One of the most noticeable aspects of the entertainment industry today is the prevalence of the celebrity. In any entertainment medium whether it be music, print media or the film industry, celebrities can be seen. Celebrities are often the face of the product as well, and so they are what draws the consumer in, largely because of the sway the Celebrity has over the public. Celebrities are a rather intriguing twentieth century invention, and it is the goal of this essay to look at how a person becomes a star in the show business world, how they are marketed to an audience, and as the remarkable bond with the audience that these celebrities cultivate through their marketing and press that makes the audience want to see these people on the big screen and in turn pay for the ability to see their stars.
Celebrities invade all aspects of the viewers life. They appear on newsstands and ads, on the television and the big screen, and even on the news. Gossip for regular people may stem around and incident in their favourite celebrities life. Celebrities did not always have such an integral role into the lives of those they entertained, however. Of course there have been many "celebrity" types in history, mostly notable historical figures like those in politics or in powerful positions. These celebrity entertainers were not something that translated to the early cinema however. Early cinema producers and studios did not give their actors credits, nor did they release their names to the public viewing audiences. the figures on the screen remained largely a mystery to the early film going audience, but the public wanted to know who these people that they watched and admired were .
There was an audience ready to know who they were watching, but it wasn't until the studio chose that the audience got to know who these people that entertained them were. Two actresses can claim that role as the first household name icon, both for different reasons and both with some clout behind those claims. The first star that reached a zenith in the movie-going populous was Florence Lawrence. Florence Lawrence was an early Biograph girl, who worked under producer Carl Laemmle. It was during this time that the papers began to run the story of her untimely death in a car accident which was not true, and to this day it is unclear which was first the story or the publicity , but what it did was create a fervor over the "last movie" she was said to a appear in. Since she was still alive she went to each premiere and at each point, those who had come to the premiere locations became more and more obsessed as she appeared, happy to see the shining star they had heard had died appear in front of them, alive and well.
Florence Lawrence may have been the first known star, but her star was one that quickly faded after the reveal that she was in fact, still living after all. Florence Lawrence was the first time the studios had used the performer themselves as the way to hype a...