First, O.J. Simpson gets sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery (though, of course, we can guess for which crime Simpson was actually being sentenced).
Now, legendary music producer Phil Spector has been convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson. Spector is now facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.
(Though quite a few people -- like me -- feel that Spector should have been put away 28 years ago for attempting to murder the Ramones with the End of the Century album.)
What this means, of course, is that out of the Trinity of 70s Celebrities Accused Of Murdering Light-Haired Women In California, only Robert Blake has so far managed to avoid prison.
(That said, it should also be noted that out of that trio, Blake's probably the only one who was actually wrongfully accused. Ever since Blake was first arrested, I was always a member of the "Christian-Brando-Did-It" contigent.)
Is it possible that we are now entering an age where celebrities actually can be convicted in a court of law?
In all seriousness, one of the unfortunate side effects of celebrity murder trials is that the fame of the accused often ends up overshadowing the tragedy of the victim. In most of the stories I've read concerning Spector's trial, Lana Clarkson has been described as a "B-movie" actress and this isn't quite fair to her. Lana Clarkson was not a B-movie actress. Instead, she was a talented actress who happened to appear in a lot of B-movies. To dismissively refer to her as a "B-movie actress" diminishes the fact that -- regardless of the quality of the film she was appearing in -- Clarkson was one of those likable, energetic actresses who was always better than the material she had to work with.
Most stories mention that her best known role was in a film called Barbarian Queen, as if Clarkson were some type of Troy McClure-type hack whose life could be judged solely on the basis of the titles of the films that she appeared in. What those stories don't mention is the fact that she actually gave a pretty memorable performance in Barbarian Queen.
(Though the Clarkson performance I would recommend would have to be her performance in a film called The Haunting of Morella. The film itself is pretty bad but Clarkson's performance is very good.)
And who could forget her as the improbable wife of Vincent Schiavelli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High?
Rest in peace, Lana Clarkson.
You deserved better.