Anna Nicole Smith – the Obese Version of Marilyn Monroe

Anna-Nicole-Smith_The-Early-Years-Edit_HD_768x432-16x9Anna Nicole Smith (aka Vickie Lynn Hogan) was born November 28, 1967. Smith lived one of those rags to riches biographies – rather like her idol, Marilyn Monroe. Smith dropped out of high school at age 15 and was married three years later, in 1985. Monroe married at the age of 16 to avoid returning to an orphanage. Smith’s highly publicized second marriage to J. Howard Marshall resulted in speculation that she married the octogenarian mainly for his money, which she denied. She reportedly never lived with him, never made love with him, or kissed him on the mouth more than ten times. After his death, Smith claimed Marshall promised her half his estate if she married him but he never included her in his will. Ultimately, Smith died without a penny from Marshall. Monroe had the opportunity to wed a billionaire in his 50’s, but unlike Smith she had enough integrity to continue her career climb without marrying for money.

Alternatively, Smith could be stunningly beautiful, then ghoulish-looking. Smith came to public attention through Playboy, winning the 1993 Playmate of the Year.  The magazine made her an overnight modeling sensation, and she became known for wanting to be “the next Marilyn Monroe“. Monroe was the very first Playmate ever to grace the magazine’s centerfold except back in the day, the women were labeled Sweetheart of the Month. Unlike Smith, Monroe’s picture wasn’t what launched her to stardom. She was already filming Gentlemen Prefer Blondes when her nude calendar picture, photographed by Tom Kelly long before anyone knew who Monroe was, became a nationwide sensation. The picture nearly cost Monroe the role.

640px-Marilyn_Monroe_-_publicityFor a famous woman, Smith was one of the least original celebrities ever to walk the red carpet. Frankly, she was a joke. She spent her career imitating the most beautiful woman who ever lived, yet Smith completely lacked talent and had no significant film achievements, or film awards, to her name.  Smith never found recognition as an actress.Smith wanted serious roles but Hollywood studios were reluctant. No kidding. Her persona of a ditzy dumb blonde was compressed heavily in her few film roles, which marketed her physical assets. Monroe struggled with the same stereotype, but unlike Smith she had talent and, late in her career, was largely able to overcome the dumb blonde stigma.

As a been-there-done-that publicity stunt, Smith mimicked Monroe by wearing a copy of the star’s flyaway, white sundress and standing over a fake subway grate. Yawn. Smith was way too fat for the dress and for the Monroe wanna-be effort. In the early 2000s, Smith had very few acting roles although she was offered her own reality show. When it premiered on August 4, 2002, it had the highest cable rating ever issued for a reality show. Despite the popularity of the show amongst college students and pop culture fanatics, the show declined considerably in viewership at the end of its first season. It was, however, renewed for a second season, before being cancelled on June 1, 2003, after two seasons and twenty-seven episodes. Surprise.

When she accepted a contract with Guess, photographers decided Smith bore a striking resemblance not to Monroe, but to bombshell Jayne Mansfield and showcased her in several Mansfield-inspired photo sessions. A photograph of Smith was used by New York magazine on the cover of its August 22, 1994, issue titled White Trash Nation. In the photo she appears squatting in a short skirt with cowboy boots as she eats chips. In October 1994, her lawyer brought a $5 million lawsuit against the magazine, claiming unauthorized use of her photo, and that the article damaged her reputation. Frankly, I’m with New York magazine.

Smith’s weight see-sawed throughout her career. At her heaviest, Smith weighed in at a 61725_anna-nikol-smit_or_anna-nicole-smith_1600x1200_www-gdefon-ruhefty 225 lbs. That’s way too much Playmate. Monroe never weighed over 156 lbs and when she died she weighed 117lbs. However, during her postmortem autopsy, Smith was diagnosed as having a severe thyroid disease that caused a slow deterioration of the thyroid gland. This may have contributed to her weight gain, although this hasn’t been proven, especially since Smith’s weight dropped significantly when she secured a contract with TrimSpa. Smith took the job in an effort to earn money and, at that point in her life, hang onto whatever scraps were left of her career. In March 2005, at the first MTV Australia Video Music Awards in Sydney’s Luna Park, she drunkenly mimicked Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction by pulling down her dress to reveal both breasts, each covered with the MTV logo. Classy broad. Have you ever seen more ridiculous implants than these? Didn’t think so.

Probably the most pitiful video of Smith was the notorious and creepy clown video. Clearly under the influence of drugs, Smith, with her face disturbingly painted like a clown, carried on a weird, garbled conversation with the videographer, her boyfriend Howard Stern. It was an all-time low for the model and Marilyn wanna-be.

