I’ve never been much for celebrity gossip. I used to read People if there was a profile of someone who interested me (I had a major serious crush on Mark Hamill but at least was old enough to know it for what it was). I haven’t done that in years, though, likely because I don’t feel as though I have time for it. For a year or so, I regularly watched Dr. Phil, but that grew old. I’m mostly too busy trying to make sense of my own life to worry about those of strangers, famous or not.
Last year, though, I got pulled into a video about a celebrity’s personal life after Fess Parker, the Daniel Boone of my youth, died. His passing inspired me to look up other actors from shows I remembered watching when I was growing up. One of the actors I happened to check (very few actresses starred in series then, and I already knew Diahann Carroll of Julia was alive and well on White Collar) was Chad Everett of Medical Center.
(I followed the YouTube instructions for embedding, so I really, really hope they work! This video was uploaded by Warner Brothers as a promo for the first season DVD set.)
I was pleased to discover that Everett was still alive and working. I might’ve left it there, but I was in a nostalgic mood, and Google listed four YouTube videos featuring Chad and Shelby (Grant) Everett as part of Geffner Productions’ Love Stories series, interviews with Hollywood couples and others.
I clicked on the link mostly because I was curious, and I found myself getting sucked into the story of how this famous couple met and fell in love. I think the video drew me in because of a combination of things, the pleasure the Everetts took in telling their story, the way they gave each other credit for their successful marriage, and the enduring affection for each other they demonstrated. There was nothing sleazy in it, nothing that made me want to go, “Really? You’re sharing that with the world? Really?”
Before I knew it, I had watched all four videos, which took about an hour. I was just as sucked in at the end of it as I’d been in the beginning. Here’s the first, uploaded by Geffner Productions to YouTube:
I guess that’s no wonder this story drew me in or that I was a little misty-eyed when the interview finished. I read romance. I write romance. Of course a good love story is going to grab and hold me. Isn’t that what our favorite romances do?
The interview was filmed in 2009, when the Everetts had been married 43 years. In Hollywood, that has to be a record.
I went back to Google and discovered that Shelby Everett died of a brain aneurysm not long before I saw the interview. As you probably know, Chad Everett died this past Tuesday. I got to see the last part of his final role, a guest appearance on Castle, and am hoping to see the whole thing in reruns.
Anyway, for an hour, I was absorbed in the history of these other people’s lives. I’ve gone that route before, reading biographies, but I didn’t think about it in quite the same way. Maybe I don’t see a person who was famous two centuries ago as a celebrity. Of course, I tend not to gravitate toward the lurid biographies, so maybe that’s consistent with my current habits.
I hadn’t stopped to think about it until I sat down to write this blog, but reading fiction is a form of immersion in other people’s lives. They just aren’t real people. And their level of angst is generally higher than most people regularly experience because we need conflict to keep us turning pages.
I ended up with an extra copy of Virginia Kantra’s new release, Carolina Home. It’s set on the North Carolina Outer Banks, a beautiful part of the country. I read it and loved it, and I’m giving my extra copy to one of today’s commenters. So tell me, did you ever have a celebrity crush (or do you still *g*)? Were you a Medical Center fan? What was the last romance novel or movie that wrenched your heartstrings?
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