“We’re here in Israel,” Ireland says into the camera during one recent promotional video shot on the Dead Sea, “because of our faith, our family, our loved ones, nonprofit work. And also, Israel is home to our brand partners E.L. Erman and Kathy Ireland Skin Care!” It’s unclear if she has won converts, but Kathy Ireland Worldwide claims $1.4 billion in annual sales.
Ireland is among a growing number of celebs not famous or notorious enough for “Dancing with the Has-Beens” but widely known nonetheless. The name Lisa Whelchel may not ring a bell, but if you’re 30 or older you’re probably familiar with Blair from “The Facts of Life.” Whelchel is now a best-selling author of a series of worship guides for busy mothers (and women who spend their nights picking up old men at the Chugalug bar).
At least she’s no longer acting. The “stars” of faith-based film include Lee Majors, Kristy Swanson, Gavin MacLeod, Kevin Sorbo and the Brando of cinema veritas, Kirk Cameron. Are we to believe Jesus is like Mexico, 10 years or so behind the cultural curve? And doesn’t a deity deserve better than Steve Austin and Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
I’m reminded of the Dennis Miller line: “No one ever finds Jesus on prom night.” Likewise, no one seems to find their way onto the J[esus]-List until their career has been reduced to hawking bionic hearing aids. Dontcha know Lee Majors Fawcett would tell the producers of “The Passion” prequel to find themselves another Joseph of Arimathea if the hot new reality series “Cooking with the 70s Superheroes” ever called.
I hear Elliott Gould is available.