Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Famous and Infamous Celebrity Umbrellas

FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS CELEBRITY UMBRELLAS

Famous celebrity umbrellas. 
Yes, they abound. 
They are most definitely all around town.  
Here is a short list, in no way complete.
Just something to think about on a dark and rainy street. 

This page is dedicated to famous and infamous umbrellas including those from both the fictional and the real worlds.  

MARY POPPINS AND GENE KELLY


The first famous umbrellas that come to mind are often the umbrellas from the two classic movies shown above. That is, the magical parrot umbrella of British nanny Mary Poppins from the 1934 book and 1964 film of the same name and the more practical umbrella of American Gene Kelly in the 1952 romantic comedy, Singin’ in the Rain. 

THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG


THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG umbrella movie!

In 1964, Catherine Deneuve starred in the French language, Academy Award nominated movie, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. This film is the middle one in a series of three. According to the Criterion Collection who remastered it, it was a “dazzling musical heart-tugger.” Deneuve was launched to stardom via this film but, for our purposes, it is noteworthy that she played an umbrella-shop owner’s daughter and that umbrellas were required because it rained a lot in the film. You will find the remastered version of this movie on Amazon by clicking here.

THE BEATLES


The Beatles Umbrellas

The Beatles appeared in many photographs with umbrellas, seeming to have used the iconic British symbol as props for many photo shoots. In the 1968 film The Yellow Submarine, the Eleanor Rigby scene features illustrations of the silhouettes of men with bowler hats, trench coats and, yes, umbrellas. I bet the fab five did not foresee the day when they’d actually appear ON an umbrella. You can find yourself a Beatles umbrella here on eBay. My favorite is the dome umbrella.

POISON-TIPPED UMBRELLA


In 1978, a poison-tipped umbrella was used to kill Bulgarian journalist Georgi Markov in London, England. This story is somewhat unbelievable since it seems like something we would see in the movies, but apparently it is a true story and the same umbrella was used but failed against another Bulgarian journalist in Paris. 

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO


My Neighbor Totoro umbrella scene.

In the 1988 animated movie My Neighbor Totoro from Studio Ghibli, a simple pink umbrella appears in a memorable scene. When Totoro is caught with only a leaf to protect himself from the rain, Satsuki offers him an umbrella. Judging by the difference in size of the characters as shown in this picture, that was a generous offer indeed!

LOST IN TRANSLATION


Scarlett Johansson's umbrella in LOST IN TRANSLATION

In Lost in Translation in 2003, Scarlett Johansson walks through Tokyo with a clear umbrella. I haven’t seen this movie but with regard to the purpose of this list, it is said that Johansson wanders the streets in Tokyo with water dripping off of her very simple, clear umbrella.A clear umbrella would definitely allow the streets to show more in the movie than if she had carried a solid colored umbrella. 

I wrote recently here about clear umbrellas. A clear umbrella will definitely be my next one. 

QUEEN ELIZABETH


QUEEN ELIZABETH'S UMBRELLAS are clear in order to see and be seen!

Queen Elizabeth has long carried a clear umbrella (maybe for about 16 years) so that she can see and be seen. Did you know that her clear umbrellas are designed with a colored band around the bottom edge with that color being carefully chosen to coordinate with each of her outfits. Yes, they are custom umbrellas manufactured by a company named Fulton that has the Royal Warrant, the acknowledgement that this company supplies umbrellas to the royal family.  If you are wondering, this means that yes, Queen Elizabeth has quite a collection of these beautiful umbrellas. 

Read more interesting information about the Queen’s umbrellas in Town and Country magazine

RIHANNA


In 2007, Barbadian singer Rihanna released an extremely popular and catchy song called Umbrella. It would go on to be considered one of the top ten songs of that year and the singer would receive several awards and nominations for the song and a lasting connection, in my mind at least, to the small but mighty umbrella. 

