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Good grief, they ruin everything!
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posted
In the words of Charlie from Dandelion Wine.

Hey, I deleted my Marion Zimmer Bradley thread, since no one seemed interested, and am starting a thread about extreme awfulness involving prominent figures in general. Let's try to keep it to actual crimes or other prosecutable offenses, although other serious actions which are not actually illegal (say, hate speech) could count...in fact, anything likely to make people view a favorite work differently and drive off fans in droves!
I'm also pretty well avoiding subjects such as Michael Skakel and William Kennedy Smith who didn't really have fans and came into prominence only after committing crimes. All right, William Kennedy Smith was tried and acquitted, but let's get a little real here! Also not people just starting out who became famous for being killed. In some cases I left off people who seemed to be their own worst enemy, when their use of alcohol, drugs, etc., did more harm to them than to anyone else--although others were of course affected, so some such people could be considered for inclusion. I thought of calling it the "Fallen Idols" List, but, hell, with the way they're dropping like flies, "Another One Bites the Dust" seems more appropriate! https://www.youtube.com/watch?...E&list=RDrY0WxgSXdEE For that matter, here is a theme song for the entire world and my opinion of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jsyd913KtM

This is not just a jerk list, either! Trust me, if it were, Kent McCord would be #1 with horns and a tail--he does qualify for at least an honorable mention, for making me view a favorite show in a different light--but he hasn't lost large numbers of fans for doing anything terrible or illegal. Perhaps he never had that many.
William Shatner is a great example of not qualifying for the list except as a possible honorable mention, as a very good case could be made for his being a world-class jerk, but he retains valuable endorsement deals and is starring in a successful stage show. http://www.bestofbroadwayspoka...hows/shatners-world/ Shatner once said nothing so negative could happen to him as a result of being on Star Trek, which would make him regret his part in it, which was great!
The list should also probably not include people whose 15 minutes of fame were about up anyway--notice I list Buddy Holly and Richie Valens but not The Big Bopper. It should be for major celebrities whose fall from grace really cost them something, or for whom some tragedy cost them their life.

(Here is a category of things that used to be fun which will never be the same as the result of a tragic crime or accident. In some cases criminal or other misbehavior, such as drug use, was involved either on the part of the celebrity or another person, while some were terrible accidents which perhaps could have and should have been avoided.)
George Reeves, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Bobby Driscoll, Anissa Jones, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, John Belushi, Princess Grace, Natalie Wood, Karen Carpenter, Robert Reed, Rock Hudson, Liberace, Andy Gibb, River Phoenix, Chris Farley, Christopher Reeve, Princess Diana, John Denver, Sonny Bono, "Papa" John Phillips, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Heath Ledger, Robin Williams, Whitney Houston, three years later joined by her only daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, among those simply born famous!
Michael Jackson, definitely as far as the criminal negligence part, and also as far as his own behavior, depending on who you believe--some people belong in two categories--more below.
Probably Judy Garland should be mentioned here, but darn it, she is so phenomenally good I can enjoy watching her anyway even despite her tragic demise--which, like Anissa Jones, is believed to have been really an accidental overdose, not a suicide.

People who used to seem cute but are now, if not all bad, at least kinda creepy: Robert Wagner, Robert Blake, Robert Conrad, Prince Charles, Kelsey Grammer, John Travolta. Jane Fonda at any time following her Hanoi debacle--her several halfhearted and inadequate apologies notwithstanding.
Prince Andrew next? Hopefully not! http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30664060

Special Stupid Awards: Tiger Woods.
Michael Phelps--they sure don't make record-breaking Olympic gold medalists the way they used to!

Marion Zimmer Bradley: http://www.theguardian.com/boo...ughter-accuses-abuse

Does anyone know the details on this? It seems the daughter had two brothers, an older half-brother and younger full brother. The younger is still alive. Is he saying anything? Sad to say, there seems to be ample documentation for the charges being made.

It looks as if only one film adaptation of her work has been made, a TV-movie, so perhaps this reputation that had been circulating since the 1960s prevented others? -- Just a guess.

