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, June 1, 2009

Sports/Outdoors: Wilma Rudolph

Sprinter Wilma Rudolph's celebrity moment came at the Rome Olympics in 1960, where she became the only American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics.

Born prematurely in Tennessee, she was an unlikely sprinter. To make matters worse, she contracted polio as a child and was unable to walk without a leg brace until she was 11 or 12.

Rudolph, who was African American, fully recovered-- to the surprise of her doctors-- and became a standout basketball player in high school.

As an Olympic competitor, she had won a bronze medal in the 1956 games in Melbourne. By 1960 she was at her peak. The events in which she took the gold in Rome were the 100-meter, the 200-meter, and the 4x100-meter relay (with Martha Hudson, Barbara Jones and Lucinda Williams).

Rudolph retired from competitive running in 1962, became a school teacher/track coach and also did some track commentary for television. The great runner died of cancer at age 54 in 1994.

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