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 13, 2009

One-time movie icon Jennifer Grey

Born into show biz, pretty dancer Jennifer Grey had her moment in the celebrity sun as Baby Houseman in the 1987 blockbuster movie Dirty Dancing, the movie that also propelled Patrick Swayze into stardom.

The movie revolved around Baby's coming of sexual age at a summer resort in the Catskills, tutored by the young but worldly dance instructor played by the rugged Swayze.

Grey has appeared in plenty of other movies and TV shows, including Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Cotton Club and the TV series Friends, but Dirty Dancing made her celebrity.

She is the daughter of actor/dancer Joel Grey. In her big film, she had quite a honker but looked just fine with it. Thereafter, she had a nose job, which might well have been a mistake. She still looked pretty, of course, only less distinctive.

Dirty Dancing's memory lives at though it was yesterday at Virginia's Mountain Lake Resort, where it was filmed, and its broader public memory was extended by a 2004 re-make, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, made with new and younger stars. Even so, the remake is yet another proof that it is really, really hard to improve on a fine original.

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