John F. Kennedy: The first I heard of unsavory allegations was when stories started coming out around 1975. I had unfortunately developed a Kennedy crush in 1973. I am posting only the story which was just gaining momentum and threatened to rock his presidency at the time of his assassination, when the issue was dropped--and, good heavens, I didn't know Gerald Ford was involved, too! I quite liked him! http://www.nydailynews.com/new...de-article-1.1525033

Not sure where to put Ted Kennedy on this list. Here is as good as anywhere. As with JFK, his list alone could be near endless, so let's just stick to the two worst offenses. I don't remember his fall from grace, as my interest in the Kennedys began four years after the Chappaquiddick incident. (Local residents hate it being referred to simply as "Chappaquiddick," spoiling the good name of a lovely place. As I understand, he was pretty disliked there in general.) Since I barely remember the moon landing that weekend, I didn't make a note of that incident, regarding which it's been well-demonstrated that he and his cousin were guilty of negligent homicide, lying, and covering up their offenses. Actual perjury, I don't know--there was an inquest but don't know if witnesses are put under oath in just an inquest. He was never indicted for anything, which so enraged John Wayne he kicked the hell out of a TV set and his kids couldn't watch their favorite show that night. Although no one intentionally killed anybody, drunk driving is murder and should count as such. Ted also knew of the accusation against William Kennedy Smith and lied about his knowledge and part in covering it up.

Regarding the famous "Kennedy Curse," here are some among many legends: http://www.examiner.com/articl...se-the-kennedy-curse

One of the stories has a Fitzgerald ancestor taking some cursed gold which caused misfortune to all who accepted it, but to tell the truth Rose's mother's family had a crap life before she even married Rose's father. http://www.geni.com/people/Mar.../6000000003208512685 Many stories date the main chain of events in the curse to Rose's daughter Rosemary's 1941 lobotomy...perhaps reason enough!

Richard M. Nixon: Was this ever a shock! He was the first president I remember and we really liked him! My dad continued to love him even after the Watergate scandal broke!

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

David Cassidy: A big part of The Partridge Family, which I really loved back in the day. His DUI convictions may be the only actual crimes by the legal definition, but his concert "performances" and unforgivably rude treatment of fans have also earned the term. http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/24/...id-cassidy-dui-plea/

Mel Gibson: First he failed to do the Fahrenheit 451 movie, then things got worse: http://www.biography.com/peopl...rks-and-later-career

Phil Spector: Loved his work, never knew he was a wacko. It's so weird seeing his guest appearance on I Dream of Jeannie where they rave about how great he is. http://www.biography.com/people/phil-spector-9489973

Bill Cosby: We used to rush home from choir practice to watch his 1980s show! The accuser count is now up to 16--7 public and 9 anonymous. http://www.coloradonewsday.com...ape-accusations.html

The next two are for our U. K. members. I never actually heard of them until I read their obituaries.

William Mayne: http://www.theguardian.com/boo...lliam-mayne-obituary

Jimmy Savile: This story is worse than what I originally heard, which was terrible. http://www.washingtonpost.com/...ex-with-dead-bodies/

Rolf Harris: Also arguably better-known overseas, but I'd admired his work for at least thirty years. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28163593

Roman Polanski: Always heard he was brilliant and felt sorry for his loss of wife and child. Lost all sympathy after he committed his special crime. He, at least, didn't deny it--just didn't want to pay his debt to society for it!

Stephen Collins. http://www.people.com/article/...confession-exclusive

Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky.
Statue disappeared! http://www.centredaily.com/201...-paterno-statue.html
New one in the works! http://www.pennlive.com/midsta..._of_planned_joe.html

James Stacy: He played the disabled would-be football player in Something Wicked This Way Comes. I always admired him for the comebacks he made following his devastating accident. I asked Ray if he knew him, thinking perhaps he had written the movie role for him, and Ray responded that he did not. Perhaps Jack Clayton did--anyone know? Was shocked to learn of this:
http://www.people.com/people/a.../0,,20141272,00.html
At least according to his website, he seems to be doing well now: http://www.jamesstacy.com/

Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius: What an inspirational story that just came crashing down!

Charles Lindbergh: A creepy guy--perhaps partially redeemed, perhaps a lying polygamist hypocrite and Nazi sympathizer: http://www.minnpost.com/commun...iddance-mr-lindbergh

People I never liked all that much in the first place, some of whom I may have even found a little bit creepy, but were prominent enough to have a huge following and lose a large portion thereof, through actions, accusations, or both:

O. J. Simpson: A familiar figure with a mostly "nice guy" image. When he was questioned following the murders, I never thought he would be involved--just assumed they would question everyone who might know anything. Before long I was convinced that (with or without help) he was absolutely 100% guilty. http://abcnews.go.com/US/10-im...al/story?id=24058030
Others in this category are Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Joan Crawford, Tom Jones (the singer), Bill Clinton, Bill Murray, Arnold Schwarznegger, Woody Allen, Ryan O'Neal, Jane Fonda, and Tom Cruise.

