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Journalism & Communication
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The history of Hollywood has been one in which many actors have achieved an iconic status by virtue of establishing an identity that corresponds to the social atmosphere of the time in which they rose to prominence. …

Introduction

Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando and James Dean each caught the collective imagination of young movie audiences stifled by the conformity of the 1960s. Almost all actors who establish the highest echelons of stardom succeed also in establishing a connection with audiences that reach a primal state of their consciousness (King 147). Audiences respond to John Wayne and Clint Eastwood because they tap into community desires for security and protection. Audiences connect with Jimmy Stewart and Tom Hanks because they project a sense of the Everyman who still manage to sometimes deal with the darker aspects of their lives. Cary Grant and Robert Redford achieved superstar status by virtue of offering romantic fantasy (deCordova 88). Robert DeNiro perhaps best exemplified that mode of actor that exploded after the social upheavals of the 1960s when the traditions and values and morality of the past were breaking down all around. DeNiro’s constant and continual reinventing of himself on camera embodies the search for individual self-identity that arrived with these wide social changes. ...
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