This is a question that crosses my mind more than it should. And not just Carlton from The Fresh Prince, I am unnaturally concerned with the goings on of any 1980s or 90s stars who have dropped somewhat (or totally) from the public eye. Am I the only one? Are there any more of my people out there?
You know who you are — you get giddy when you see the face of the actress who played Emily Valentine on 90210 in a magazine sidebar. You pine for a Friends reunion, not for the 6 main characters, but because you miss Gunther. You obsess over a woman you see at Harris Teeter that, per your mental age-progression calculator, just might be the snotty sister Lisa from Dirty Dancing, and you make sure to Google her when you get home for comparison photos. You about peed your pants when Tina Yothers, Mindy Cohn and Nicole Eggert showed up on episodes of What Not To Wear.
It’s not like I don’t enjoy a good Brad and Angie update or a baby bump alert on Beyonce now and then, but my ultimate cover story would be some sort of exclusive on Martika of ‘Toy Soldier’ fame or maybe a where is he now feature on Minkus from Boy Meets World. These are the stories that need to be told!
If you’re still with me, I have been complaining for years about how my People and Us Weekly magazines don’t have enough coverage of my semi-obscure peeps. I still read them cover to cover, because in order to fully understand the complex landscape of entertainment you have to be up to speed on all aspects from the A to D-list. To fill the gaps however, I found myself Google-ing certain former celebs to get some random info here and there. The problem with this method is that the whole reason they fascinate me is because they are obscure and thus are not in my head that often (except Alfonso – I think about him a lot). Anyway, I found out that I have been complaining for no reason! There are several sources available for just this type of info…Here are a few of my favorites:
dlisted.com – This site includes the current stuff, but also covers anyone who was ever in the public eye (yes!). One stop shopping! A quick stop here and I immediately got my Topanga fix (and it isn’t good — arrest warrant??, but check for yourself).
Twitter and Facebook – Both of these totally passed the Alfonso test. I am new to Twitter (pulling up my mom jeans now). I am now following Alfonso Ribiero and feel much more secure that I won’t miss any major life or career milestones. Twitter is a way to take matters into your own hands and is chock full of some of the celebs I mentioned above. Ditto with Facebook. I just liked Alfonso on Facebook and his cover picture is a shot of him in the Michael Jackson video — so cute! I totally forgot he was in that…but I digress. BTW, Alfonso has over 500,000 Facebook followers!
IMDB – Jackpot! Alfonso is in the big leagues among the stars that intrigue me and is just one Dancing With The Stars win away from mainstream, so I had to find a source I could really put to the test for obscurity. One of the actors I have always wondered about was the kid who played J.T Martin on a few episodes of Silver Spoons. He played a rich, cocky cowboy-boot-wearing-Eddie-Hascal-type kid and was part of the Ricky’s posse that also included Alfonso Ribeiro, Jason Bateman and Corky Pigeon (yes, that is the real name of Freddie Lippencottleman — now I need to IMDB Freddie!). He also had some nice winged hair if I remember correctly. I was able to find him on IMDB and although there is no photo, I now know he was played by Bobby Fite and Bobby now works as a home developer in Dallas, TX! I can sleep soundly tonight having gotten all up in Bobby’s business via IMDB.
There is still room for a full coverage blog of some sort focusing specifically on the non-a-list stars that have fallen out of the public eye a bit. Maybe I just haven’t discovered it or maybe Bobby Fite could take up this task in his spare time.