Darling Donny Denied Dignity and a Childhood

Anyone who was young and hip in the 1970s remembers Donny Osmond. He was a sex symbol for teenage girls. Dark-haired, brown-eyed with a toothy grin and wholesome image, he drove pubescent girls insane. Donald Clark “Donny” Osmond today he is an American singer, actor, dancer, radio personality, and now a former teen idol. Osmond has also been a talk and game show host, record producer and author. Whew. That’s an exhausting list of credentials. In the 70s there wasn’t a teen girl around who wasn’t hopelessly in love. Including me. That pretty voice and sparkling smile melted me like the Witch in the Wizard of Oz, only hopefully that was a prettier sight.

donny_osmond-too_youngHowever in private, Osmond suffered many setbacks even during his most successful years. At six-years-old, he performed in Sweden and became homesick. He wanted to go home. Instead, he was performing three shows a day for massive audiences. Every day he was in a different town and setting up sound and light shows with his brothers. He wrote a letter that summed up his feelings: “I wanted to go back to my sandbox, I wanted to go see my buddy Scott Bramwell. I wanted that life again.” His father found the letter and there were harsh repercussions. There would be no going home ever again, at least not as an innocent, sheltered child.

At only 5 years old, adorable little Donny, along with his young brothers, made a debut on the Andy Williams show. America fell in love. Seven years along, gorgeous sister Marie and youngest and least attractive, chubby brother, Jimmy, joined the act. The family had a television series and became one of the biggest families (along with the Jackson Five) in pop. The Osmonds, like the Jacksons, capitalized on their clean-cut image and impressive talent.

In 1972 The Osmonds danced and sang their way into Britain’s heart. Osmond-mania replaced Beatle-mania. Massive numbers of young girls stampeded their private airplane on the runway. They had to be carried out, unconscious, from concerts and hosed off. It was Donny and his hit Puppy Love however that the girls truly lusted after. Osmond was only 13 when he sang Puppy Love live for the first time. The girls screamed so loudly that “it was unbearable and I forgot the rest of the words,” Osmond admitted. Any teen magazine where Osmond appeared was sold out within days. At that time, Britain was plagued with unemployment and shortages, Osmond was a miraculous money-maker. He even had the power to boost entire countries’ financial recessions.

look2One can’t help but make comparisons to the wholesome, squeaky image that launched Justin Bieber’s career. Bieber’s coiffed hair, pretty face, hairdo and high-pitched vocals directly channel Osmond’s 1970s image and appeal. It’s no accident of course. Agents work with whatever charisma a celebrity has to offer and recognize former trends that have proved successful.

donny-osmond-debra-glennIn spite of his incredible popularity, Osmond didn’t indulge in his groupies. His Mormon faith forbade pre-marital sex and Osmond honoured it. He took no one back to his hotel room. He was “a virgin when I married…I’m glad I withheld.” He finally wed his red-head, gorgeous 19-year-old student girlfriend, Debra Glenn. He made the right choice. Thirty-odd years later, they remain married and have five children.

Osmond claims his father was authoritative but he didn’t abuse his children in the manner of Joe Jackson with his sons and daughter, Janet. Like most children, Osmond had moments of resentment for his father. He didn’t like losing his childhood. He didn’t like following stringent orders, but then again, what teenager does?

In 1976, Marie and Donny got their own television show. “I’ve got some new for you. We’re going to have our own television show,” Marie told him on their apartment stairs. That was how he found out. The variety show was hugely popular, even though Osmond Osmonds_1971felt uncomfortable about leaving his brothers behind. Osmond also wasn’t permitted to sell any records. At the time he stated “Donny and Marie are doing all the work,” but later he appreciated how much work his brothers did behind the scenes. For his part, Osmond didn’t “receive a dime.” He didn’t know how he supported his family. If he needed food, it was there but the millions of dollars he and Marie pulled down went into the Osmond Partnership.

Eventually ratings dropped. They changed the format of the show. “And then everybody panicked.” Their silly cheese-ball act was right for the time. It included outlandish costumes and cartoonish show-time characters but over time, this appeal crashed and the show was canceled. One of the reasons was that the Osmond machine tried to keep Donny and Marie as teen idols and refused to allow them to grow up. It didn’t work.

