I love watching old movies and reading about old Hollywood, especially in its heyday. The 1920s through the 1950s represent my favorite eras. Hollywood was a different place then, and celebrities were different too. Were they better? Actually, I'd say yes. The celebrities of today are on a totally different scale than they used to be back in the day. Some of it they've done themselves, and some of it they haven't. For instance, check out some reasons celebrities aren't the same, and see if you don't agree.
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The tabloids probably represent the most serious reason celebrities aren't the same as they used to be. Things used to be secret and sacred in Hollywood – people might have known about them, as in the case of Rock Hudson, but they were respectful. Those who knew didn't tell, and reporters didn't cross the bounds of integrity to find out. Now, if a celebrity ever gets caught doing something wrong, bad, strange, or out of the ordinary, you know it'll be splashed across lurid newspapers, trashy magazines, and all over the internet in no time at all.
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Similarly, photographers have changed the way celebrities behave and the way we view them. I know they're only trying to make a living, but I'm sure you'll agree that some of them know how to be respectful, while others behave like vultures hovering over carrion. It's easy laugh, sometimes, at the way some celebrities react to the photographic invasion of their privacy (brandishing umbrellas, anyone?), but at the same time, it is a very real problem.
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Another reason celebrities aren't the same is due to their behavior. They're way crazier these days. By that I mean they're bolder, in some cases, and downright stupid in others. Let's just say that I don't think Audrey Hepburn would ever flash anyone while climbing out of a car.
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With few exceptions – and I by and large love those exceptions, I tell you what – most celebrities these days don't keep any secrets, and even when they try to, there are reporters and paps who will dig them out, and so-called friends who will sell them up the river for 15 minutes of fame and some cash. As a for instance, I like to think Rock Hudson could have been true to himself in this era without fear of losing his fame – if he chose to. But if he didn't, you know some industrious reporter would have his business spread all over the place.
There aren't a whole lot of actors these days, have you noticed? Actors who commit themselves, who do it mainly for the love of the story, the movie, the play. There are a lot of movie stars, though, not to mention all those people who want to be famous for the sake of being famous.
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Reality TV is another reason celebrities aren't the same. It seems like anyone can be on a reality show now, and get famous – or at least infamous. Jon and Kate, anyone? I don't want to hate, but honestly, what talents do they have? Yet there was a time when every bit of news, from TV to magazines, was focused solely on them.
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Finally, there's simply the publicity train. That train is arguably the reason sex tapes get leaked, and nude pictures. It's why certain relationships occur, because some clever conductor decided that a certain pairing would pique the public's interest. Publicity was necessary in the Golden Age as well but, hey, I don't think Bogey would have ever leaked a sex tape.
There are many more reasons celebrities aren't the same, but these stand out the most to me. Hollywood will never experience another golden age, I don't think, but there are plenty of modern day celebrities who nevertheless hold onto the traits that gave the city of stars that golden glow. Meryl Streep is my prime example – which current star do you think epitomizes old Hollywood class?
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