Smith died on February 8, 2007 in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room as a result of an overdose of prescription drugs. At first when I heard she died at the age of 39 I figured she was so pathetic a figure that, in an effort to imitate Monroe to the end, she even committed suicide before she left her 30’s. Monroe died at the age of 36. However, after watching an episode of Autopsy: The Last Hours Of , I gained a new perspective on her death.

  1. I don’t believe Smith died due to an intentional overdose, in spite of her depression over her son’s death as he lay in her bed at her side.
  2. She died due to a lethal and unintentional combination of prescription medication, including chloral hydrate, a favourite of Monroe’s and
  3. a very high fever

Anna_Nicole_Smith_164Smith had prescriptions for 18 different medications. She took many of them, often with alcohol, to deal with the physical pain of her huge breast implants which she got to imitate her idol. The implants stretched her breasts until her nipples split and the implants had to be removed. After she healed, Smith had them replaced. Eventually they infected again, and once more they were removed. This painful ritual continued for several months of Smiths life. The implants also caused her severe back pain and she became addicted to a number of painkillers to quell the agony. Just remove them already. After Smith’s death, Kim Waithera friend and assistant, pleaded with the press not to make Smith “into a joke.” It was a moot point. Smith had already made herself into a joke.

On the night she died, Smith refused to allow her entourage to call an ambulance even though she was perilously ill. Even in her weakened state, she worried the press would ridicule her again, accusing her of an intentional overdose when that wasn’t the case. However, in such a tenuous state of mind, her friends should have taken matters into their own hands and called an ambulance. Had they done so it is likely Smith would still be alive today.

Pathetic. But alive.

 

 

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Philip Michael Thomas – Psyched Out by Psychics (and being a side-kick)

Okay, Thomas has had a good run and by all accounts, still has a decent career. I’m sure he’ll step out again somewhere when we aren’t expecting him. However (there’s always a however on this blog), three things truly sucked about his career. One is Miami Vice; the other is his, ah, recording career, and finally his foray into the Psychic Readers’ Network. Here’s why:

Miami ViceDon Johnson’s side order of Ricardo Tubbs. Let’s face facts: no one was into this dude on Vice. Women didn’t watch it to see Tubbs looking tubby. Women liked 397px-Don_JohnsonJohnson. Heck, he even started a coast to coast fashion trend among men with the sneakers, light cotton suits and rolled-up sleeves (tee-hee). Well, it was the 80’s. We learn a lot in retro(pun)spect. People remember Thomas of course however it’s always with a mix of pity and a yawn. Vice just wasn’t his long-suit (another pun). He acted well. He just didn’t rate. I read an article once (not a blog – this was the early 90’s) by a reporter who stated when she went to interview Thomas he was all over her, showing off this and that about his acting and treating her a foot massage and tea and scones, and what have you. Later at some sort of celeb party he acted like he didn’t know her. She stated how odd that was but perhaps that was how some celebrities acted. Frankly I can’t help but think Thomas was so sick of being in Johnson’s shadow that he went all out when a reporter came to see him so he’d get a terrific write-up. After that, show’s over folks!

The Psychic Readers’ Network: Really? Seriously? Was Thomas that low on funds? What did he do with the money he made on Vice? Spend it all on the Don Johnson look? I philip-michael-thomas-miami-vice-now-2-768mean who the hell becomes a spokesperson for something that utterly phony and fraudulent? Seriously, that network (now known as Traffix Inc) rips so many people out of their hard-earned money it’s vile. There’s a special spot in hell for those fakes, put money on it (oops – maybe not). It’s a known fact that people who work for “psychic” phone lines are given a script to use when people call in for advice. They receive hours of training to know how to respond to, um, awkward questions. I can’t believe Network didn’t kill Thomas’ acting career. Then again, that’s probably the best acting he ever did in his life.

Recording Career: In 1985, Thomas recorded a music album titled Living the Book of My Life. Personally I like reggae and he has a good voice however (there’s always a however in this blog) it sold poorly and failed to produce a hit single. That tune really is bad. Besides we know Johnson released a song or two before Thomas (Heartbeat). it was lousy, too…very…80s American like something you’d see in a really bad teenage movie. Anyway. This isn’t about Johnson….yet. Could Thomas’ brief recording career be a coincidence, an influence, or just an embarrassment (maybe all three)? Perhaps he should have recorded Reading the Palm of Your HandThomas followed up in 1988 with a second album, Somebody. It also failed to produce a hit and sold poorly. As a matter of fact his current net worth is $2.7 million. Compare that with $1 billion for Justin Bieber, $25 million for Michael Jackson and $30 million for, you guessed it, Don Johnson. Is this bad investing or a lackluster career? 

