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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Femme fatale Rita Jenrette

Mega-beautiful Rita Jenrette's rise (or fall) to temporary celebrity was accomplished by an unusual route. Instead of beginning her working life as a model, club dancer, or stripper as do some especially attractive female "shooting stars," she entered through the possibly less respectable door of politics in her home state of Texas. Two years after getting her B.A., she was hired as Director of Research for the Republican Party in Texas. Next she moved to Washngton, D.C., to work with the Republican National Committee.

In 1976, she married up-and-coming political luminary John Jenrette , a lively young Democratic congessman from South Carolina. The two celebrated their nuptials with by enjoying late-night sex on the steps of the nation's Capitol. The wonderful D.C. comedy troupe The Capitol Steps took its name from this unusual honeymoon event.

Things were fine until John was caught taking a bribe in the admirable ABSCAM sting operation that caught some of our nation's leaders doing what they do best. The lovely Rita distanced herself from her disgraced hubby, did some talk show appearances, and shored up her finances by posing nude for Playboy. The couple soon divorced.

The fair Rita has published two books, one an account of her adventures in the political high life, the other a not-so-successful novel. Around 1990, she was working for Fox TV as an interviewer, and since that time, the still-gorgeous blonde has sold commercial real estate.

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