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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One-time movie icon Janet Leigh

"A boy's best friend is his mother," remarked nut case Norman Bates in the chilling movie Psycho. That seemingly innocent remark spelled trouble for the character of embezzler Marion Crane, played by actress Janet Leigh.

A real-life California girl, Leigh dropped out of college to go into movies. Since her first role, in 1947, she was in many a movie--some of them quite good, yet the one role that made her an iconic figure in movies' history was the one in Psycho. The shower-scene murder of Leigh's character was truly a classic.

The plot of Psycho, as directed by the great Alfred Hitchcock, was the stuff of pop-psych legend. Motel owner Norman Bates has murdered his mother, then "becomes" his dead mother in his less lucid moments. Mom's mummified corpse is kept in the cellar of the spooky-looking old family home near the motel. The movie was full of suspense if ever one was.

Leigh went on to work in other films, most notably Touch of Evil and The Manchurian Candidate, both in the early 1960s. She also worked twice with daughter Jamie Lee Curtis.

The glamorous Leigh, married four times, died at age 77 in 2004.

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