4980434_f520After years of incredible success, suddenly Osmond was Over. He became an American joke. Girls became women. They didn’t shriek with adoration over him anymore. They shrieked with hilarity. He couldn’t even get a record deal. Even labels laughed at him. He was in an era when pristine behaviour was essential if one wishes to remain in the public eye. His reputation was solid: no sex scandals, no drugs, no rehab, none of the Lindsay Lohan pranks we expect in pathetic celebs today.  In fact, Osmond’s agent suggested that spreading false rumors about drug arrest charges might recharge his career. Osmond refused. He felt he could not reconcile how lying to create a nefarious drug image could be explained to his children, nieces and nephews.

At 24, Osmond tried “to conquerBroadway and failed miserably. He attempted to star in Little Johnny Jones and it opened and closed in the same night. “I still didn’t have an idea but everybody knew…everybody just kind of patronized me…I don’t think I’ve ever brought myself to read the reviews… They’re pretty bad.” Osmond responded by trying to not be Donny Osmond. Long-time friend Michael Jackson stated “your name is poison. You’ve got to change your name.” For a time, Osmond begged  people to work with him. Just as bad, his money evaporated. Graciously, Osmond won’t go into details about that incident except to admit that people embezzled from them.

Osmond went into small-time venues, including university gigs.  For years Osmond’s image haunted him. He couldn’t revive his career. In 1988 he made the attempt with a recording called Soldier of Love. In New York City it became the number one requested record. The radio station that played the song was too embarrassed to admit they were playing Donny Osmond’s single. They called him the Mystery Singer. When the station revealed who he was, the public went wild with enthusiasm. He was back.

Donny_Osmond_(OTRS)At 31, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat was offered to Osmond to appear on Broadway. On opening night Osmond recalled “the World Press being there.” He was terrified about its reception. This time, critics loved him. He remained on top in a six-year run when he suddenly developed stage fright. He had worked so hard to resurrect his career. What if it all came crashing down again? Finally, he walked offstage and went back to Utah for a time.

You know what rejection is all about…so having said that, I can’t look back with any regret.” His emotions belied his words as he wept during this part of his interview. Osmond actually stated that if he could have had an ordinary life without celebrity, he would have chosen it over fame. He believes everyone in his family would have done the same. His voice cracked when he stated he wanted “an easier life…an easier life.”

Isn’t that what everyone wants?

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Dashing Depp’s Dangerous Dilemma about his Diamond Dogs

There’s puppy love and then there’s Johnny Depp.  Johnny Depp, the icon of American cool, has suddenly turned weird about, of all things, two teacup dogs named Pistol and Boo. What? Of all the stressors and obstacles in a celebrity’s path over twenty-something years of fame, this is the straw that cracks the camel’s back? Really?

In this Sept. 4, 2015 photo, Amber Heard, left, and Johnny Depp pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Black Mass during the 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. A court hearing dealing with allegations that Johnny Depp's wife, Amber Heard, illegally brought the couple's dogs to Australia has been adjourned until November. Heard was charged in July with two counts of illegally importing Pistol and Boo into Australia and one count of producing a false document. She could face up to 10 years in prison and heavy fines if convicted.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

In this Sept. 4, 2015 photo, Amber Heard, left, and Johnny Depp pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Black Mass during the 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. A court hearing dealing with allegations that Johnny Depp’s wife, Amber Heard, illegally brought the couple’s dogs to Australia has been adjourned until November. Heard was charged in July with two counts of illegally importing Pistol and Boo into Australia and one count of producing a false document. She could face up to 10 years in prison and heavy fines if convicted.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Perhaps it’s that a man will do anything when he’s in love. The dogs actually belong to his youthful wife (about half his age). Depp and Amber Heard are on the meat hook for bringing their two adorable pups into Australia without legal permits. Hey, it’s not like they can’t bring the dogs with them at all. They simply have to follow the law like every other schlepp, such as you and me. But Depp is no schlepp. At least, not in his mind. His ego seems to have eaten him alive (like feral dogs). He made a tongue-in-cheek threat to assault Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce if his wife is given a 10-year jail sentence so he could be jailed too. Doggone dogs.

Perhaps he is annoyed that celebrities don’t get preferential treatment over the rest of us. Naturally he is used to privileged treatment and if he doesn’t get it, he probably buys it. This time, however, Australia, which was founded on transported criminals keep in mind, dug in its heels and said “send the dogs home or we will put them down.” Depp however won’t take that one sitting down. In response he and his wife actually left the country and flew back to piraAmerica, delaying the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean. Seriously. If it ever gets made, they’ll have to rename it Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of Barnaby Joyce.

Look, I’m as big a Depp fan as anyone else. I watch most of his movies. I think he is a great character actor and was born for celebrity. He is ultra-cool and incredibly handsome. He is funny and entertaining on talk shows but what happened here? Is this a new Depp that we can expect to haunt the public stage from now on? Let’s hope not.

