The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a famous sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States, which is embedded with more than 2,000 five-pointed stars featuring the names of celebrities honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the entertainment industry.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
The Walk of Fame runs east to west on Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue, and north to south on Vine Street between Yucca Street and Sunset Boulevard. Locations of specific stars are permanent, except when occasionally relocated for nearby construction or other reasons.
Each star consists of gold comprising a pink five-pointed star rimmed with bronze and inlaid into a charcoal square. Inside the pink star is the name of the honoree inlaid in bronze, below which is a round bronze emblem indicating the category for which the honoree received the star. The emblems are:
- motion picture camera for contribution to the film industry;
- television set for contribution to the broadcast television industry;
- phonograph record for contribution to the recording industry;
- radio microphone for contribution to the broadcast radio industry; and,
- twin comedy/tragedy masks for contribution to live theater.
However, Disneyland's star has an emblem of a building.
Nominations are submitted annually by May 31, and the Walk of Fame committee meets the following month to pick the next year's group of honorees. Star ceremonies are open to the public and are led by Johnny Grant, Hollywood's Honorary Mayor.
History[edit | edit source]
The Walk of Fame was created in 1958 by southern Californian artist Oliver Weismuller, who was hired by the city to give Hollywood a "face lift". Many honorees received multiple stars during the initial phase of installation for contributions to separate categories; however, the practice in recent decades has been to honor individuals not yet represented, with only a handful of previous honorees being awarded additional stars. In 1978, the City of Los Angeles designated the Walk of Fame as a Cultural/Historic Landmark.
The Walk of Fame began with 2,500 blank stars. A total of 1,558 stars were awarded during its first sixteen months. Since then, about two stars have been added per month. By 1994, more than 2,000 of the original stars were filled, and additional stars extended the Walk west past Sycamore to La Brea Avenue, where it now ends at the Silver Four Ladies of Hollywood Gazebo (with stars honoring The Beatles and Elvis Presley).
Maintenance[edit | edit source]
The Walk of Fame is maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. In order for a person to get a star on the Walk of Fame, he or she must agree to attend a presentation ceremony within five years of selection, and a $25,000 fee must be paid to the Trust for costs such as security at the star ceremony; a 2003 FOX News story noted that the fee is typically paid by sponsors such as movie studios and record companies, as part of the publicity for a release with which the honoree is involved. On other occasions, the fee is paid by a fan club or the nominating person or organization.
However, controversy and mystery surrounds the way the "Stars" are nominated and approved, as discussed in a 2001 ABC News story that interviewed honorary Hollywood mayor Johnny Grant.
Stolen stars[edit | edit source]
Four stars have been stolen from the Walk of Fame. Those of Jimmy Stewart and Kirk Douglas, which had been removed during a construction project, were stolen from the site on Vine Street. The culprit was a contractor who was later caught with the two stars, damaged and unusable, but not until after they had been replaced. One of Gene Autry's stars was also taken from another construction project. It was later found in Iowa. On November 27, 2005, thieves sawed Gregory Peck's star out of the sidewalk near Gower; the star has been replaced as of September 2006 but the thieves have not been caught.
Cameras are being placed in the walk district to catch thieves.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Gene Autry is the only person to have been honored with all five possible stars, for his contribution in each of the five categories. The motion picture star is located on 6644 Hollywood Blvd., the radio star is located on 6520 Hollywood Blvd., the recording star is located on 6384 Hollywood Blvd., the TV star is located on 6667 Hollywood Blvd., and the live theater star is located on 7000 Hollywood Blvd.
- At Hollywood and Vine, a special "round star" on each of the four corners commemorates the Apollo 11 astronauts. Each astronaut (Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins], and Edwin Aldrin) has a star and there is a joint star for NASA's entire Apollo 11 mission team.
- In 2005, companies became eligible for Walk-of-Fame-type stars; the first recipient was Disneyland, in honor of its 50th anniversary. Company awards are on private property near the Walk, and not part of the Walk itself. Companies must have a strong Hollywood presence and be at least fifty years old to qualify for this award. Entertainment industry publications Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are among the planned recipients.
- There are two film actors named Harrison Ford with stars. The first Harrison Ford was a silent film actor in the 1910s–20s, whose star is in front of the Musso & Frank restaurant at 6665 Hollywood Blvd. The second is the present-day Harrison Ford, whose star can be found in front of the Kodak Theater at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
- Fictional characters that have stars include Bugs Bunny], Mickey Mouse], Woody Woodpecker, Winnie the Pooh, Donald Duck, Godzilla, Kermit the Frog, Lassie], The Rugrats, The Simpsons, and Snow White.
- Of the entire cast of the original Star Trek TV series, only Walter Koenig ("Pavel Chekov") does not have a star along the Walk of Fame.
- Dan Haggerty who starred in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams is the only person to have his star removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was actually meant to honor another actor, the late Don Haggerty but the committee made an error in spelling. Eventually Dan received a legitimate star, now located in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
- When Dick Van Dyke received his star on February 25, 1993, there was a typo in his name. Workers installing the star mistakenly spelled his surname "Vandyke" with no space. Emcee Johnny Grant saved the situation by producing a Sharpie pen and a line was drawn directly on the star between "Van" and "dyke". The wording on the star was later corrected.
- In David Lynch's latest film, INLAND EMPIRE, Laura Dern vomits blood on the Walk of Fame.
List of stars[edit | edit source]
List of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (on Wikipedia)
See also[edit | edit source]
- Hollywood and Vine
- Grauman's Chinese Theater
- Canada's Walk of Fame
- St. Louis Walk of Fame
- Avenue of Stars, London
- Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong
- Hollywood's Rockwalk