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.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Iconic TV role: Hugh O'Brian

Rugged Hugh O'Brian is one of those numerous actors whose credits are as long as your arm, but his celebrity is tightly tied to his title role in TV's "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," which appeared from 1955 to 1961. Many regard this show as the earliest "adult Western," in the sense that it was primarily intended for a grownup audience.

O'Brian was one of those Western heroes born back East--in his case, Rochester, NY. He served in the Marines in World War II and after the war, moved to Los Angeles, where he soon landed the part of Earp. In this role, he burnished the public perception of the real Wyatt Earp, who, unlike O'Brian, was not always Mr. Nice Guy.

O'Brian appeared on many other shows: "Playhouse 90," "The Virginian," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," "Perry Mason," "Charlie's Angels," "Police Story," "Fantasy Island," and a long list of others. His list of movie credits is also impressive, but in the public mind, he will firmly remain as Wyatt Earp, frontier lawman.

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