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, March 1, 2010

Iconic TV role: John Vivyan

Darn near forgotten today, but quite popular for a short while was debonaire John Vivyan, who played the lead in a delightful adventure show that appeared in 1959 and 1960. The show was "Mr. Lucky," and the series was based on the role of the same name played in 1943 by Cary Grant. Vivyan's appearance was pretty much that of a latter-day Cary Grant, cleft chin, tailored formal wear and all.

This show had one of the best theme songs in the history of TV, "Peter Gunn," written and performed by Henry Mancini.It may be heard in the video clip below.

The show's action took place aboard a large yacht that been fitted out as a seagoing casino, presided over by Vivyan as the yacht's "Mr. Lucky."

Mr. Lukcy's sidekick was a character called Adamo, ably played by Ross Martin, who later made a longer-lasting splash in "The Wild Wild West," in which he co-starred with Robert Conrad.

In an ear of one western after another, this show offered sophistication and glamor. Notables who had one-time parts were beautiful, blonde Yvette Mimieux, Richard Chamberlain, and a very young Jack Nicholson.

Early roles for Vivyan were on "Studio One" and "The Millionaire." At one time or another, he also appeared on "77 Sunset Strip," "Rawhide," "Bat Masterson," "The Lucy Show," and somewhat more recently on "WKRP in Cincinnati" and "Simon and Simon."

The suave actor died at age 68 in 1983.

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