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, April 6, 2009

One-time movie icon Chaim Topol

Israeli actor Chaim Topol, who sometimes works under the single name Topol, has been in quite a number of movies, but his one iconic hit was the 1971 film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof.

In this story, set in pre-revolutionary Russia, Topol played the role of Teyve, a milkman and father of several daughters whose modernist tendencies threaten tradition. The greater threat is that the Jewish population of Teyve's village, Anatevka, are made to abandon their homes and relocate.

Topol had the perfect appearance and the perfect voice for this role of a lifetime. The other great Teyve, on Broadway in 1964, was actor Zero Mostel.

Two later movie roles for Topol were in the early 1980s: as Doctor Zarkov in Flash Gordon (1980) and Milos Columbo in the James bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981). Since 1971, he has played Teyve on many a theater stage.

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