And I sincerely hope the Australian Minister has learned his lesson, which is he had better treat incredibly conceited and self-centered narcissists as if the world evolves around them, or else he can just send them to jail. To think, people are starving in Africa and this is worldwide news (perhaps we can find feed starving Africans a few dogs). Well, when all’s said and done, there is a bright side. At least the two celebs didn’t land in Korea.


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Abrupt Ending for the Icon of 50’s Rock

Okay there is nothing pathetic about the King of Rock and Roll as he is known, although arguably Little Richard deserves the title.  However, I digress. What’s pathetic was the wasted end of his extraordinary life and many opinions abound about what happened to the King at the time of his premature death at 42.

Looking Back
The last six months of Elvis’ life were something of a miracle in that he could even perform onstage without falling over. He lived on various prescription medications 24-7 and he drank heavily. Often he appeared in concert making embarrassing mistakes that he managed to cover up with his natural charm and good humour. Up to the end Elvis was able to laugh at himself. Perhaps that was why no one saw the end coming.

elvis_presley_By 41, Elvis was obese, his behavior had become more bizarre yet he remained one of the most popular celebrities in the world. In private, his entourage watched and worried as he became a nocturnal  creature who would rent an amusement park outside Memphis so he could ride  the roller coaster at night, then covered  hotel-room windows with aluminum foil to keep daylight out. His dependence on stimulants, sedatives and painkillers was legendary.

by 1974, Elvis was a sick man. And it seemed that none of the  people he gathered around him could do anything to stop him from slipping away. His stepmother Dee felt “suffocated” by Elvis’ father Vernon and she moved out, along with Linda Thompson, Elvis’ girlfriend, who packed her bags and left Graceland, as Priscilla had some years before. Everyone around him seemed to be abandoning him.

Cringeworthy Concert
Elvis performed at the 
University of Maryland on September 27th and his bloated face and body were so changed, that some of  the boys in the band didn’t recognize him. He stood up out of the limousine and fell to the ground, refusing to let anyone assist him to his feet. Onstage, he was a mess. Guitarist John Wilkinson was standing a few feet away from Elvis. “The  lights went down,” he recalled, “and Elvis came up the stairs. He was all
gut. He was slurring. He was so fucked up. It was obvious he was drugged, that there was something terribly wrong with his body. It was so bad, the  words to the songs were barely intelligible. He could barely get through the  introductions. We were in a state of shock. I remember crying. He cut the  show short, yet it seemed like it went on forever.

I watched him in his dressing room, just draped over a chair, unable to  move. So often I thought, ‘Boss, why don’t you just cancel  this tour and take a year off?’ I mentioned something once in a guarded  moment. He patted me on the back and said, ‘It’ll be alright. Don’t worry about it.'” He admitted he couldn’t take time off, “I owe too many people too much.”

Medical Concerns
gal_elvis_deathOn January 28, 1975, Elvis attended the 18th floor of Baptist Hospital. It was discovered that he suffered from an enlarged colon, and a
more serious problem that was never disclosed to the public, showed up in a liver biopsy. There was severe damage to his liver and the probable cause was drug abuse. The colon problem was caused by Elvis’ poor eating habits.  Elvis loved fried foods and sugar, and needed a complete and immediate change in diet if he was going to survive. Those are fighting words for most people but not for Elvis Presley. Perhaps it was his natural optimism that left him unconcerned for his health. Or it might have been that his life as a superstar made him feel immune to his medical issues. At either rate, Elvis’ poor eating habits and drug abuse continued unabated.

Winter Work
Elvis worked during the winter holidays for the first time in December 31 – January 1, 1975. I
t was  written into his contract that he was not available until after January 8th, his birthday. He agreed to perform on New Year’s Eve in the huge Silver Dome in
Pontiac, Michigan, which seated 80,000 people because he needed the money.
His bank accounts were empty, and he had  borrowed money against future earnings, using Graceland for collateral. The man was broke. Every way except economically, the show was a disaster. Elvis was confused when he stepped onstage. His sidemen and singers were below him on another level. He was surprised and angry. He didn’t want to sing alone. Then his pants ripped, splitting at the seams because of his extra poundage.

The temperature made it worse. It was so cold, the members of the band  were playing in their overcoats. “The trumpet players’ lips were so cold  they could barely blow their horns. It was so cold [that guitar] strings kept changing key.”There were many interesting and strange business developments in Elvis’ life at the time, too many to document here.