People I probably really ought to hate, but love anyway:
Michael Jackson: Unquestionably #1 on a lot of people's celebrity hate lists. Object of a lot of accusations, only a few of which were tried, and all of which were acquitted. I don't know what to think, the witnesses seemed unreliable but it was an awful lot of smoke for no fire. He was unconventional, but if I were going to hate him it would be for the baby-dangling, which was wrong and absolutely documented, rather than for contradictory accounts made by people who were either greedy, mad at him for other reasons, or had other ulterior motives, and none able to prove their case. Yes, I can listen to and enjoy his music. I tend to stick to things done in 1982 or prior, but I do that with 99% of any music, as can be seen by the musicians listed here.
Burl Ives: We were raised with his songbook and records and I loved him until going somewhat off him when a college professor said he was a "namegiver" in the McCarthy era. I continued to listen to his recordings and watch his movies, although I did not avidly seek his work as I did that of Pete Seeger.
http://dahoglund.hubpages.com/...ers-part-1-Burl-Ives
Woody Guthrie: Although his actual jail time seems to have been only on vagrancy charges, he was said to have been guilty of acts serious enough to go to prison had charges been pressed. I have been singing "This Land is Your Land" since I was old enough to sing and absolutely adore his message and music, whether sung by Woody or others. I do have quite an extensive collection of his work.
Huddie William Ledbetter, known as "Leadbelly", or, as he spelled it, Lead Belly. He had a temper and was imprisoned for killing his own cousin in an argument over a woman. His good behavior and musical talent so impressed the governor that he won a full pardon and made good use of his life through sharing his music.
Bob Dylan: Has sometimes shown a lack of thoughtfulness to others, their property, and a downright contempt for intellectual property. He was, however, a brilliant poet and I enjoy hearing his works performed by himself and others.
John Lennon: Had a temper and behavioral issues with homophobic tendencies. Looking up top signs of abusive relationships, then at how he treated Yoko when they were first together will probably result in perfect matches on at least ten points. This is harsh but far from inaccurate--for instance, on "hypocrite," deploring Bob Dylan changing his name (last) when he legally changed his own (middle). http://listverse.com/2012/05/1...s-about-john-lennon/ Still, I love his work and my only regret in listening to him is at his tragic demise and the effect it had on his fans and loved ones.
Paul McCartney: As far as I know his only actually illegal actions involve drugs, and on at least one occasion he used one of his children to smuggle his stash, not nice. Also known to be ornery to associates. Still love him, enjoy watching and listening to all of his work, wish him and all his loved ones the absolute best.
Ringo Starr: Known to be ornery with fans, and worse with people who didn't recognize him, but who could fail to love a man who actually hurt himself falling in his eagerness to run over and meet Ray?
Cher: People say a lot of crap about her but I love her.
Dr. Seuss: Made #1 on this list http://www.answers.com/article...t-did-heinous-things of well-loved stars who did heinous things, but I ain't getting rid of his books and movies, no sir!
Danny Bonaduce: Put his family through an ordeal and was temperamental with others, but I can't hate Danny! Gots to love him! He has come through so much that would have killed others. He is funny and personable, giving the fans their money's worth, interacting with them and making sure they have a good time, unlike David Cassidy who openly insults even his most devoted fans.

Brian Williams http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/...Xor?ocid=mailsignout is the latest casualty destined to join one of these categories!

Just about any celebrity who wrote an autobiography or memoir, particularly in the last 20 years: there's a good chance if you read what they wrote, you will never like their work as much!

At least two cases in which the media, and not the celebrity, seem to be to blame:

Arthur C. Clarke:
http://ianhamet.wordpress.com/...stemological-errors/
http://www.abc.net.au/news/200...le-sri-lanka/1081914

Absolutely 100% innocent, but after 90 years some people still believe him guilty: Roscoe Arbuckle. Ray mentioned more than once absolutely loving his comedies, but I don't know which ones. His silent ones were banned during the scandal. The three trials took place between November 1921 and April 1922, and perhaps the silents were brought back in time for Ray to see them, or perhaps he saw the comeback films or both. Arbuckle was making a comeback in sound which if successful might have put the scandal behind him, but his death in 1933 just came too soon on its heels and his name was permanently smirched. I have most of his comedies with Buster Keaton in them, with the exception of the recently-discovered one, and they are just great!

(To be continued below after this message becomes so long it starts getting truncated--yep, there's a whole lotta blame to go around!)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: dandelion,
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Serious allegations against multiple Wimbledon doubles winner:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/spo...jDY5wdkJK/story.html
 
Posts: 624 | Location: Cape Town, South Africa | Registered: 29 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And this has what, exactly, to do with Ray Bradbury?


- Phil

Deputy Moderator | Visit my Bradbury website: www.bradburymedia.co.uk | Visit the Center for RB Studies: www.tinyurl.com/RBCenter
 
Posts: 5013 | Location: UK | Registered: 07 April 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nothing. But actual posts about Ray and, more especially, his work, tend to elicit a rather tepid response. Anything that at least keeps Ray's fans talking to one another can't be all bad. Even though I agree that this is perhaps a bad choice of subject matter, being unremittingly negative and unedifying.
 
