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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Iconic TV role: Polly Holliday

Polly Holliday's portrayal of Flo the diner waitress was one of the best character actress performances in all of television's history.

Holliday was born in a small town in Alabama and taught piano before getting into theater in Sarasota, Florida. Eventually she relocated to New York City and a year later appeared on Broadway. Then in 1976 she began appearing as big-hair sporting, cotton uniform-clad Florence Jean Castleberry, better known as Flo, on the sitcom "Alice."

This show was set in Mel's Diner, where the flirtations Flo kept the male customers in line with her barbed remarks. Her signature line was, "Well, kiss mah grits," delivered over her shoulder in a thick country accent.

Holliday left "Alice" in 1980, a year before its conclusion, to star in her own spinoff series, "Flo," which aired for little more than a year (1980-1981).

Since the days of her celebrity, Holliday has done more work on the Broadway stage, has had parts in such movies as "The Silence" and "Private Benjamin," and has appeared on a few other TV shows, such as "The Equalizer," "The Golden Girls," and "Home Improvement." For most of us, however, she will always be Flo.

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