Celebrity, Fame, and Fortune Don’t Always Guarantee Happiness and Fulfillment
I sometimes wonder about people who believe that becoming famous, sexy, or wealthy will make their life easier, better, or happier.
I don’t think fame and fortune are all that they are cracked up to be.
Some of the most pitiful, lonely, miserable people in the world are the people who are supposed to have it all, our society tells us: the good-looking, wealthy, and famous.
About every biography and article I read about a celebrity reveals that in spite of all their wealth and fame (or sex appeal, if they are known for that), they are deeply unhappy.
Some of them sought happiness in marriage, only to end up divorced many times, such as movie actress Elizabeth Taylor.
I’ve read material on movie stars Bette Davis (read more about Davis on Google Books) and Joan Crawford – both of whom turned to alcohol to drown their sorrows.
Crawford apparently had psychological issues and died in her apartment, with only an acquaintance of her church, near-by; she had no family near her, and some of her family was estranged at the time of her passing.
Both Crawford and Davis seemed to have financial difficulties as their careers went on.
Movie star Marilyn Monroe was deeply insecure, had no self esteem, was married and divorced three times, one of her spouses allegedly physically beat her on a regular basis, and she had a few miscarriages, in spite of badly wanting to have a child of her own – died in 1962 of a drug overdose at the age of 36, alone in her bedroom.
All that world-wide fame and acknowledged sex appeal did not make Monroe stable, happier, or help her sustain any of her marriages.
Regarding actor and stand-up comic Freddie Prinze, who was quite famous in the 1970s (source):
Prinze suffered from depression, which deepened in the weeks following his wife’s filing for divorce.
On the night of January 28, 1977, after talking on the telephone with his estranged wife, Prinze received a visit from his business manager, Marvin “Dusty” Snyder. With Snyder looking on, Prinze put a gun to his head and shot himself.
Prinze was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center to be placed on life support following emergency surgery. His family removed him from life support, and he died at 1 p.m. on January 29
In 1977, the death was ruled a suicide. In a civil case brought years later, a jury found that his death was accidental. Prinze had a history of playing Russian roulette to frighten his friends for his amusement. However, Prinze had left a note stating that he had decided to take his life.
Freddie Prinze cause of death. At the age of 20, Freddie Prinze had already hit the top as his television show, Chico and the Man was rated in the top five of the country.
He was a big star, his face graced the covers of numerous magazines such as People, US and Rolling Stone, yet, despite his overwhelming success, he also felt the pressures from the Hispanic community, the network executives, and his many adoring fans.
Women were literally crawling all over him.
But so were the drug fiends, who so often populate the celebrity fringes like so many pilot fish feeding on the detritus of the bigger.
Also: The tormented soul of Freddie Prinze – 1995
I recall hearing more about Prinze on television years ago – someone had read an article about Prinze, who said, according to this source, that Prinze was speaking to a business acquaintance of his in the acquaintance’s office.
As he looked through the window, Prinze indicated to his friend that he thought that becoming famous and wealthy would have brought him fulfillment, peace and purpose, but it did not.
He still felt depressed, empty, void.
He really had thought that having a lot of girlfriends, making a lot of money, and being on television would have brought him inner peace or a sense of purpose, but it didn’t.
I have seen so many news reports or biographies of these people who achieve what we’re all told will make us happy – but the money, the fame, and the sex appeal didn’t work for these people.
In light of all these celebrities who prove it untrue – the ones who end up suicidal, dying alone, or as alcoholics or drug addicts – I have no idea why American culture keeps holding up being attractive, rich, and famous as goals we should all strive for, or as though they will make us happy.
How People Learn to Become Resilient by Maria Konnikova