Who’s Really a “Legend”?


The words “legend” and “icon” are thrown around so effortlessly these days at anyone who’s accomplished what any ordinary person could achieve in a couple of New York minutes that I sometimes want to ask my legendary doorman if the iconic UPS man has arrived yet.

And yet, there are some luminaries that do deserve the terms because of the impact they’ve had and the unique and charismatic way they went about creating that.

I can think of five unimpeachable arts and entertainment legends for sure:

Stephen Sondheim

Liz Taylor

Norman Mailer

Angela Lansbury

and Dakota Fanning.

Kidding about that last one. So I can actually think of four genuine legends. But who else can we safely add to the list? Is there anyone else in the biz that you’d honestly call a legend without spitting up your iconic glass of cheap sangria?

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 25, 2009

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