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, April 5, 2010

Iconic TV role: Alan Hale, Jr.

One of those long-time character actors who has had more roles than Domino's has delivered pizzas, Alan Hale, Jr. is nevertheless tightly identified with only one of those roles: the Skipper on that silliest of sitcoms, "Gilligan's Island."

Hale was born into the acting business; both parents worked as Hollywood actors. The senior Hale might be recalled as Little John opposite Errol Flynn in "Robin Hood."

After serving in the Coast Guard during World War II, Hale Jr. began acting in some of Gene Autry's Western movies. In the early 1960s, he also played on TV in "The Andy Griffith Show."

Celebrity was his, however, as Jonas Grumby, better known as The Skipper, on "Gilligan's Island," which ran from 1964 to 1967 and thereafter continued to appear in re-run.

In that role, Hale portrayed the hulking yet benign captain of The Minnow and father figure to the bumbling Gilligan.

The burly Hale's many TV credits over the years include "The Texan," "JOhnny Ringo," "Cheyenne," "HAwaiian Eye," "Mister Ed," "Death Valley Days," "Perry Mason," "Rawhide," "Wagon Train," "Maverick," "77 Sunset Strip," "Route 66," Perry Mason," "Batman," "The Virginian," "Gunsmoke" and many, many other shows.

Hale owned a Hollywood restaurant in his later years. The veteran actor died of cancer in 1990 at age 68.

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