The Importance of Being Famous
Behind the Scenes of the Celebrity-Industrial Complex
Presented by Graduate School of Journalism and the College of Letters and Sciences
Since 1993, Maureen Orth has shared the title "Special Correspondent" with Dominick Dunne at Vanity Fair. Since joining the magazine in 1988, she has interviewed superstars and heads of state and has made headline news with her investigations of murders (Gianni Versace) and scandals (Michael Jackson). Her first book, Vulgar Favors (Delacorte, 1999), appeared for three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She has written for Newsweek, Vogue, New York Woman, The Washington Post, New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Esquire. From 1983 to 1984, she was a network correspondent for NBC News. She has won the National Magazine Award for her coverage of the arts at Newsweek.
Once upon a time, there was only Hollywood. Then, ushering in a new Era of Celebrity came JFK, Watergate, soap-opera-style murders, and media conglomerates gorging on each new spectacle. Star-gazers and spin-meisters reigned as infamy became big, big business. Andy Warhol's famous joke ("In the future, every American will experience fifteen minutes of fame") seemed prophetic. Now, as the circus grows more ruthless, who can say where truth lies? Or if it matters?
In 15 years at Vanity Fair, Orth has made headlines with reporting charting the landscapes of fame and power-where the worst crime is anonymity and citizens strive to stay young, unindicted, and always camera-ready. In her new book, Orth unveils a devastating and often heartbreaking portrait of the Era of Celebrity and its very public lives.
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Maureen Orth has made headlines reporting the landscapes of fame and power -- where its citizens strive to stay young, unindicted, and always camera-ready. Orth unveils a juicy, devastating, and often heartbreaking portrait of the Era of Celebrity and its very public lives.
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