No personal relationship/drug/booze/health/weight/family issues!
This is purely about what some famous people did ON STAGE OR SCREEN that left them “brandmarked” forever, so to say. Those who will always be, I don’t know, “the girl who bit the bear’s ear off” or “the guy who drank menstrual blood”. You know what I mean.
Who comes to mind?
Ned Beatty is relatively unfortunate. squeals
Also, Linda Bleeeeaaauuurrrgghhh, I mean Blair.
Warren Zevon is a perfect example. Mention his name, and of the people who’ve heard of him at all, three out of four will start mocking the piano intro from “Werewolves.” And then refuse to believe that he could ever have produced anything of substance. It’s far from his best song, but people tend to assume that it must be, and if the rest of his catalog is weaker than that…Which would be pretty bad if true, but it’s not!
Going off the Waren Zevon example, occasionally a really talented band/songwriter will score a single hit, their only hit (or their only BIG hit), with a novelty song- and will thus never be taken as seriously as they deserve.
The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”
The Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian”
Suzanne Vega, “Luka”
Don Was, “Walk the Dinosaur”
Dead Eye Dick, “New Age Girl”
Jill Sobule, “I Kissed a Girl”
The songs themselves may not qualify as stigmas per se, “I Kissed a Girl” is generally well thought of by music fans and critics- but it did lead many to write Sobule off as a “Novelty Act”, a shame because she’s one of the best songwriters out there.
Looking at the charting info on her wiki page looks like “Tom’s Diner” was a much bigger hit than “Luka” in Europe and Australia. Here in the U.S. “Luka” was a much bigger hit. “Tom’s Diner” got a lot of placement in movies and T.V. but I really think not very many people knew what the song was called despite hearing it through various media on a regular basis. By the time it got play at all, Vega was already well know for “Luka”.
Marion Davies has been stigmatized for the decades by Citizen Kane. Everyone assumes that Susan Kane was based upon her and that she was a no-talent actress who got her roles because she was shacking up with William Randolph Hearst. In reality, she was a successful actress and comedienne without him and most who follow her career believe that Hearst hurt her more than he helped (he insisted she play drama, while she was more at home with comedy).
Nobody here knows Ted Weems, but he had been one of the top bandleaders in the country for 20 years before WW2, when he made the admirable mistake of volunteering to direct the U.S. Merchant Marine Band. Official policy was to keep the USMM very much out of the media (they had unusually high casualty rates and were regarded as slackers by combat military), so his name disappeared from public life.
Next that was heard of Weems was in the late 40s, when a novelty record he’d made in 1933, called Heartaches, hit big in the South. 25 years in the biz, all to become a one-hit wonder.
Seriously? I think he’s more strongly associated with “The Matrix”.
Green Day is a funny one- they’ve had a serious and successful career, but their most widely-known song, by far, is “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”. It’s a good song, to be sure, and will be played at every elementary school graduation from here to eternity, but it’s totally unrepresentative of the rest of their work. Which leads to amusing things like my mother buying their albums because she liked Good Riddance so much.