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 14, 2009

One-time movie icon Ben Chapman

It is a rare thing for an actor to play an iconic role without having to say anything or even show his or her face, yet that was the case with Ben Chapman.

Like so many people in show business, Chapman was born in California. He was a decorated Marine in the Korean conflict and worked in real estate for most of his civilian career.

Chapman, 6'5" tall, had found a few small roles in films, including one in a Ma and Pa Kettle movie, before he landed (no pun intended) the part of the Creature, or Gill-Man, in the 1954 horror film The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Wearing a rubber suit that zipped in the back, he was appropriately scary in this 3-D movie set in the Amazon, especially when he nabbed the pretty girl.

Chapman returned to real estate sales, in Hawaii, and died in 2008 at age 79.

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