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 Sonya Wilde

Sonya Wilde's big claim to celebrity was her starring role in the 1960 movie I Passed For White.

The screenplay was based on a novel by Mary Hastings Bradley, better known for her books about Africa,her war reporting during WW II for Collier's magazine, and her mystery and travel books and stories.

The main character was Reba Lee, a beautiful, accomplished Chicago girl who was African American, but who had very light skin. She moves to New York City, meets and marries a wealthy young man played by the dashing James Franciscus. He, and the other people in her new life, are not aware of her racial background.

At this time in U.S. history, segregation reigned. When her background is revealed, the couple divorce and Reba moves back to Chicago.

The story would make present-day audiences' skin crawl; hence the movie is not often mentioned. Nevertheless, Sonya Wilde did a fine job in this role, though it was her one big movie hit. She also appeared in two 1961 episodes of the TV show Perry Mason.

No comments:

Post a Comment