Who Is Behind
Have You ever ask who is behind the famous characters? There is the answer!
A movie star (also known as a film star and cinema star) is a celebrity who is well-known, or famous, for his or her starring, or leading, roles in motion pictures. The term may also apply to an actor or actress who is recognized as a marketable commodity and whose name is used to promote a movie in trailers and posters. The most widely known, prominent or successful actors are sometimes called “superstars” by writers and journalists. A movie star is someone who is involved in the industry of entertainment.
Music Hall antecedents
Before the advent of movies, the term “star” was already in use in the milieu of the Music Halls, at the time the most popular form of entertainment. “Star” already meant much the same as it came to mean in the context of films – i.e. entertainers who were well-known and highly popular, and who were therefore paid incomparably better than fellow performers. The term “Star” was for example used extensively during the 1907 strike in Britain which came to be known as “The Music Hall War”, when Stars were praised for standing by their lesser-paid fellows and actively participating in the strike (see Music hall#’Music Hall War’ of 1907).
Hollywood, first years
In the early days of silent movies the names of the actors and actresses appearing in movies were not publicized or credited as they are now. Some of these performers had to help build the sets, clean up and perform other chores around the studio. As the movie-going public became more interested in the performers who attracted their attention, however, the curiosity to know more about them made the movie studios and producers rethink their policy.
As the demand increased, they began publicizing the names of their leading women and men, and bill them in the credits of their movies, such as (in the USA) Florence Lawrence, referred to as the “first movie star”, who was previously known only as the “Biograph Girl”, because she worked for Biograph Studios, and the “IMP Girl” because she worked for the Independent Moving Pictures Company, and Mary Pickford, who was previously known as “Little Mary”.
By 1909, IMP began promoting their “picture personalities”, such as Florence Lawrence and King Baggot, by giving them billing/credits and a marquee. Promotion in advertising led to the release of stories about these personalities to newspapers and fan magazines as part of a strategy to build “brand loyalty” for their company’s actors and films. By the 1920s, Hollywood film company promoters had developed a “massive industrial enterprise” that “…peddled a new intangible—fame.
Hollywood “image makers” and promotional agents planted rumors, selectively released real or fictitious biographical information to the press, and used other “gimmicks” to create glamorous personas for actors. Publicists thus “created” the “enduring images” and public perceptions of screen legends such as Rock Hudson, Marilyn Monroe, and Grace Kelly. The development of this “star system” made “fame…something that could be fabricated purposely, by the masters of the new ‘machinery of glory’.” However, regardless of how “…strenuously the star and their media handlers and press agents may…try to ‘monitor’ and ‘shape’ it, the media and the public always play a substantial part in the image-making process.
According to Madow, “fame is a ‘relational’ phenomenon, something that is conferred by others. A person can, within the limits of his natural talents, make himself strong or swift or learned. But he cannot, in this same sense, make himself famous, any more than he can make himself loved.
Madow goes on to point out “fame is often conferred or withheld, just as love is, for reasons and on grounds other than ‘merit’.” According to Sofia Johansson the “canonical texts on stardom” include articles by Boorstin (1971), Alberoni (1972) and Dyer (1979) that examined the “representations of stars and on aspects of the Hollywood star system”. Johansson notes “more recent analyses within media and cultural studies have instead dealt with the idea of a pervasive, contemporary, ‘celebrity culture’.” In the analysis of the celebrity culture, “fame and its constituencies are conceived of as a broader social process, connected to widespread economic, political, technological and cultural developments.
In the 1980s and 1990s, entertainment companies began using stars for a range of publicity tactics including press releases, movie junkets, and community activities. These promotional efforts are targeted and designed using market research, to increase the predictability of success of their media ventures. In some cases, publicity agents may create “provocative advertisements” or make an outrageous public statement to trigger public controversy and thereby generate “free” news coverage. Movie studios employed performers under long-term contracts. They developed a star system as a means of promoting and selling their movies. “Star vehicles” were filmed to display the particular talents and appeal of the most popular movie stars of the studio.
The last of the greats
With the loss of Katharine Hepburn, Bob Hope and Gregory Peck in 2003, Shelley Winters in 2006 and Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson in 2007 and 2008 respectively, the number of stars are dwindling. Baby Marie Osborne, Diana Serra Cary (Baby Peggy), Barbara Kent, Miriam Seegar, Mickey Rooney and Dickie Moore are the last surviving stars from the silent era.
Lupita Tovar, Maureen O’Hara, Deanna Durbin, Mary Carlisle, Shirley Temple, Jane Withers, Joan Fontaine and sister Olivia De Havilland are the last main 1930s actresses, and Marsha Hunt, Lauren Bacall, Jane Russell, Esther Williams, Lizabeth Scott, Betty Garrett, Celeste Holm, Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas and Nanette Fabray are some of the last from the 1940s. The 1950s saw the collapse of the old studio contract system. Some of the last stars from that decade are Eleanor Parker, Doris Day, Jerry Lewis, Gloria DeHaven, Angela Lansbury, Jane Powell, Julie Andrews and Mitzi Gaynor.
The Indian film industry has its own set of rules in this aspect and there are often superstars in this region, who often command premium pay commensurate with their box office appeal. ,Shahrukh Khan,is considered to be the world’s most successful and powerful movie star, with a fan following numbering in the billions and a net worth estimated at over Rs 2500 crore (US$ 540 million). Other Indian actors who are among the most popular movie stars in Southern Asia include Rajinikanth,Kamalhassan,Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan,Shahrukh Khan, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Aishwarya Rai,Mammooty, Mohan Lal and Hrithik Roshan ,to name a few.
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