"How--and why--do we focus on those individuals we come to call stars? How does stardom both reflect and mask the person behind it? How have the image of stardom and our stars' images changed over the past hundred years? What does celebrity mean if people can become famous simply for being famous? Ty Burr answers these questions in this lively, wonderfully anecdotal history of stardom--both its blessings and its curses, for the star and the stargazer alike. From Florence Lawrence, Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin, to Archie Leach (a.k.a. Cary Grant), Ruby Stevens (a.k.a. Barbara Stanwyck), and Marion Morrison (a.k.a. John Wayne), to Jim Belushi, Tom Cruise, and Julia Roberts, to such no-cal stars of today as the Kardashians and the new online celebrity (i.e., you and me), Burr takes us on a brilliantly insightful and entertaining journey through the modern fame game at its flashiest, its most indulgent, occasionally its most tragic and, ultimately, its most culturally revealing"--
The faces in the mirror -- The star is born : from Edison's blobs to Florence Lawrence -- The first goddesses : Mary Pickford, Norma Talmadge, flappers, and virgins -- The matinee idols : Charlie, Doug, Rudy, and more -- Sodom : the silent star scandals -- Judgment Day : the movies speak -- The stars who talked : the great singularities of the studio era -- The factory : how stars were made -- Monsters, scarlett women, and other characters -- The afternoon shift : postwar studio stardom -- Barbarians at the gates : Brando changes everything -- The new machine : small screen, small gods -- Vinyl : the new rock celebrities and the Warhol factory -- Free at last : the long voyage of the African American star -- Dig in the new breed : mensches, hippies, and fame in new Hollywood -- The glamour backlash : the 1980s -- Machines and macho men : cable, VHS, and Arnold rewrite the rules -- The kids are all right : brat packers and the new teen idols -- MTV and its discontents : Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the rise of the meta-star -- The corporate star : the 1990s and beyond -- Pixel personal : stardom in the Internet age -- Star death
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