Last off he did a voice-over in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (another cazy coincidence). He’s much more handsome now than he ever was as a young man, no question. The wisdom of his years have given him an attractive distinction, well, from what I know of his career. His personal life could be another matter entirely…

 

 

 

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Jon Lydon – aka Johnny Rotten with a Rotten, Ruined Reputation

I never could understand what Jon Lydon was – as a performer or a person.  However, I believe his verbal attacks against shocked fans and reporters, and his early, erratic, spitting performances as a Sex Pistol have ultimately revealed his true persona: john_lydon_3224099psychotic.  Lydon is beyond words, an irony for the subject of a blog, considering he wields them so wickedly at people who do not deserve his abuse (does anyone)? Lydon seems to think this distinguishes him and sets him apart, a rebel who tells it like it is (in his reality zone). Then, egad!, 30 years after the dissolution of the Sex Pistols, his haggard face has reappeared in the coolest venue ever: Country Life Butter commercials. He farts about the English countryside and an $8 million sell-out. (Would I have done the commercial for 8 mill? Yes, but I haven’t spent 30 years trashing everyone else for their “commercialism”). Clearly, his finances are in a pickle and no one is offering him a singing job (since he couldn’t sing anyway). And Lydon still has the nerve to crash his way unwanted up the red carpet in L.A., throwing his weight around and ranting about nothing. He’s turned into the turd he would have hated when he was young and had a few bucks, pretending to attend an awards show without realizing it was for the Pistols. He would prefer to be at a pub around the corner. So why not leave? Then again, the pub owner’s happy he pulled a no-show.

“I think Green Day fucking stink. I think they’re the biggest fake (??) artists 220px-John_Lydon_-_2010I have ever seen.” Lydon shrieks at a reporter about a poster he has hung in his home. He’s mocking GD for being stuck in the punk era, although GD didn’t exist then. He’s angry because they swore “we’ll never change” with fame, what he believes to be a lie. See anything of yourself in the band, Lydon? He still introduces himself as Jon Rotten. Is he kidding? Johnny Rotten died after the Pistols (who only made one album) and his early years with Public Image Limited (PIL). He claimed that he moved out of the punk era and this was what prevented him from becoming washed up. Then why not move out of the spotlight entirely and accept the fact that he, like many singers and screamers of the 70s and early 80s, has had his day. He’s an aging rebel-wannabe (he’s got nothing left to rebel against except his own reality). He stated he wasn’t allowed to make music until he made enough money to pay down debts. Enter Country Life. What annoyed him about Madonna? It “drove [him] nutswhen she went to England and pretended to be British. Naturally, phony people piss him off.

Eminem has nothing on Lydon where sexism goes. I’d love to see those two sing a merry olde duet. “When a man is talking do not interrupt!” he snarls at a pretty, young interviewer. If a man was talking, that is.

 

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The Lovely, Lost, Late Lisa Robin Kelly

lisaDo you still watch those tired reruns of That 70s Show starring Ashton Kutcher. The show was always kind of stupid and Kutcher made it even worse. I dislike that man intensely for reasons too numerous to mention here. Anyhow this blog is dedicated to Lisa Robin Kelly, (Laurie Forman), the gorgeous blonde promiscuous sister of Eric Forman. She was that quintessential copy of Farrah Fawcett that every girl in America wanted to be. She was the girl that every boy in high school wanted to date and many girls hated just because she was hot. There must have been a few like that in your high school too.

Ironically a girl named Laurie was the incredible blonde bombshell in my high school. Her hair was naturally platinum blonde, she had a pin-up girl figure and many boys in the school dissed her because they knew they didn`t stand a chance. Anyhow.

Lisa_Robin_KellyLisa made her debut in a brief exchange with Christina Applegate in a 1992 episode of Married… with Children entitled “Kelly Doesn’t Live Here Anymore“, launching her television career. She appeared in 1997 in the episode, Charmed and Silk Stalkings Lisa lasted for 5 seasons on 70s. She was written out  in an episode where Laurie Forman left home to go to beauty school. In reality, Lisa was heavily addicted to crack cocaine and had a drinking problem. The producers insisted she enter rehab for 6 weeks but she was fired in 2002. She briefly returned to the show in the fifth season in four episodes, but was replaced with Christina Moore in the sixth season. Lisa`s last role onscreen was in the 2005 film The Food Chain: A Hollywood Scarytale.

