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 Megan Marshak

An unlikely femme fatale was Megan Marshak, an attractive young woman yet not possessed of the kind of spectacular bombshell looks one expects of women who become involved with extremely wealthy, powerful men.

Just the same, Marshak was linked romantically, or at least sexually, with one of the wealthiest of them all, Nelson Rockefeller, a grandson of the great John D. Like so many men of enormous wealth, Rocky wanted to become president, an office he sought for three consecutive campaigns (1960, 1964, and 1968). Although he never realized that dream, he did serve as vice president under Gerald Ford (1974-1977).

Rockefeller lost the 1964 race in part due to public disapproval of his divorce and remarriage to second wife Happy (Margaretta). It would appear that all was not happy with Happy, and in the late 1970s, he took as mistress a member of his office staff, the 20-something Miss Marshak.

Billionaire though he was, Rocky had his wild and unpredictable side, which surfaced in 1976 when he was photographed gleefully giving the celebrated one-finger salute to hecklers at a speech he was trying to deliver.

Much bigger news came in January 1979 when Rockefeller suffered a heart attack while having sex with Marshak. All possible attempts were made to cover up what had happened. Rocky died en route to a hospital, however, and the salacious news came out, making Marshak a temporary celebrity.

To her credit, Marshak did not follow the lead of so many other young women who suddenly found themselves in the public eye due to illicit liasons. She did not pose for Playboy, nor did she sell her exclusive story checkbook-journalism style. Instead, she dropped out of public view as quickly and completely as if she had been placed in the Witness Protection Program.

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