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, February 2, 2010

Notorious celebrity: Robert Chambers

The Preppie Killer" was the sobriquet given by the media in 1986 to the strapping and fashionable looking Robert E. Chambers, Jr., who eventually pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of an 18-year-old girl with whom he had had sex.

The victim was Jennifer Levin, the place of the crime, New York City's Central Park.

Chambers was given his sobriquet because he had been a scholarship student at various prep schools before he entered and was thrown out of Boston University.

The victim's body was found the day after the killing not far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The cause of death had been strangulation.

Chambers admitted having had sex with Levin after the two left a bar, but he claimed that she had demanded rough sex. His jury gave him 5 to 15 years.

He was released in 2003 and in 2004, he was arrested on drug charges. Having served a short term, Chambers, by this time 41, was again arrested in 2007 for selling drugs. This time his sentence as 19 years.

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