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, April 7, 2010

Iconic TV role: Jamie Farr

Born Jameel Farah in Toledo, Ohio,Jamie Farr was of Lebanese heritage and broke into show biZ in 1955 with a part in the movie "Blackboard Jungle."

His celebrity, however, is derived from his one great TV role: Corporal Maxwell Klinger on the fantastic series "M.A.S.H."

Klinger was willing to do darn near anything to get sent home from war-torn Korea and did his best to appear mentally unstable. His most frequent such device was dressing like a woman, and the show's audience chortled at the silly spectacle of Farr's hairy legs with his dress and high heel shoes.

He landed character actor parts in several other quite notable movies and began appearing on TV on shows starring Danny Thomas, Danny Kaye and Dick Van Dyke. He also appeared in "My Three Sons," "The Lucy Show," "I Dream of Jennie," "The Andy Griffith Show," "F Troop," "Get Smart," "The Flying Nun," "Love, American Style," "Barnaby Jones," " The Love Boat," and other shows.

But the one role ideal for him was Max Klinger, which he played to perfection--never quite managing to get that Section 8 discharge.

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