BRITNEY SPEARS


Also in 2007, the hugely popular American singer, songwriter and dancer Britney Spears deployed her teal umbrella in a fit of rage at the media when she attacked a car. It was not a shining moment for Spears, who could not stand the glare of the media any longer. However, her actions though not deliberate at the time, were successful in gaining her a bit of sympathy and reprieve from the public and the media.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA


In 2013, United States President Barack Obama was protected by an umbrella held by a marine in his roll as the Commander in Chief of the Marines. Since male marines were not allowed to carry umbrellas, this event was newsworthy and umbrella duty turned out to be somewhat controversial. You can read the whole story in the Washington Post.

THE KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE


In the 2015 spy movie The Kingsman: The Secret Service, a bullet proof umbrella is used by secret agents. Not only is it a shield but it has a built in gun and the handle can be used as a grappling hook. The umbrella was made by Thomas Brigg and the real version of this umbrella that you can buy from the company does feature a chestnut handle and shaft, a gold plated collar and a black nylon canopy but the canopy is not bullet proof. 

BLADE RUNNER


BLADE RUNNER Lampbrella Umbrella

In the 1982 movie Blade Runner, there is a pretty futuristic umbrella called the Lampbrella. It features a light-up shaft and and has since become a well-known prop from the film that won awards for visual effects. Since then, the umbrella has been recreated with varying degrees of success. You can find umbrellas that copy the Lampbrella style from the movie on eBay by clicking here

THE PENGUIN


THE PENGUIN'S UMBRELLA COLLECTION

In 1992, Danny DeVito brought the Penguin to life in the movie Batman Returns. Yes, as you might have guessed from this picture and the subject of this page, the umbrella is important to The Penguin. So important that he decorated his home with with an assortment of umbrellas that double as weapons. Why was the Penguin fascinated with umbrellas? His dad died from pneumonia due to a storm and he sees carrying an umbrella as protection. If you want to be safe in the world of DC Comics, you definitely need to carry one of the Penguin’s umbrellas!

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Well, my personal umbrellas aren't famous or particularly infamous, though they have lived a long, hardworking life and they are beloved. There are many other umbrellas that could have been on this list. Can you think of any that you would have added?

See you
under the umbrella!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Learn about Totes Clear Bubble Umbrellas.
Discover the Rainbrella Golf Umbrella.



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12 comments:

  1. What an interesting lens through which to look at the humble bumbershoot! Thanks for such a fun read, Brenda!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Margaret! I've come to believe the umbrella is not very humble at all!

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  2. Truly a fun post about umbrellas. I found it quite interesting that the Queen of England has them made to match her outfits. How cool is that! It is a fact that Mary Poppins & Gene Kelly would be the first to come to my mind at the mention of famous umbrellas, but I do find the others very interesting. I had to giggle at the Beatles. I don't think those umbrellas will help them in their yellow submarine :)

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    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right, Cynthia. An umbrella is of no use in a submarine, yellow or otherwise, unless, of course, the sub has sprung a leak...

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  3. Love it! Umbrellas are a fashion must have, although I find myself usually without one when the rain comes down. Bad planning on my part. I love Mary Poppins as she's flying through the air with her brolly.....

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    Replies
    1. I expect there might be a few places where an umbrella is not necessary but for most of the people that I know it definitely is!

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  4. Such a fun and fascinating article about celebrity umbrellas. I have two favorites from this page - the Beatles photo and the one with Queen Elizabeth and the umbrellas that match her outfits. A very clever and interesting article. Thanks, Brenda.

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  5. Thanks for your visit, Pat. Obviously, I find the topic of the utilitarian umbrella interesting, too!

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  6. Lol, I love this post. Umbrellas really are a marker in a moment in time aren't they - those older photos of movies etc with umbrellas are awesome! You got me thinking about which programs and movies do I think of when I think of umbrellas, well guess what, one of my fave NetFlix series The Umbrella Factory! lol. Of course, Singing in the Rain - now this will be in my head all night :)

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    Replies
    1. I'll have to look up The Umbrella Factory, Barbara. Thanks for your visit and your recommendation!

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