The biopic continues to thrive not only in the cinema but also on TV, on the Arts and Entertainment Network and the Biography Channel, and in docudramas about celebrities, royals, and politicians, as well as on the Internet. By far the most biographized contemporary figure is Princess Diana. But very few celebrities escape media treatment. There is an emphasis on their private lives, highlighting their troubled childhoods, struggles to succeed, fame, marriages and divorces, illnesses, and deaths. The televisual biopic proffers the lives of the famous and infamous by means of "documentary" footage of their lives and times, commentary by their biographers, family members, colleagues, and friends, and, in the case of film stars, clips from their films. The biographies benefit from controversial material, scandals, and conflicts with the law. Thus it seems that the "biopic" is alive and well: the unabated flow of media biography is testimony to its continuing popularity, its profitability, and its responsiveness to changing cultural and social conditions.

SEE ALSO Genre ; Historical Films ; Stars

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Marcia Landy

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