with immunity, in Oliver North's 1989 trial. He was found guilty but his conviction was later overturned upon appeal on constitutional grounds. The other government figures involved also escaped punishment either on appeal or by being later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. North became a syndicated columnist and pundit.

Hall, who had left North's employ in 1986, moved to the West Coast and worked as a secretary for MP3.com. She married Danny Sugarman in 1991. Sugarman was manager for The Doors and later for Iggy Pop and also published five books. The couple had trouble with illegal drugs, and Sugarman died of cancer in 2005. It is doubtful that Fawn Hall would have lingered in the public memory had she not had such striking good looks.

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