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, April 7, 2009

One-time movie icon Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree, now a quietly dignified looking middle aged man, was a real tough guy in his one iconic movie role: detective John Shaft in the 1971 movie Shaft and its two sequels.

A sizeable former football player and male model, Roundtree was well cast as the tough-talking, hard-fighting Shaft. The movie was adapted from the novel Shaft, written by ex-New York Times editor Ernest Tidyman. Gordon Parks was director, and the music was by Isaac Hayes and J.J. Johnson. The movie's themesong won the 1972 Academy Award for best original song.

A big success at the box office, the movie was set in New York City amid turf battles between black and Mafiosi forces of that city's underworld.

In a 2000 remake of Shaft, Roundtree played the title character's uncle. In the late 1970s, Roundtree had a role in the TV miniseries Roots. He also had a short-lived role on the TV series Desperate Housewives, and he has appeared in many other movies, most of them of the easily forgetable sort.

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