In August 2010, Lisa was arrested in North Carolina on a charge of driving under the influence. In November 2010, she pleaded guilty, was fined and sentenced to 12 months unsupervised probation.  On March 31, 2012, Lisa was arrested on a felony charge of corporal injury upon a spouse, and was released on $50,000 bail. The charge was based on a complaint filed by her ex-boyfriend, John Michas. She later made public statements saying that she was the one who had been assaulted, and denied Michas’ claim that she assaulted him

Pantages TheatreMacKenzie Phillips who was Julie Horvath on One Day at a Time is another actress who was fired for her drug addiction. During the show’s third season in 1977, Phillips was arrested for public drunkenness and possession of cocaine. Because of her drug and alcohol abuse, Phillips began arriving late and was incoherent for rehearsals. The producers ordered her to take a six-week break to overcome her addiction. In 1980, she was fired from the show. In recent years Phillips informed the press that she was her father`s victim of incest for years beginning at age 11. That would explain the drug addiction.

Between 2012 – 2013 Lisa was arrested for a variety of crimes including DUIs and spousal abuse. Her life was in a downward spiral. At time of a 2012 arrest she had just suffered a miscarriage. On Good Morning America Lisa admitted she had a miscarriage as a result of her drinking. “I had lost a baby, as a result of that, I lost everything,” she said at the time. “And I was abusing alcohol, which I no longer do.” 

lisaDuring 2013 Lisa was barely recognizable. Alcohol had taken its toll. She looked years older than she was and it was hard to believe she was a celebrity. Suddenly Lisa died on the evening of August 14, 2013, at the Pax House substance abuse facility in Altadena, California. Her manager Craig Wyckoff said Lisa voluntarily checked herself into the facility several days earlier to receive treatment. The cause of her death was not immediately known. The LA Coroners office is waiting on tests to come back. Sources have said she overdosed. Other sources are saying that she passed away in her sleep from cardiac arrest. What a waste.

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Axl Rose -, Absurd, Awkward, Absolutely Assinine, Awful, XXL Rose

name:  Axl Rose
occupation:  Big Year Blimp and former frontman for GNR I

I saw this picture of Axl Rose on Yahoo tonight that nearly made me chuck my cookies (irony). Axl Rose must weigh in at a hefty 250lbs, easy, and none of it is muscle. I couldn’t believe my eyes. You must understand my shock and horror. I loved this man. He was my

axl-rose-fatidol for 20 years. I was all of 21 when GNR hit the big time with Appetite. The first song I ever heard the band play and Axl (the Angel) sing was Sweet Child O Mine. I was at a nightclub and had just come back from the dead. I’d suffered a wicked bout of mononucleosis and I’d been hospitalized for 8 days. It wasn’t for weeks that I ventured back into the world to party, and a girlfriend of mine and I went to a happening little club when I first heard Axl sing.

I remember thinking “my God! Who has that beautiful voice? And who wrote axl-rose-fat-jokes-i12those angelic lyrics?” I wanted to marry Axl Rose, and that was without seeing him yet – a skinny, pretty-faced boy from Lafayette. I was staggered when someone told me I looked like his wife, Erin Everly. Darn it. If only I’d lived 20,000 miles south, who knows what Might Have Been? Anyway. Have you ever heard a wounded coyote cry? It would appear that Axl has not only eaten all the lard in his pantry in recent months, he has somehow managed to destroy that golden voice. He can’t pitch the notes and he can’t sing them anymore.  At least he can’t disappoint GNR II: they suck. Their sound is acoustic, tinny, pathetic. In concert, they butchered Jungle so as to render it unrecognizable. “It’s gonna bring you down. Ha!” Axl barked and gasped. True that.

Axl is such a sad, wallowing, (fat) shadow of his former self that I can’t bear to reflect on him. When he made his comeback in 2006 or thereabouts, critics then were astonished at axl_rose_fathow he’d changed: definitely heavier, dreadful and  entirely unnecessary plastic surgery on his once-beautiful face, and bizarre, woolen cornrows all combined to make him look like Carrot Tops older, saner brother, rather than the rock icon of the 80‘s. However, over time, his face seemed to settle from that tight, plastic mask into something more realistic and almost handsome, and it was relatively easy to overlook the cornrows when he belted out Welcome to the JungleHe still had the Voice. Now when he has the chance to sit his old self down, and play the piano, Axl’s vocals make me cringe. Speaking of Voice, please Axl, promise me you will never guest star as a judge on The Voice. When you can’t keep up to incoming talent, you really have no business judging and bringing them down.

