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.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iconic TV role: Dan Blocker

One of the best-liked characters in the long history of TV westerns was Eric "Hoss" Cartwright, played by hulking but kindly Dan Blocker.

Texas-born Blocker, born Bobby Don Blocker, was around 6'3" and weighed around 300 pounds. He had played football and worked as a bouncer in his younger days, then was an English and theater teacher in Los Angeles before getting into show biz in the late 1950s.

His celebrity-earning role on the "family western" "Bonanza" was as the middle of three sons on the Ponderosa Ranch in 1800s Nevada. The show's immense popularity resulted in heaven only knows how many farms and even some actual ranches scattered in no doubt every U.S. state that even today sport a big sign proclaiming themselves "The Ponderosa," a sincere if remarkably unoriginal tribute.

People always like a gentle giant, and Blocker's "Bonanza" character was nice as pie till riled, then lowered the boom on the bad guys most convincingly.

Blocker served in the Army in Korea but became a highly vocal critic of America's involvement in Vietnam.

The big guy died unexpectedly following surgery in 1972.

No comments:

Post a Comment