To be famesque, a celebrity's fame must be disproportionate to the success he or she has in the field he or she is purportedly famous for — say acting, singing, or professional sports. A famesque person loses at the box office, but wins in the tabloids at the supermarket check-out line. Most importantly, perhaps, a famesque person never had real fame. In other words, they're not has-beens, they're never-weres.
Amy Argetsinger, who coined the term in a Washington Post article published yesterday, cites a few examples, including Sienna Miller and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Anna Kournikova seems like another natural addition to the group, and I suppose Paris Hilton doesn't make the cut because she doesn't have an actual day job besides being Paris Hilton. A famesque person must have something she's supposedly famous for, besides being famous. Argetsinger writes:
The truly famesque possess the seeming gravitas that comes with a title and the suggestion of a job — actor, singer, pro athlete. It's just that . . . you've never seen them act, or heard them sing, or watched them play. Instead: You read about them. A lot.
Who's your favorite famesque person?