The End

Ginger Alden [his last girlfriend] said they continued  to make wedding plans, during the last week of his life, claiming that he was going to make an announcement at a concert in Memphis at the end of the tour. He read his Bible and his numbers book. He ate his cheeseburgers and took his pills. On August 14th, he started a fast, something he often did to lose weight quickly before going on tour. Oddly, he didn’t take any Ionamin, the  appetite suppressant he’d favored for so long. At 250 pounds, he was grossly overweight, however, and how much could he lose in two days? Ultimately it wasn’t his weight Elvis would lose; it was his life.

th542NDSJZDuring the last day, Elvis played a game of squash, then fell into a melancholy mood. He played piano and sang for Ginger and some friends, which lightened his mood. However overall his mood swings were “scary.” People around him had to try not to let Elvis’ moods affect them. During the evening Elvis remarked,”I’m going to make this the best tour ever.” By two or 2:30 a.m., Elvis had changed into a striped workout suit. Elvis retired to his bedroom about four a.m. Elvis developed considerable abdominal pain at this point, directly related to his enlarged colon. He told Ginger he was going to read in the bathroom.

Hours later, Ginger discovered him prone on the bathroom floor. He was inert. His mouth was shut tight; it wasn’t possible to attempt rescusitation.The autopsy would show he had as many ten different drugs in his body. Four of the drugs were in  “significant amounts.” These were codeine, ethinamate, methaqualone and unidentifiable barbiturates. He had taken a number of  Placidyl and Valium capsules, both tranquilizers, and unknown quantities of Demerol and Meperidine, both painkillers.

The last year and days of Elvis Presley’s life were among the most pitiful he’d ever lived. No doubt the man would have made more rock and roll hits and completed more successful tours had he been able to control his drug and eating habits. But the strain on his body was too much, even for an earthbound star. He was a music icon whose life ended in a manner the opposite of what one would expect of a living legend: not with a bang but a whimper.

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And the Grammy Doesn’t go to….

The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - ShowSome surprises and some not – so- surprising results from the Grammy Awards this year. There were a number of artists I would have bet money on winning and I am happy they did:

Sam Smith –  beautiful voice, haunting music. I love his comment when thanking his former lover for breaking his heart as it helped him to win 4 Grammys. Eat that, ex-lover. Smith certainly deserved Best New Artist. His performance during the evening was classy and memorable, unlike the following hag…

Madonna – when will someone tell her it’s over? Aren’t we all used to her opening her legs and showing us her 60-year-old privates by now? Is this talent? She’s not just crass, she’s boring and predictable. And the song she performed is one of the worst I have heard her produce in a long time. Notice that she had no nominations this year? ‘Twould seem the Academy agrees with me.

Bruno Mars –  “say whaaat?” where was this hottie? I love this man! His music, his moves, his face and body – sweet Lord, it’s getting warm in here.  He should have been Mark-Ronson-Bruno-Mars-Uptown-Funk-videonominated in every category with Sam Smith – and taken home a couple himself. At least strut your stuff across the stage, Bruno. That would have really sent the Grammys over the top this year. Bruno has been winning Grammys since 2011. The Academy needs to give its head a major slap. Well, Uptown still funks me up, no matter what the idiot Academy thinks about my boyfriend….

Eminem –  where was this Monster? Eminem ripped up the charts for several weeks this year yet he was nowhere to be seen. He did walk away with Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and, as usual, Best Rap Album, no surprise there. Didn’t the Academy ask him to perform that evening?  Rihanna showed up. That tells me the powers that be aren’t thinking this thing through.

Taylor Swift – too much of her. Too many nominations. Frozen was a good song. Her other stuff all sounds the same and is inane at best. Definitely a teeny-bopper’s entertainer.

Beyoncé I’m not a fan but she’s got a God-given voice and apparently puts on a great paper-magazineshow. She deserves all the awards she gets. Kanye West certainly thinks so. When will Kim Kardashian marry a new rapper? West might have been mocking himself when he interrupted Beck as he received the Album of the Year Grammy from none other than Prince. Who cares? What an embarrassing husband. Of course the Grammys wouldn’t be the Grammys anymore without West making an ass of himself. Mind you, Kardashian’s got a pretty big ass herself. I don’t know how she fit into or got out of her seat on Grammy night. Maybe the Academy designed a chair especially to accommodate her cheeks…

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Absolutely Absent Andrew Ridgely – the Silent Half of Wham!

