The fascination with celebrities is nothing new, for years the public has read the society pages, watched shows about the rich and famous, and now follow the trending social media posts on celebrities of the day.
Since movies began, our attention has been riveted on these people made famous by the silver screen. What the royal family is to British citizens, movie stars are to Americans.
But the infatuation with Hollywood stars has risen to extremes in some cases. For some, this infatuation has become an obsession. Some fans transform part of their homes into a shrine to their favorite celeb, with their entire attention enraptured by thoughts of the stars they adore.
Hollywood, for its part, does little to prevent this dangerous scenario. Even worse, it does everything possible to promote such fascination, as long as it earns movie studios money. Becoming the target of obsession isn’t limited to current stars, but also to older actors as well. Even death cannot free them from the spotlight, as these stars remain the subject of gossip long after they are buried.
It is a simple matter to hop on the internet and track a star’s movements through social media and gossip websites. You can learn almost everything about a star’s personal life, habits, where they shop or go to church, and even where they live.
In fact, it’s not difficult to follow a Hollywood celebrity around town and show up wherever they go, just by following reports on social media. Even the stars themselves forget the basics of privacy and safety, often blabbing their plans or locations without meaning to.
One favorite hotspot for obsessed fans is in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, where the sidewalk is lined with the handprints and footprints immortalized in cement. Fans often visit to touch and take pictures with these prints, as if they could get closer to their favorite celebrities just by touching a spot they once touched.
Further invading the privacy of the stars, tourist agencies offer guided tours that drive through the neighborhoods of the rich and famous, pointing out the current and former homes of Hollywood stars, including the scenes of notorious scandals and grisly deaths.
These “special” tours proudly show off places like the location where O.J. Simpson was arrested, the home where Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose, and the house where Sharon Tate and her friends were brutally murdered by the Manson cult.
There are also tours offered to the graves of deceased stars, such as Lucille Ball, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, and Gregory Peck.
If fans can’t get close enough to a favorite star to have their picture taken with them, there is always the wax museums, where they can visit an array of wax figures of famous people, including movie characters like Spider-Man, and Hollywood stars like Clint Eastwood.
Some of the stars who attract the most adoration are the stars of the 1940s through the early 1960s. This was the time of classic Hollywood glamor when Hollywood stars were compared with the royalty of Europe. Stars were idolized as examples of the American dream and the pinnacle of success.
Although this golden era of Hollywood is long gone, the celebrities and their fans remain fans who are more obsessed with the every move of these stars than ever before and are eager to consume every digital scrap of information they can get their hands on.