Rob, you'll soon take the crown from Mr Schewe as the official forum curmudgeon since he seems to have calmed down
This is obviously not the forum for this, but it sounds like you're not a film buff. If you were, you'd definitely heard and would remember both of those women from their numerous high-profile movies, as well as some of the less-well known gems they've been in. Anyway, not the point.
One thing that does play an important role in all this is that entertainment is more fragmented than in the past. There are more ways to spend our time and money on during our free time, so niches - such as horror movies, 1st person shooter games, or snowboarding - thrive. Each of these niches have their own celebrities, and some people will only be familiar with their own niche's celebs. That's partly to blame for the lack of truly universal worldwide celebs these days, although the people I listed come close, along with a handful of "super"models from the 90s known by their first name (Christy, Cindy, Tyra, Naomi in that order ), and a few sports personas who I couldn't care less about.
As for modern Shakespeares, writers and directors such as Kubrick, Arthur Miller and Philip K. Dick are already studied widely in world's universities. Obviously they haven't reached the same level of universal praise as Shakespeare. Yet.
We'll always have celebs from days gone by who are sooo much better than what we have today, or oh-the-shock-and-horror what the kids today follow. Not to mention cameras, motorcycles, etc.
In general, I think you have really agreed with both Fred and me: the fragmentation of the celeb world into minor genres has indeed weakened it, diluted it into a much less strong 'brand' for each individual celeb.
Film buff. Nope, not any more. We even went as far as to cancel our subscription to the Movie Channel... it was almost unwatchable to both of us. Frankly, I spend more time here than watching any tv; movies - you would have to drag me to a cinema today; I used to live in them almost, at one time.
Curmudgeons usually arrive from a broad experience of the alternatives; can I plead that case? Please?