There exists in our culture today a kind of media frenzy surrounding the cult of celebrity. We constantly find more than ever the need to blot out the horrors and and inanity of what sometimes can seem overwhelming concerning what we have to deal with in a daily basis. Looking at the relatively modern triviality of Andy Warhol’s ’15 minutes of fame’ prediction, almost anything counts these days regarding ‘fame’. Celebrity now seems to be confused with any kind of notoriety. This article will take a brief look at celebrities aging gracefully.
How the meaning of ‘celebrity’ has changed over time
As time now has begun pass us by at an even more frantic pace than ever before, the notions of fame and celebrity have become mixed-up. As alluded to previously, this muddle appears to be purely a modern phenomenon. It all seems to hinge on ‘image’. A celebrity was, and to some extent still is, a person who possesses a favourable public image. They portray wholesome, quite rare qualities that are not common throughout society as a whole. A celebrity is somebody who can command a lengthy career spanning several decades. The modern age, for a myriad of reasons, has spawned a celebrity culture that surrounds short-lived and infamous, gossip fuelled, here today-gone tomorrow personalities.
Long lasting celebrities
In today’s fast paced mode of existence, it is difficult to imagine the young celebrities of today being able to sustain a lengthy career. Some examples of current celebrities who have been treading the boards for decades, still pull massive crowds. The Rolling Stones and Metallica can boast half a century each pursuing their crafts in the music space. From film and TV, Bruce Willlis and Cate Blanchett are classic exponents of the genres quality and longevity.
There appear to be three magic ingredients that suggest a lengthy run as a celebrity. These are, in no particular order, Obvious talent, perseverance, a love of what they do. If tackled in the correct manner, celebrity is within your grasp if that is what you want.
Categories of celebrity today
Pidgeon holes in which you can group celebrities haven’t differed that much over time. The ‘infamy’ angle largely surrounds media produced examples from either film/tv or music. There are cases where individual notoriety, or sporting endeavour, can highlight clelebrities. These cases, however, tend to be more localised and specific certain countries/regions. The big players command worldwide attention and devotion.
The inevitable list
There are many representatives of a more mature celebrity who are still with us today. The following 12 example are only a small sample of those who ignite our memories.
Helen Mirren (b. 1945) – British film, TV, and theater actor. Dame Helen Lydia Mirren DBE is the recipient of numerous accolades during her career. Helen is the only person to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting in both the US and UK. Working on Broadway as well as other worldwide theaters, Helen has starred as much on TV as in blockbuster movies.
Bill Murray (b. 1950) – American comedian, film, TV, and theater actor. Bill became nationally recognized through his starring role in Ghostbusters in 1982. His prominence has steadily grown as he has appeared in many film and TV roles as well as live comedy routines.
Olivia Newton John (b. – 1948) – British Australian singer songwriter and musical artist. Dame Olivia been in the public eye all her working life. Best known for her role Sandy in Grease (1978), her many TV and film appearances solidified her celebrity status. Xanadu is another stand out classic film with musical accompaniment.
Cliff Richard (b. 1940) – British singer songwriter and musical artist. Selling over 250 million records worldwide has catapulted Cliff to superstar status. Despite being born to a poor family in India, Cliff rose to prominence when he changed his name and moved to England. He joined a band called the Shadows. His work ethic and talent was spotted. First through film, then his musical prowess, Cliff became the legend he is today.
Burt Bacharach (b. 1928) – American composer, songwriter and record producer. Exceedingly prominent between 1950 and the late 1980s, Burt’s songs have been recorded by over 1,000 artists. 73 of his songs have reached the top 40 in the US and 54 in the UK. Burt’s unique musical sound derived from the unusual chord progressions he used from his grounding in jazz.
Franki Valli (b. 1934) – American singer songwriter and musical artist. Known for his amazing high falsetto voice, Franki appeared on the music scene in the early 1960s in New York. Still touring to this day, and writing/recording new songs, Franki is an inspiration to everybody of a certain age. A Franki Valli and the 4 Seasons show is an exciting, nostalgic must.
Dionne Warwick (b. 1940) – American singer songwriter and musical artist. Dionne as well as being a worldwide acclaimed musical artist, is a former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. A seminal and prolific recording and touring artist, Dione is ranked among the biggest grossing hitmakers between 1959 and 1999. Dionne is still touring today.
Stevie Nicks (b. 1948) – American singer songwriter and musical artist and producer. Stevie made her name with Fleetwood Mac. Her unique vocal range and gift for song writing catapulted to stardom as a solo artist. With many collaborations with fellow artists Stevie still records and performs today.
Julie Andrews (b. 1935) – British film, TV, and musical artist. The Sound of Music will always be synonymous with Julie’s rise to fame. However, she has a huge and glittering catalogue of films and musicals to her name. Julie has deserved her current retirement with her nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
John Travolta (b. 1954) – American film, TV, and theater actor. Now one the biggest and wealthiest celebrities, John saw a revival of his career following Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction. Having previously already achieved cult status in some areas, John went on to find further worldwide acclaim as his fame has talent was recognized.
Anthony Hopkins (b. 1937) – British film, TV, and theater actor. Having been inspired by fellow Welsh actor Richard Burton. Anthony first took to the stage then quickly took advantage of the new medium of television. It wasn’t long before movies lured his talent and spread his unique portrayal of Hannibal Lector possibly his most famous role. Of course, his massive catalogue of work and awards speak for themselves. Anthony is still filming today.
Jimmy Page (b 1944) . British singer songwriter and musical artist. Starting life as a multi-talented session musician, Jimmy was catapulted to stardom when he joined British Rock band Led Zeppelin as their guitarist following a stint with The Yardbirds. Famed for his alternative guitar tunings, Jimmy is still contributing to an enormous body of work that continues to astound his fans and peers.
We thankfully still hold many beloved celebrities close to our hearts. We are grateful for the joy they bring to our lives. Inevitably we are losing some at what is a tragically regular basis nowadays. I will always be beholden to those who brighten my life. I hope you are too.
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