He huffs and puffs his way through a concert.. He frequently takes a breather between lines and has to pick up several beats behind. Yet thousands upon thousands of fans pack Fat-Axl-Rosestadiums worldwide to see this man!  He entertains a young, new audience now, which is wholly unexpected. Very few stars of yesteryear appeal to the Y generation (as in y would anyone go see GNR II?), but somehow GNR II and Axl have cracked the code. I don’t know how many fans my age from his early, hot years attend his concerts but I suspect the number is few compared to the 20-year-olds. This isn’t due to the current Axl Rose. His ongoing fame is a tribute to the earlier, hotter, talented Axl, who could rip up a stage with his body and voice. He was a serious shit-disturber in his personal life, and unpredictably unstable onstage. Somehow, those antics added a racy edge to his bad-boy image and lured in more and more groupies, fans, and admirers. Now Axl can barely waddle his way around stage. He often stops and leans again an amplifier for leverage while gasping for air. Seriously.

Axl is so god-almighty obese and unhealthy that he walks with a cane when he isn’t onstage. That’s no surprise: he looks unsteady without it onstage and that probably accounts for the amplifier assistance. Of course, when he released the utterly banal AxlRose-StillFat-1Chinese Democracy (no surprise there), everyone knew it was over. He was a wash-up after GNR broke up in the mid-1990s. There was no official announcement. Axl fired band members, or they quietly resigned. Slash hasn’t spoken to Axl since 1996 – seventeen years. Slash stated he and Axl didn’t exchange words. Slash was offered the opportunity to sign a new contract with Axl’s band, GNR II. This was no longer an equal footing, not an eager young band bringing a shared interest to the table. This was all about Axl, take it or leave it. Sensibly, Slash left it.

For reasons known only to himself and his publicist (who should be fired), Axl made his first television interview appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, in 20 years. He was axlcharming and witty, and dressed in one of his middle-aged Axl get-ups that actually worked 3 years ago when he still had a good bod. When he spoke, his padded cheeks made him slur. Sad.  Yet the audience screamed and whooped for several minutes after he walked onto the set. When Axl took his seat, Kimmel remarked “I’m excited.” In spite of the advancing years, the hefty pounds, the thinning hair, the broken voice, people love him. I’m convinced they simply Use their Illusion and worship the Axl of old (irony). He manages to cloak himself in that invincibility, almost as tightly as the Paddington Bear yellow raincoat he wore in a pitiful effort to hide his weight, during a 2012 concert in Rio. 

Although I used to love him, Axl has always been an audacious, self-centered turd. In the 1990s, when hot Axl and GNR I rocked out, Axl caused a major riot during a Montreal, Canada performance, after he threw down his microphone and walked offstage. A major riot ensued, resulting in $100,000.00 of damages: police cars were overturned, bottles were thrown at buildings, fans assaulted one another. Later in interviews, Axl claimed it wasn’t the band’s fault (certainly wasn’t) but the fans wanted a show, regardless of “technical difficulties” (so it’s the fans’ fault). In reality, Axl the A-hole, felt upstaged when mere minutes before, Metallica, who opened for GNR, had to cancel their show after James Hedfield burned his arm and couldn’t perform. Such was the stunning psychosis of Axl Rose’s ego. He lied to reporters and, being at the peak of his career; nothing could stop that train. Well, almost nothing. At the same time, he’d criticize Kurt Cobain for thinking he was “too good and too cool.” When you’re 20 or 30-something with a gorgeous voice and a kick-ass stage performance, you can do that sort of thing if that’s what does it for you.

Sounds mean? Ask Slash what he thinks of Axl and GNR II when Axl stumbled and fell over his own feet during a concert while placing one foot on an amplifier. He can’t do axethat simple classic Axl move anymore; it throws off his balance. Oh, Ax. Or is it XXL? Still, Axl keeps on waddling and puffing in front of millions of fans because somehow, he still has them. They keep giving him reason to believe that he de man, when clearly, his time has come and gone. To the Axl Rose of the 1980s and early 1990s, I salute you. To the haggard, obese, aging man barely able to cross one side of a concert stage to another, I beg you to hang up your microphone and retire with what little dignity you have left, or it’s gonna bring you down. Hurl!

