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"Celebrity" Summary

By Thomas Thompson

fiction | 640 pages | Published in 1982


Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

The gripping true story of a famous Hollywood actress who becomes the victim of a horrifying crime.


In "Celebrity" by Thomas Thompson, readers are taken on a thrilling journey into the world of fame, fortune, and the dark side of celebrity culture. This captivating non-fiction book delves into the lives of various famous individuals, revealing the high price they pay for their success and the often tragic consequences that come with being in the public eye. With meticulous research and gripping storytelling, Thomas Thompson provides readers with a thought-provoking exploration of the allure and dangers of celebrity status.

Brief Synopsis

Set against the backdrop of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, "Celebrity" takes readers behind the scenes to witness the rise and fall of some of the most iconic figures in show business. From legendary actors to renowned musicians, Thompson delves into the lives of these celebrities, shedding light on the hidden struggles, scandals, and tragedies that often remain concealed behind their glamorous public personas.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
Marilyn MonroeThe iconic Hollywood actress known for her beauty and talent, but haunted by personal demons.
Elvis PresleyThe "King of Rock and Roll" who experienced unparalleled success but battled with addiction and loneliness.
Judy GarlandA beloved actress and singer who achieved fame at a young age but faced numerous personal and professional challenges.
Janis JoplinA talented singer-songwriter who captivated audiences with her powerful voice, but struggled with drug addiction.
John LennonA member of the legendary band, The Beatles, who became a cultural icon but faced personal turmoil and tragedy.

Summary of Different Story Points over Chapters

Chapter 1: Marilyn Monroe's Rise to Stardom

In this chapter, Thompson explores the early life of Marilyn Monroe, her journey to Hollywood, and her rapid rise to fame. He delves into the challenges she faced as a woman in the industry and the impact of her troubled childhood on her adult life.

Chapter 2: Elvis Presley's Triumphs and Demons

Thompson takes readers through Elvis Presley's meteoric rise to stardom, highlighting his cultural impact and the adoration of his fans. However, he also delves into Presley's struggles with addiction, isolation, and the toll his fame took on his personal relationships.

Chapter 3: Judy Garland's Troubled Path

This chapter focuses on the life of Judy Garland, detailing her early fame as a child star and the pressures she faced to maintain her image. Thompson discusses Garland's battles with substance abuse, failed marriages, and her untimely death at a young age.

Chapter 4: Janis Joplin's Tragic Journey

Thompson explores the life of Janis Joplin, an immensely talented musician whose unique voice captivated audiences. He delves into her struggles with addiction, the toll it took on her physical and mental health, and the tragic circumstances surrounding her untimely death.

Chapter 5: John Lennon's Impact and Tragedy

This chapter delves into the life of John Lennon, a member of the iconic band, The Beatles. Thompson examines Lennon's influence on music and culture, as well as his personal struggles with fame, his activism, and the tragic event that ended his life.

Main Events

  • Marilyn Monroe's iconic performances in films like "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Some Like It Hot."
  • Elvis Presley's groundbreaking appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and his Las Vegas residency.
  • Judy Garland's role in "The Wizard of Oz" and her struggles with substance abuse.
  • Janis Joplin's rise to fame with her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and her memorable performance at Woodstock.
  • John Lennon's collaboration with Paul McCartney in writing iconic Beatles songs and his activism for peace.

Themes and Insights

  1. The Price of Fame: "Celebrity" sheds light on the immense pressures and sacrifices that come with being in the public eye. It explores how fame can lead to isolation, addiction, and a loss of personal identity.
  2. The Dark Side of Success: The book delves into the hidden struggles and tragedies that often accompany success. It highlights the vulnerability and fragility of even the most celebrated individuals.
  3. Society's Obsession with Celebrity: Thompson examines society's fascination with fame and the impact it has on the lives of celebrities. It raises questions about the ethical responsibilities of the media and the public in their treatment of famous individuals.
  4. The Human Cost of Stardom: "Celebrity" humanizes iconic figures, revealing their flaws, vulnerabilities, and the personal toll their fame takes on their well-being. It serves as a reminder that behind the glitz and glamour, there are real people facing real challenges.

Reader's Takeaway

"Celebrity" provides a captivating and eye-opening exploration of the dark side of fame. Through its compelling storytelling and in-depth research, Thomas Thompson invites readers to reflect on the price of success and the often tragic consequences of living in the spotlight. This book serves as a cautionary tale, urging readers to consider the humanity of celebrities and the responsibility society holds in how it treats those in the public eye.


In "Celebrity" by Thomas Thompson, readers are taken on an emotional journey through the lives of iconic figures in show business. From Marilyn Monroe to John Lennon, Thompson masterfully weaves together their stories, exposing the hidden struggles and tragedies behind the glamour of fame. This thought-provoking book serves as a reminder that behind the public personas, celebrities are human beings facing their own trials and tribulations. "Celebrity" is a must-read for anyone interested in the price of fame and the lasting impact it has on those who achieve it.

Celebrity FAQ

  1. What is the book 'Celebrity' about?

    'Celebrity' by Thomas Thompson is a non-fiction book that explores the lives of famous celebrities and the dark side of fame. It delves into the pressures, struggles, and scandals that come with being a celebrity.

  2. Who is the author of 'Celebrity'?

    The author of 'Celebrity' is Thomas Thompson, an American journalist and author known for his investigative reporting and true crime books.

  3. Is 'Celebrity' a work of fiction or non-fiction?

    'Celebrity' is a non-fiction book based on real events and interviews with celebrities, offering an in-depth look into the world of fame.

  4. Are there any specific celebrities featured in the book?

    Yes, 'Celebrity' features profiles and stories of various famous celebrities from different fields such as music, film, sports, and more.

  5. Does 'Celebrity' focus on the positive aspects of fame?

    While 'Celebrity' explores the glamorous side of fame, it also sheds light on the negative aspects such as the impact on mental health, privacy invasion, and the constant scrutiny celebrities face.

  6. Is 'Celebrity' suitable for all ages?

    'Celebrity' is intended for adult readers due to its mature themes and discussions of sensitive topics related to fame.

  7. Are there any reviews available for 'Celebrity'?

    Yes, there are reviews available for 'Celebrity' by Thomas Thompson. You can find them on platforms such as Goodreads, Amazon, and various book review websites.

  8. Where can I purchase 'Celebrity'?

    'Celebrity' by Thomas Thompson is available for purchase at major bookstores, online retailers like Amazon, and as an e-book for various e-reader platforms.

  9. Is there a movie adaptation of 'Celebrity'?

    As of now, there is no known movie adaptation of 'Celebrity' by Thomas Thompson.

  10. Does 'Celebrity' provide any insights into the entertainment industry?

    Yes, 'Celebrity' offers insights into the inner workings of the entertainment industry, including the challenges faced by celebrities, the role of media, and the impact of fame on personal lives.