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, March 2, 2009

Advertising icon Duncan Hines

One of the earliest advertising icons to appear in this blog, which covers temporary or one-shot celebrities who made their mark since 1950, was Duncan Hines.

Hines, who died in 1959, is remembered for his name and face, which appeared on his own line of cake mixes and other food and food-related products. Another part of his celebrity was his "Recommended by Duncan Hines" seal of approval for good places to eat.

Hines began his work life as a traveling salesman and during his travels, collected material for books on both dining out and cooking at home. The first of his six books appeared in 1935.

In 1947 he went into business with businessman Roy Park,later known for his ownership of newspapers. He and Park produced and marketed food products under the Duncan Hines brand, which much later was bought by Proctor and Gamble.

Among Americans in the 1950s, Hines' name was almost universally known.

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