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.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Iconic TV role: Dennis Franz

You think Dennis Franz, you think Detective Andy Sipowitz on "NYPD Blue," which appeared from 1993 to 2005.

Sipowitz was the most hard-bitten of cops, a man whose personal life had suffered greatly from the demands of the job. A cop who was very nearly burned out from dealing with sleazy criminals of all sorts and from contemplating man's general inhumanity to man.

Sipowitz wasn't pretty. He was a fireplug of a man, mostly bald, abrupt of manner and like an unmade bed in appearance. He was a Vietnam vet and recovering alcoholic.

Franz was born Dennis Franz Schlachta and is of German extraction. He served in the Airborne during Vietnam and returned to act on stage in his native Chicago.

Franz had not one but two roles on the cop show "Hill Street Blues" and also has appeared on "The A-Team," "Matlock," Hardcastle and McCormick," "Simon & Simon," and "Hunter."

Franz deserved much credit for having brought to life one of the most memorable and different of all the many TV police dramas.

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