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Jaclyn Smith – Wonderful Woman with Wooden, Woeful Acting

Jaclyn Smith was my favorite television actress by the end of the television sitcom Charlie’s Angels, mostly because as a young teenager, a number of friends told me how much I resembled her.  I’ll take it. I remember Jaclyn enjoying unrelenting publicity after the series ended: you couldn’t turn a corner without running into a magazine rack filled with magazines with her gorgeous face on it. She dominated television commercials and reigned as the made-for-television actress in movies and miniseries alike. Everyone who knew of her was well aware of her trademark beauty: a super-slim physique and thick, curly, shoulder-length, dark hair. Let’s be clear about one thing: insofar as television actresses go, I really do like Jaclyn Smith. I just loathe her acting, Now in her late 60s, she’s still stunning and classy. I just hope people keep telling me I look like her when I’m 67 (somehow I doubt it). Some things about her don’t, and shouldn’t, change.

Charlie’s Angels
Jaclyn is best known as the brilliant and glamorous Kelly Garret in Charlie’s Angels. She was the brunette who strutted her perfect stuff in a white bikini whenever she had the chance. The series formally debuted on September 22, 1976, and ran for five seasons. The show became a smash success not only in the U.S. but, worldwide, spawning several products, including bubble gum cards (I must admit, I collected those, although I was a Farrah fan then),  fashion dolls, numerous posters (yep, Farrah again), puzzles, and school supplies.

Background and TV films
When Jaclyn was young, she left home and moved to New York City with hopes of dancing with the ballet. Brave girl. Her career aspirations shifted to modeling and acting as she found work in television commercials and print ads. Wow, tough having such limited JaclynSmithBreckShampoochoices. She landed a job as a “Breck girl” in 1971, and a few years later joined Farrah Fawcett, as a spokesmodel for Wella Balsam shampoo, Max Factor mascara and their Epris perfume. Her first TV role was the CBS-TV movie of the week, Escape from Bogen County in 1977. Then came a leading role in Joyce Haber’s The Users with Tony Curtis and John Forsythe in 1978. In 1980, Jaclyn starred with Robert Mitchum in the suspense thriller Nightkill. She starred in the title role of the critically acclaimed television movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, earning her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. In 1983, Jaclyn starred as Jennifer Parker in the TV movie Rage of Angels, based on the novel by Sidney Sheldon. Gotta say: that was one boring film. And Jaclyn is one boring, wooden actress. Beautiful, yes; successful, no doubt; but wooden and emotionless. Yet, the film was the highest rated in the Nielsen ratings the week it aired. She reprised the role in the 1986 sequel, Rage of Angels: The Story Continues. 

The 1985 film Deja Vu isn’t any better. In it, she attempts a number of dramatic scenes playing as a murderous sociopath, but somehow it becomes comical, especially with the repetitive plot development. Her acting is so, um,. so-so, hence the reason I can’t help but describe her acting as wooden. She never changes characters in any of her films. She’s Jaclyn Smith from one film to the next as proven by her limited acting ability. Okay, so it works for her, but that doesn’t make for great performances or dazzling talent. 

jaclyn_smith_gallery_6Jaclyn appeared in a number of television movies during the 1980s and 1990s including George Washington, The Night They Saved Christmas (both 1984), Florence Nightingale (1985), Windmills of the Gods (1988) – another TV film based on a Sidney Sheldon novel, The Bourne Identity (also 1988); adapted from author Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name; Settle the Score (1989), Lies Before Kisses, The Rape of Dr. Willis (both 1991), and several TV versions of  novels, Danielle Steel movies including Kaleidoscope (1990) and Family Album (1994). In 1989, she played the title role in Christine Cromwell, a mystery television series which lasted one season. That same year, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As impressive as that is, I can’t help but comment on the totally vanilla roles Jaclyn Smith always plays, and all within typical middle-upper class lifestyles. Perhaps in the early farrah-fawcett-0051980s, a beautiful white woman with a television past like Jaclyn’s, experienced significant difficulty in transitioning to less stereotypical roles into something more controversial. However, it could be done: Farrah Fawcett for instance, starred as a lower class woman brutalized by her abusive husband in The Burning Bed, a disturbing movie based on a true story. She also starred in Extremities, a film about a single career woman who is raped and enacts her own revenge against her rapist. In 1989  Farrah depicted the pathological Diane Downs, in the film Small Sacrifices, also based on a true story. The original non-fiction was documented by Ann Rule, a renowned true crime writer. True, these weren’t films that immersed Farrah in a multicultural climate, however, her foray into roles about sexual and physical assault, and those involving people living in poverty, were stunning accomplishments. As a former Angel, Jaclyn has yet to parallel this success in both her quality of acting and choice of roles.

