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

Icopnic TV role: James Doohan

You know him as Scotty on the series "Star Trek." More completely, for Tekkies out there, he was Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scott, chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise, which boldly went, etc.

Born in Canada, Doohan served in World War II as an artillery lieutenant. He was wounded during the Normandy invasion but later became a pilot.

After the war, he studied acting at New York's well known Neighborhood Playhouse and made many, many appearances on both radio and television.

He landed his big role as Scotty in 1966 when the series began. He was stocky and dependable looking and was good at doing accents of various kinds. His stock in trade, though, was the Scottish accent he used as Scotty.

Doohan also dreamed up the Klingon and Vulcan words used on the show.

He is credited with having inspired many young viewers to study engineering. The redoughtable Dooghan had a variety of bad medical problems in his later years, including diabetes, Parkinson's and pulmonary disease. A year before his life ended, he also developed Alzheimer's. He died in 2005 at age 85. Some of his ashes were sent into space.

Think about Doohan, and you automatically think of Capt. Kirk's stock line, "Beam me up, Scotty."

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