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 12, 2010

Iconic TV role: Donna Douglas

Cute little Louisiana farm girl Donna Douglas, born Dorothy Smith,was annointed with celebrity by one TV role: Elly May Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies." She is said to have beat out around 500 other girls for that juicy, profitable part.

She also was rather badly typecast by it.

Douglas, in her youth, had been a beauty contest winner: Miss Baton Rouge and Miss New Orleans. At age 17, she moved to New York City and worked as a toothpaste model in TV ads, then got modest parts in several movies.

"The Beverly Hillbillies" ran from 1962 until 1971, and Douglas rode its success the whole way.

In 1966, she co-starred with Elvis Presley in "Frankie and Johnny," which was her only big movie role. As she aged, she got into real estate and began singing gospel.

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