Wham! was the foundation for George Michael’s incredible worldwide success as a musical artist. He happens to be a good-looking man, too. Although Michael became a household name in the 1980s, he is still rocking in the free world, and cranking out as many hits as ever. However, this blog isn’t about the immortal Michael. It’s about Andrew Ridgeley, the other guy in Wham!, 379817384_65b41e58cawho, after the band broke up, abruptly disappeared from the North American radar.

Ridgeley was neither the usual songwriter nor the lead singer of Wham!, although it is rumored he co-wrote at least one highly successful song on the band’s albums. A reasonably handsome guy, he played a mean saxophone and guitar. Wham! sold more than 25 million records in the 1980s. They were the only British act in the 1980s to achieve three No. 1 singles in both the UK and the US. (take that, Spice Girls – oh, wait – they were a confusing 1990s phenomenon). Manager Simon Napier-Bell, (a brilliant publicist), fabricated a story that Ridgeley was punched on the nose in a nightclub, to get more publicity for his clients. Eventually, he admitted that the bandages on Ridgeley’s face were from plastic surgery he had done on his nose. Well, the surgery is understandable. Ridgeley’s better half was a better-looking kid.

Wham! had two UK No. 1 singles in 1984 and were competing that year with pop rivals Duran Duran, an equally kick-ass British band, to be Britain’s biggest pop act. It’s hard to say who won. They were both stupendous. As far as longevity goes however, Duran Duran matured into a sophisticated band that went beyond their 1980s pop sound. A trio of members came and went, however, the band still tours Europe and are huge in the UK. Most of the original and current members are still married to their first wives. Cool. But I digress.

In 1986, Michael left Wham! to move into an entirely different genre of music and, _CET3505-Edit-2-Edit-Edit-1well, we know how that turned out. Ridgely moved to Monaco, and tried his hand at Formula Three racing. Seriously. Bit of a career change, that. Ridgeley had no success in that area and he moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at acting and well, we know how that turned out. Another no-go. Clearly, Ridgeley was not the talented half of Wham! By 1990, Ridgely got the message and he made a permanent move back to Britain, appearing before a crowd of one (his mother) at the airport. The Spice Girls, I believe, scared him out of North America.

CBS Records released a guitar and drum driven solo recording from Ridgeley, Son of Albert (better than Son of Sam), in 1990. His brother Paul, an occasional percussionist for Bananarama, (cool), played drums on the album. Singles included “Shake” and “Red Dress”. Shake“, which was the first single from his solo album, had moderate success, reaching No. 13 on the Australian charts and No. 58 in the UK charts. Well, that’s not so bad. But “Red Dress” didn’t make the charts at all. The introductory video demonstrates why it did not. At least he was in good shape for the video. And that’s what matters.

CBS nixed the option of a second album. Son of Albert was one of the worst received albums of 1990, achieving only half a star in a savage Rolling Stone magazine review. Quote: On the credibility scale, Andrew Ridgeley falls somewhere between LaToya Jackson and oblivion.  Ouch. Ridgeley later said: “It was disappointing and depressing to receive quite such a beating over that album.” And you thought I was mean. Since 1991, Ridgeley has generally shunned the limelight, but he did agree to give an interview on camera for a 2005 documentary A Different Story, about the life of George Michael. Ouch again. When a documentary producer contacts you to appear in a documentary about someone else, that’s gotta hurt. Ridgeley looks hot in it, however. He has aged gracefully. Kudos.

41BX3+FTpUL__SY470_Ridgeley still writes music under pseudonyms. He made £10 million from sales and royalties of records since 1990.  Although the single “Careless Whisper” was issued as a George Michael solo piece, it was credited as being co-written by Ridgeley. It has sold six million copies worldwide and, to date, is the 34th best-selling single of all time in the United Kingdom, having sold over 1.3 million copies. Ridgeley still benefits financially from receiving thousands of pounds per annum from his share of “Careless Whisper” royalties alone. Not too shabby for a vanishing act. That’s an issue that confuses me. If he  writes such great songs for other bands and singers, why not write them for himself? Meh. One of those weird music industry things, I guess.

KerenRidgeley did alright in the romantic arena too. He lives with attractive, former Bananarama member Keren Woodward, in Wadebridge, Cornwall. He’s also an environmental activist and is a member of a bizarre-sounding eco group, Surfers Against Sewage. Surf’s up in Cornwall? Who knew? Perhaps a come-back isn’t in the cards, nor is a solo career. But a musical history with one of the world’s most prominent pop musicians ain’t a bad achievement either.



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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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