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 17, 2009

Homme fatale Marc Christian

It is ironic but understandable that movie and TV masculinity icon Rock Hudson should have been sued for possibly passing AIDS to his companion of two years, Marc Christian, before Hudson’s own 1985 death from that terrible disease.

In Hudson’s day, gays still were firmly in the closet, although rumors had circulated for years regarding the dashing Hudson’s off-movie set proclivities.

By the time of the suit, Hudson was dead, but the court found in favor of plaintiff Christian in the amount of $14.5 million, to be paid by the movie star’s estate. Christian had not actually been diagnosed with AIDS, but argued successfully that he should have been informed of Hudson’s medical condition. He also went after Hudson’s personal secretary, Mark Miller, for not having informed him of the situation.

Due to Hudson’s prominence in Hollywood during his long career, the AIDS menace at least became easier to discuss in public. In a manner of speaking, this case helped the disease itself to come out of the closet.

Hudson, who was born Roy Scherer and was given his stage name by an agent, had also been involved with talented San Francisco writer Armistead Maupin, who outed Hudson in that city’s paper the Chronicle.

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