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, March 2, 2010

Iconic TV role: Fred Thompson

Truly unusual among celebrities is actor Fred Thompson, who has also enjoyed quite a career in politics and even ran for the U.S. presidency in 2008.

In politics, lawyer Thompson, a Republican, represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate, 1997-2001,and once served as campaign co-chair for Sen. John McCain's bid for the White House. He was active in the legal defense of George W. Bush operative Lewis "Scooter" Libby in regard to the disgraceful Plame affair. He also stood in for radio news/commentary great Paul Harvey on ABC Radio in 2006, and in 2009, had his own radio talk show.

As an actor, Thompson is known primarily for his role as New York D.A. Arthur Branch on the show "Law & Order," on which he appeared from 2002 until he resigned in 2007 to seek the presidency.Viewers liked his no-nonsense image in this role.

Thompson also has appeared in quite a few movies,including "The Hunt for Red October," "Cape Fear,"and "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." Prior to his years on "Law & Order," he had appeared in other TV shows such as "Roseanne," "Matlock," and "Sex in the City."

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