Posts: 624 | Location: Cape Town, South Africa | Registered: 29 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by philnic:
And this has what, exactly, to do with Ray Bradbury?


Hey, I mentioned Dandelion Wine and Fahrenheit 451!

And added Something Wicked This Way Comes, a famous fan of Ray's, and one of Ray's favorite movie stars! (See above.) ^

(But, yes, we really need an off-topic board.)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: dandelion,
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by douglasSP:
Nothing. But actual posts about Ray and, more especially, his work, tend to elicit a rather tepid response. Anything that at least keeps Ray's fans talking to one another can't be all bad. Even though I agree that this is perhaps a bad choice of subject matter, being unremittingly negative and unedifying.


I find it entertaining in a grim and morbid manner. Come to think of it, though, I can think of some other authors' stories portraying fallen idols, but can't name any by Ray exactly like that--of devastating disillusionment. The closest I can think of is how in "Any Friend of Nicholas Nickelby's is a Friend of Mine," one of Ralph/Pip's family tries to turn him against his new friend, but it backfires and what the friend is doing turns out to be a positive thing. Perhaps Ray was just so influenced by Mr. Electrico, he pretty much saw things through that lens.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: dandelion,
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, I find these things entertaining, too, just not in a way I ought to be comfortable with.
 
Posts: 624 | Location: Cape Town, South Africa | Registered: 29 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by douglasSP:
Oh, I find these things entertaining, too, just not in a way I ought to be comfortable with.


Guilty pleasures, doug, guilty pleasures! Big Grin
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a young adult, while still reeling from the first revelations of JFK's affairs, I came across this poem I felt was just too, too fitting and it occurred to me to share it with you all here.

Hic Jacet Arthurus Rex Quondam Rexque Futurus

Arthur is gone . . . Tristram in Careol
Sleeps, with a broken sword - and Yseult sleeps
Beside him, where the Westering waters roll
Over drowned Lyonesse to the outer deeps.

Lancelot is fallen . . . The ardent helms that shone
So knightly and the splintered lances rust
In the anonymous mould of Avalon:
Gawain and Gareth and Galahad - all are dust.

Where do the vanes and towers of Camelot
And tall Tintagel crumble? Where do those tragic
Lovers and their bright eyed ladies rot?
We cannot tell, for lost is Merlin's magic.

And Guinevere - Call her not back again
Lest she betray the loveliness time lent
A name that blends the rapture and the pain
Linked in the lonely nightingale's lament.

Nor pry too deeply, lest you should discover
The bower of Astolat a smokey hut
Of mud and wattle - find the knightliest lover
A braggart, and his lilymaid a slut.

And all that coloured tale a tapestry
Woven by poets. As the spider's skeins
Are spun of its own substance, so have they
Embroidered empty legend - What remains?

This: That when Rome fell, like a writhen oak
That age had sapped and cankered at the root,
Resistant, from her topmost bough there broke
The miracle of one unwithering shoot.

Which was the spirit of Britain - that certain men
Uncouth, untutored, of our island brood
Loved freedom better than their lives; and when
The tempest crashed around them, rose and stood

And charged into the storm's black heart, with sword
Lifted, or lance in rest, and rode there, helmed
With a strange majesty that the heathen horde
Remembered when all were overwhelmed;

And made of them a legend, to their chief,
Arthur, Ambrosius - no man knows his name -
Granting a gallantry beyond belief,
And to his knights imperishable fame.

They were so few . . . We know not in what manner
Or where they fell - whether they went
Riding into the dark under Christ's banner
Or died beneath the blood-red dragon of Gwent.

But this we know; that when the Saxon rout
Swept over them, the sun no longer shone
On Britain, and the last lights flickered out;
And men in darkness muttered: Arthur is gone . . .

-- Francis Brett Young
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If fictional characters count, it seems Atticus Finch has been taking a few potshots at mockingbirds.
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A book here, a movie there, today a whole country, tomorrow the world?

 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by dandelion:
A book here, a movie there, today a whole country, tomorrow the world?


I wholeheartedly agree, but wouldn't this fit well in the "orange crop" thread?


"Live Forever!"
 
Posts: 6891 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I wasn't quite sure where to put it.
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, no!

Charlton Heston just rolled over in his grave.

https://www.facebook.com/BenHurFilm/

Oh, no!
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Even sweet innocent little Cindy Brady! (Susan Olsen.) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/su...interview-gay-actor/
 
Posts: 7054 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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