If you're hoping to spot a movie star on Hollywood Boulevard, most days you'll definitely be in for a disappointment. But there is one way to guarantee seeing a celebrity in the flesh, right on the Boulevard.
Every month, the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame unveils new "stars" in their illustrious sidewalk. With many "stars" left to fill on the Walk of Fame, there are new "stars" being dedicated all the time. And best of all, the celebrity receiving the honor must appear in person at the "star unveiling ceremony."
The public is free to crowd around the star while the famous sidewalk plaque is unveiled and a flock of reporters shoot photos of the big event. As a spectator, if you show up early enough, you can literally be just a few feet away from the celeb getting his "star" that day.
And you never know just who'll you'll see at one of these ceremonies. Often, the celebrity being honored is joined by his or her movie star friends and co-workers, who show up at the ceremony to wish them well.
For instance, when Cameron Diaz got her star in 2009, she was joined by Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Lucy Liu. (Tom has co-starred with Cameron in 'Vanilla Sky', and Lucy had co-starred with her in "Charlie's Angels".)
When Bruce Willis got his star in October of 2006, he was joined by Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Sylvester Stallone, Don Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton. How's that for a supporting cast?
Granted, that's not the norm. But it's not that unusual to see other stars show up, in addition to the honoree. When Matthew Broderick & Nathan Lane (of "The Producers") got their stars in early 2006, Mel Brooks showed up, as well as Matthew's wife, Sarah Jessica Parker.
When Anthony Hopkins got his "star", Jodi Foster (his co-star in "Silence of the Lambs") & Salma Hayek both came to congratulate him.
When Magic Johnson got
his "star", Johnny Depp,
Arsenio Hall and Samuel L. Jackson
all showed up.. When Kelsey Grammar got
his "star", his "Fraiser" co-stars David
Hyde Pierce ('Niles') and Jane Leeves
('Daphne'), both were at his side. Whoopi Goldberg
showed up for the unveiling of Wesley Snipe's
"star." And both Jane Seymour
and Glenn Close attended Christopher Reeves'
When actor Kevin Spacey got his star on the Walk of Fame in 1999, fellow actors Jack Lemmon and Edward Norton were there to wish him well. When James Brolin got his star on the sidewalk in 1998, recent bride Barbra Streisand was by his side.
The unveiling ceremony of even a relatively minor star can be an occasion for spotting big names.
For instance, in 2000, when songwriter Carole Bayer Sager got her star, her friend Elizabeth Taylor joined the sidewalk scene, as did Dustin Hoffman and playwright Neil Simon. When the comic team of Stiller & Meara got their star in 2007, son Ben Stiller showed up to wish his parents well, as did Seinfeld's Jason Alexander (since Jerry Stiller played Jason's dad on the show).
attended when Stephanie Powers
got her star. Clint Black, Lisa Hartman
and James Garner all turned out
for singer Mac Davis' ceremony. And
when Annette Funicello received
her honor, long-time co-star Frankie Avalon
turned up, as well as Mickey Mouse
(representing the Disney studio). When Marion Ross
got her star, fellow "Happy Days" alumni 'Fonzie,'
'Potsie,' 'Joanie" and 'Mr. C' were all present (as was producer Garry
And when John Belushi got his star in 2004, some 22 years after his death, his Saturday Night Live friends Chevy Chase and John Ackroyd showed up, as did brother Jim Belushi, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and Tom Arnold.
So you never know exactly who will turn up at these events.
Those so honored range from minor TV celebrities to Hollywood superstars. These "star unveiling" ceremonies provide a perfect opportunity for you to see actual stars in person on the Boulevard.
But I can guess what you're thinking: "How do I know when these unveiling ceremonies are going to take place or what star is going to be there?"
Well, that's easy:
Or you can call the Chamber's automated hotline at (323) 469-8311, and a recording will tell you who are the next celebs scheduled to receive "stars." on the Walk of Fame. The recording will also tell you the exact time, date and address (including nearest cross street) where the next star unveiling ceremonies will take place. The calls are free (except for your usual toll charges, if any); there are no special charges for this service, which is run by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Alternately, you can get the names from their website at http://hollywoodchamber.net/walkoffame/upcoming.html
Most unveiling ceremonies take place on weekdays, at 11:30 AM. Show up early for the best viewing spots near the new "star." - and remember: the bigger the star, the bigger the crowd!
Such ceremonies occur at the rate of at least once a month. (They often coincide with the opening of a star's new motion picture or, in the case of singers, the release of their new music CD.)
To clear up one myth: no, you can't just buy a star on the Walk of Fame. That rumor started because they do, in fact, charge a $25,000 fee for the maintenance of the sidewalk "star", which must be paid before the "star" is dedicated. But the money is secondary - the recipient must meet a certain level of fame & accomplishment before a "star" will be awarded; each year, the Walk of Fame committee receives 200 to 300 applications, but they only give out 20 "stars" per year. Simply paying the fee alone will not buy a spot on the Walk. (The $25,000 is petty cash to the big studios that usually put up the money, but can it prove a challenge for small fan groups trying to get a "star" for their favorite celebrity.)
