And The Winner Is...
With a family tree that currently has over 21,000 people listed on it, I am often surprised what people find most interesting about my vast family history.
On my website I have a significant number of historical figures listed, including numerous US Presidents, British Royal Family members, business moguls, explorers and, of course, a large number of celebrities (both living and dead).
With celebrity names like Elizabeth Taylor, Clint Eastwood, Ted Danson, Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Montgomery, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Lucille Ball, Jane & Peter Fonda, The Beach Boys and Humphrey Bogart, I also find it amusing that these household names are not the most searched and/or viewed on my website.
With only a few exceptions, I am quite proud to have most of these celebrities listed in my family tree - I admire the majority of them and I have always liked their work. Of course there are a few celebrities (as well as politicians and other historical figures) that I am not thrilled to have included in my tree, but they are all part of my family's background just the same so they have a place in my family tree.
I spend a significant amount of time putting together the brief biographies for everyone that appears on my family tree website (even though it may not seem like it at times!). I do this as a tribute to the people who have been given a page on my website, and to fuel the curiosity of the readers to do some of their own investigation and discover more about these fascinating people. One of the ways I determine how interested people are in what I have written is through the number of "hits" a certain individual receives on my site. With the number of famous historical people, I am usually very surprised as to who is #1 on the hit list, so to speak, on a weekly, monthly and annual basis.
The current leader by a wide margin is my 11th cousin (paternal), actress Elisabeth Shue. Elisabeth's page is almost always the most researched and viewed out of all the famous people that appear on my website. I have no problem with this - Elisabeth is a talented actor, and she is quite attractive - two attributes that would have wide appeal. I have had Elizabeth, and her brother, fellow actor Andrew Shue (Melrose Place) on my website for a long time now. As a TV viewer, I immediately recognized both of these actors from shows that I have watched in the past, or that I continue to watch today.
Elizabeth acted in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a show that I have always enjoyed. She played CSI Finlay (Finn), brought to the Las Vegas Crime Lab by her former boss, D.B. Russel, played by yet another paternal cousin of mine, actor Ted Danson. I also remember Elisabeth playing the role of Jennifer, Marty McFly's girlfriend in Back To The Future II & III (another favorite of mine). Elisabeth also starred in another iconic film from the 80's, Adventures In Babysitting. Although I don't recall watching the movie, Elisabeth also starred in Hollow Man alongside yet another paternal cousin of mine, iconic actor Kevin Bacon.
I like the role of Finn that Elisabeth played in CSI the best; she brought the character to life in a believable way. Smart, sexy and yet somewhat flawed, the character really worked well in the franchise. Although there are a number of similar CSI shows, this one is by far my favorite (followed by CSI Miami). I was even pleasantly surprised at how well Ted Danson brought the character D.B. Russel to life. Although Ted is also a distant cousin of mine, I have never been a huge fan of the characters he has played, except this one.
I'm not sure what triggers people to search for certain individuals online and then visit my website to learn more about them, but I am glad that Elisabeth is clearly liked by many people. She remains active as an actor and this writer will need to catch up on some of her work. Who knows, I may just like the other characters she portrays as much as I have liked Finn!