Seeing Stars: Where the Stars are Immortalized
  
  

There are a number of interesting murals around town immortalizing Hollywood stars and other aspects of life in Tinseltown.  Here are a few of them:

The Hollywood High mural
The "You Are the Star" mural
The "Legends of Hollywood" mural
The "Dolores Del Rio" mural
The "Spirits of the West" mural
Other Hollywood-themed murals





THE HOLLYWOOD HIGH MURAL
1521 Highland Avenue,
Hollywood, CA. / (323) 461-3891.

A large mural on the west side of Hollywood High School declares that the school is "Sheik Territory", a team nickname which is a not-so-subtle reference to silent film superstar Rudolph Valentino (who starred in "The Sheik"). In fact, the mural depicts Valentino in full sheik headdress, robes blowing in the wind as he looks out across the high school's track & athletic field.

(For a list of famous alumni of this high school, see the separate page about this stars' school.)

 Getting there: Hollywood High is located just south of Hollywood Boulevard, on Orange. You can see the Sheik mural (with its giant portrait of Rudolph Valentino) by driving south down Orange Street (just west of the Chinese Theatre), from Hollywood Blvd.


THE "YOU ARE THE STAR" MURAL

At the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue, is a wall-size Tinseltown mural. This one is called "You Are The Star", and was painted by Tom Suriya. It isn't as life-like as the Legends mural was, but it offers a colorful, witty look at an audience sitting in a movie theatre, as the audience might be seen if viewed from the movie screen.

The gimmick, though, is that the audience in this mural is made up of Hollywood movie stars (such as
Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, and Charlie Chaplin) who appear to be watching you up on the silver screen (as Fred & Ginger waltz up the theater aisle).

 Getting there: Wilcox Avenue was named after the man who founded Hollywood. It's located four blocks west of Vine, and about six blocks east of Highland. The mural is on the east side of Wilcox, just south of Hollywood Blvd.



THE "LEGENDS OF HOLLYWOOD" MURALS
Hollywood Boulevard & Hudson Avenue,
Hollywood, CA.

Just one street west of the "You Are the Star" mural, "Legends of Hollywood" was a large mural (by Eloy Torrez) which used to cover the entire western side of a building at the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Hudson Avenue.



In bright colors, it portrayed the larger-than-life likenesses of film legends
Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, and Bette Davis. It was the subject of many picture postcards (which are still on sale at Farmer's Market).

Alas, a major earthquake destroyed this landmark mural a few years ago. But I have kept these photos online so you can see what it used to look like.

There is a new, smaller mural on the west wall directly across the street from the where the old "Legends" mural stood; it is still mostly intact.  Titled
"The Muralists", this mural by Richard Wyatt (the man who also did the Capitol Records mural), features close-up portraits of four movie stars, including James Cagney (with smaller images of Laurel & Hardy.)

 Getting there: Hudson Avenue is a small street located off the south side of Hollywood Boulevard, about midway between Highland Avenue (on the west) and Vine Street (on the east). You'll also find "Hollywood Legends: The Autograph Store" here, at 6621-A Hollywood Boulevard, selling custom-framed autographs of the stars.




THE "DOLORES DEL RIO" MURAL
Hudson Avenue, north of Hollywood Blvd.,
Hollywood, CA.

On the other side of Hollywood Blvd., near the northeast corner of Hollywood & Hudson, is a large mural dedicated to the career of actress Dolores Del Rio, painted in 1990 by Alfredo de Batuc.

Born Dolores Martínez Asúnsolo y López Negrete in 1905, Dolores Del Rio was one of Hollywood's first Latina stars. After starring in over 30 movies in the 1920's and 30's, she launched a second career in the 40's when she returned to her native Mexico and became one of that country's biggest superstars. (She is also one of the four actresses to be immortalized on the Walk of Fame gazebo, at Hollywood & La Brea.)

The mural, on the east wall of the building, facing Hudson Ave., includes scenes from several of her films, as well as the titles of her many hit movies.




THE "SPIRITS OF THE WEST" MURAL
4700 Western Heritage Way, in Griffith Park,
Los Angeles, CA. / (323) 667-2000

You'll find this 125' mural (by Guy Deel) at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage. It takes up three walls of the lower level of the museum, telling the story of the West, from its prehistoric past to the cowboys of the Silver Screen. The mural includes the likenesses of many TV and movie cowboys, including Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, John Wayne, Tom Mix, William S. Hart, Gary Cooper, Will Rogers, Clint Eastwood, and of course, Gene Autry



    OTHER HOLLYWOOD-THEMED MURALS

  • In Downtown L.A., in the Latino district of Broadway, you can see a mural of actor Anthony Quinn, the star of such films as "Zorba the Greek," "Shoes of the Fisherman," "Viva Zapata!" and "The Greek Tycoon," is himself an immigrant from Mexico. The mural, titled "The Pope of Broadway", is on the Third Street side of the "Victor's Clothing" building, at 240 N. Broadway (just south of 1st Street).  Mr. Quinn continued to buy his suits at Victor's on Broadway, long after he had become a star. 
  • In East L.A. is a mural of actor Edward James Olmos (star of "Stand And Deliver," "Zoot Suit" and "American Me."). Commissioned by Time Magazine, the mural is located in the parking lot behind the famous El Mercado marketplace, located at 3425 E. First Street, in East L.A. 

  • On the south side of the Capitol Records Building, is a mural called "Hollywood Jazz," which depicts almost a dozen jazz greats. including Nat King Cole and such other singers & musicians as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Tito Puente. Located near the famous corner of Hollywood & Vine.



Click here to browse books about murals in Los Angeles.




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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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