Celebrity honorees in 2000 included Jim Carrey, Jodie Foster, Peter O'Toole, Rob Reiner, Kevin Spacey, Ted Danson, Don Knotts, Carroll O?Connor, Roberta Flack, Kiss, Sting, Aerosmith, Siegfried & Roy and Phil Silvers (posthumous).
In 1998, some of the stars who received "stars" on the Walk of Fame included:
Bruce Willis ("Die Hard"), Nicolas Cage ("Face/Off"), Meryl Streep ("One True Thing"), Jamie Lee Curtis ("Halloween"), comic Buddy Hackett ("The Music Man"), Joe Pesci ("Lethal Weapon"), Wesley Snipes ("Blade"), Robert Vaughn ("The Man From U.N.C.L.E."), Tony Randall ("The Odd Couple"), James Brolin ("Hotel"), director Mike Nichols ("Five Easy Pieces"), singer Mac Davis, Reba McEntire, TV's Leeza Gibbons, jazz legend Miles Davis, Roy O. Disney and childrens' favorite Mister Rogers.
You could have seen them all in person on
the Boulevard in 1998.
Jane Seymour ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Bob Newhart ("Newhart"), Samuel L. Jackson ("Pulp Fiction"), Dennis Franz ("NYPD Blue"), James Woods ("Contact"), Michele Lee ("Knot's Landing"), Buffalo Bob Smith ("Howdy Doody"), singers John Fogerty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival), Phil Collins, Freddy Fender, Charley Pride & Keely Smith, pop group Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons,country group Alabama, quizmaster Alex Trebek ("Jeopardy"), cartoon characters 'The Simpsons', and (posthumously) Patsy Cline.
In 1997, the celebs who received stars included:
the legendary Jack Nicholson, singer David Bowie, Agent 007 himself - Pierce Brosnan, "Superman." Christopher Reeve, Dirty Dancer Patrick Swayze, Debbie Reynolds ("Singin' in the Rain"), "Kung Fu"'s David Carradine, actor Rod Steiger ("The Pawn Broker"), actress Cicily Tyson ("Roots"), Denver Pyle ("The Dukes of Hazzard"), singer James Brown, saxophonist Kenny G, pop group The Four Tops, bluesman John Lee Hooker, director William Friedkin ("The Exorcist"), and D.J.'s Mark & Brian.
In 1996, the honorees included:
singer/actress Whitney Houston ("The Bodyguard"), actors David Hasselhoff ("Baywatch"), Danny Glover ("Lethal Weapon"), Florence Henderson ("The Brady Bunch"), Ray Walston ("My Favorite Martian" & "Picket Fences"), Cicily Tyson ("Roots") and Hal Holbrook ("Evening Shade"), plus "The Newlywed Game" host Bob Eubanks, "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Shultz and singer George Benson.
For 1995, the list included:
Hal Linden ("Barney Miller"), Robert Urich ("Vegas"), Farrah Fawcett ("Charlie's Angels"), Sharon Gless & Tyne Daly ("Cagney & Lacy"), Andy Garcia ("The Untouchables"), Rita Moreno ("West Side Story"), singers Gladys Knight & Garth Brooks, The Temptations, The Who, 'Bugs Bunny' animator Chuck Jones and magician David Copperfield.
Chevy Chase, Jeff Bridges, Charlie Sheen, Raquel Welch, James Coburn, the Supremes, the Pointer Sisters, Richard Mulligan, Marlee Matlin, Ben Johnson, James Brown, Doc Severinson, Della Reese, Victor Borge, Annette Funicello and Big Bird!
You could have seen any or all of these stars in person by simply calling the free Hollywood Hotline for the dates - (or just checking my Calendar of Events).
If you're lucky, your favorite movie or TV star may be getting his "star" soon on the Walk of Fame, and you'll get the chance to watch! (To nominate your favorite celebrity for a star on the Walk of Fame, send a S.A.S.E. to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, 7018 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA. 90028).
For a complete roster of all the stars on the Walk
of Fame and their addresses, send $4 to the same address.
Phone: (323) 469-8311 (Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Hotline).
The Hollywood Hotline is a very useful automated phone service. By simply pushing a button on your phone, you can get constantly-updated information about new Walk of Fame honorees, upcoming Hollywood events, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, as well as info about Hollywood sights, restaurants, & hotels. (And the main menu also allows you to speak directly to a real person, if you prefer.)
Getting there: The Hollywood Walk of Fame stretches for 17 blocks (east-west) along both side of Hollywood Boulevard, from Gower Street (on the east) to Sycamore Avenue (on the west), as well as along three blocks (north-south) of Vine Street, beginning at Sunset Boulevard (on the south), crossing Hollywood Boulevard, up to Yucca Street (on the north). / From the Hollywood (101) Freeway take either the Hollywood Boulevard exit or the Sunset Boulevard exit, then head east one half mile to Vine Street.
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Copyright © 2013-Gary Wayne
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