In August 2006, Jaclyn reunited with her angels co-stars Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson at the 58th Primetime Emmy awards in tribute to producer Aaron Spelling (former husband of another beautiful brunette television star, Carolyn Jones), who died earlier that year. Her appearance led Bravo TV’s producers to cast Jaclyn as the celebrity host of Bravo’s weekly competitive reality series, Shear Genius which began airing in March 2007. Smith hosted the show for its first two seasons. The whole premise was stupid, and, like all “reality” competitive sitcoms, a knock-off of the Project Catwalk concept. This one was haircuts. Genius? I think not. Jaclyn herself could have used a new hairdo on the show: she’d dyed her hair an unflattering dark golden-blonde, and wore it in a style reminiscent of a 1970s shag. Ouch.

Jaclyn+Smith+Spencer+Margaret+Richmond+2005+vb5_jD5aAmelIn 1985, Jaclyn entered the business world with the introduction of her collection of women’s apparel for Kmart. She pioneered the concept of celebrities developing their own brands rather than merely endorsing others, and doing so for the middle-class woman on a budget.  The clothes were pretty nice, actually, and because they were distributed through Kmart, reasonably priced. A season 15 episode of The Simpsons (“The Fat and the Furriest” – a spoof on “The Fast and the Furious” ) lampooned Jaclyn’s many business successes, portraying her as having her own line of axe heads. A sense of business, and a sense of humor. Can’t beat it.

Like many glamorous and seriously famous celebs, Jaclyn has been married several times:

  1. Actor Roger Davis (1968)
  2. 450px-JacklynSmithJune06Actor Dennis Cole, who appeared on Charlie’s Angels in 1977 and 1978. Jaclyn maintained a relationship with Joe Cole, Cole’s son from a previous marriage, after her divorce from his father. Sadly Joe was murdered in 1991 during a robbery; the case remains unsolved.
  3. Filmmaker Tony Richmond in 1981, with whom she had two children, Gaston and Spencer Margaret.
  4. Houston cardiothoracic surgeon Brad Allen since 1997.

Jaclyn battled breast cancer in 2003. In 2006, Jaclyn, Farrah and Kate were reunited for the 2006 Emmy Awards.  2010, she was featured in 1 a Minute, a documentary about breast cancer, her best television role to date. Probably because her role is based very much on a true story.

 

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Pee-wee’s Peewee – Icky Icon from Yesteryear

celeb: Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman)
occupation: singer, actor, pervert

And you thought this blog was bad before, wait until you read this nugget!  (And now that I have your attention)…..  Hollywood, that land of tinsel and turds, has sown some pee_wee_hermaninteresting characters in its day and none as stomach-turning as some of its child actors, or children’s’ actors (the distinction being the former was an actual star and the latter either voicing a character, or portraying a character, rather than being an icon themselves).  Clear as mud, right? We’ve explored a few child actor losers, including Danny Bonnaduce and Brooke Shields for example, (have to keep rubbing that one in as I love the reaction it gets). Here’s another one to add to that golden pond.

Pee-wee Herman - remember that pervert?  Paul Reubens, the actor, and his character Pee-wee, were creepy enough as it was, but then the bozo had to go and get caught for pulling Pee-wee’s peewee-sized peewee in an adult movie theatre (why do they call it “adult” when the behaviour is anything but?).  The film  Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, directed by a young Tim Burton (love that man – and Johnny Depp – helluva pair)  hit the screens in 1985, and, love this irony, “toned down the adult innuendo for the appeal of children. Too bad Reubens didn’t keep that in mind when he took his pee-wee on his X-rated Adventure. Speaking of Johnny Depp,  in 2006, when discussing a third Pee-wee film, Reubens said that he would cast Johnny Depp if needed. He claimed that he spoke to Depp himself and that the actor asked for time to think about it (that’s polite talk for “I really don’t want to be associated with a kiddie performer who whacks himself in a porn theatre”).

