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 4, 2010

Iconic TV role: Irene Ryan

Actress Irene Ryan, born Irene Noblette, had small parts in many movies, many of which were of the regrettable type, and appeared on such TV shows as "The Andy Williams Show," "Mister Ed," "Petticoat Junction," and "Love, American Style," yet to longtime TV viewers she will always be Granny, on the comedy series "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Her start in show biz was in a Gracie Allen-like comedy duo in vaudeville. She did radio work and toured with comedian Bob Hope as well, but she never really made her mark until 1962, when she landed the role of Granny, matriarch of the newly rich Clampetts family.

Ryan played this wizened, tiny but tough-as-nails role until the show closed in 1971.

Ryan died at 71 of a stroke in 1973 and left around $1 million to found a foundation to provide scholarships to theater students.

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