Adventure didn’t do too well commercially, but to its credit, it became a cult flick. In spite of the “toning down”, sexual innuendo in Pee-wee’s television series was still apparent, particularly between the Cowboy Curtis and Miss Yvonne characters. Reubens portrays Pee-wee as though he is a stand-up comedian and is playing himself in his films cowboy-curtis-pee-weeand TV series. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was awarded to Pee-wee Herman rather than Paul Reubens (how long is that freaken sidewalk anyway?). In both Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Pee-wee’s Playhouse, he surrounds himself with strange inventions. Big Top Pee-wee depicts him as a farmer/inventor. David Letterman said, “What makes me laugh…is that it has the external structure of a bratty little precocious kid, but you know it’s being controlled by the incubus — the manifestation of evil itself”.  In folklore, an incubus (its female counterpart being a succubus), is a demon, appearing in people’s nightmares, and sitting on the dreamer’s chest whilst attempting sexual intercourse.  The weight of the incubus, and the sex act, causes deterioration to the dreamer’s health and eventually death. There is something sickeningly appropriate about the little demon and the little pervert Pee-wee Herman. Eventually Reubens generously stated it was his appearances on David Letterman’s show that made Pee-wee a star.

At the start of Pee-wee’s career, Paul Reubens auditioned for Saturday Night Live for the 1980-1981 season but was not accepted into the cast.  However all was not lost: Pee-wee hosted the 198th episode of Saturday Night Live on November 23, 1985.  After the SNL rejection, he started a stage show with the Herman character, and made his first appearance in the 1980 film Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie. He first played a rude receptionist in the film, spewing obscenities at police and being arrested…this, kiddies, is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. 1988 saw the release of  Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special. The program included various celebrity guests, including Oprah Winfrey, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, Little Richard, and Joan Rivers (Rivers herself being another caricature entirely).

That’s where it gets tawdry. 1991 was the year that Reubens was arrested in Sarasota, Florida for masturbating publicly in an adult theater. Reubens was cited for indecent mugexposure.The arrest was widely covered and both the character Pee-wee and Reubens became the subject of ridicule. CBS stopped airing Playhouse and Disney-MGM Studios suspended from its studio tour a video that featured Pee-wee. Toys-R-Us removed Pee-wee toys from its stores. Despite the negative publicity, many artists who knew Reubens, such as Cyndi Lauper and Zsa Zsa Gabor, (that’s no surprise – didn’t she belt a cop?), spoke out in his support.Bill Cosby defended Reubens, saying “Whatever (Reubens has) done, this is being blown (true, that) all out of proportion“. A shocker for Cosby, who is supposedly all things children and decency.

I would disagree with Cosby.  The greatest harm here is not necessarily that Pee-wee is a pervert. This is Hollywood, after all.  It is that Reubens was a children’s performer and an icky icon to many tykes.  His lewd sexual act was odious considering Pee-wee’s targeted television audience. The public however appeared to sympathize with Reubens — the TV rollingnewsmagazine A Current Affair received “tens of thousands” of responses to a telephone survey supporting Reubens with a nine-to-one majority. That just proves even the majority can be grossly incorrect in its judgment of character. He remained in a state of shock for weeks, and was haunted by the arrest for several years, refusing to give interviews or appear on talk shows. According to a 1991 Rolling Stone article he stated he had become weary of the character and wanted to explore new territory (I thought he already had). in 1999 in one of his very first interviews not as Pee-wee. It was also on that interview that Reubens announced plans in 1999 to start writing a new Pee-wee movie, in spite of his interview with RS.

On January 15, 2011, Reubens appeared on Saturday Night Live yet again as, surprise, Pee-wee, depicting Andy Samberg and Pee-wee getting drunk, taking a ride on a mechanical bull, and ambushing Anderson Cooper in an alley way with a chair. On February 1, 2012, Reubens appeared as Pee-wee on Bravo’s Top Chef: Texas and peewee_herman1served as guest judge. My guess is they made chocolate cupcakes with “hi kiddies, I’ve got a candy for you” scrawled across them in jelly beans. As for the third, aforementioned flick, Reubens hopes will be graced by Depp, Reubens told MTV he hopes to have Justin Bieber make a cameo appearance. In light of Bieber’s recent public behaviors, if Reubens is hoping to make a decent comeback, he might want to re-think that one. He also stated that filming of the movie has not started yet, but hopes to begin filming in the next couple of months. That film will not see the light (uh-oh) of day until at least 2015 due to “delays“, whatever that means.

Years before Reubens wrote his Playhouse  movie script, he wrote an “autobiography” of Pee-wee the character, stating: “It’s basically the story of Pee-wee Herman becoming famous as a singer. He has a hit single and gets brought out to Hollywood to make musical movies, kind of like they did with Elvis. It all kind of goes downhill from there for Pee-wee (you don’t say). He turns into a monster. He does everything wrong and becomes a big jerk (off).” Truth is stranger than fiction after all.

Redemption: His fans seem to welcome him back with open arms…I’ll never figure that one out
Comeback: H for hopefully never

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