lyrics of "Celluloid
Heroes"*, a song by The Kinks, tell us:
"You can see
all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Blvd... "
Well, most days you are unlikely to see any real movie stars here on the Boulevard, but if you look down at your feet, you'll see the kind "stars" Ray Davies sang about: the bronze star-plaques, embedded in pink & charcoal terrazzo squares on the world's most famous sidewalk: the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
These renowned sidewalk "stars" salute the celebrities who made Hollywood great - from the silent film stars of yesteryear to the modern action heroes of today's blockbusters. As the song says, you'll see the names of:
Right below the name of each celebrity on the five-pointed stars is a small, round emblem which illustrates the celebrity's category, with one of five symbols: a motion picture camera (for movie stars & directors), a television set (for those in the television industry), a phonograph record (for singers, songwriters, and recording artists), a radio microphone (for radio luminaries), and the twin theatrical masks of comedy & tragedy (for live stage performers).
The celebrity with the most "stars" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is singing-cowboy Gene Autry, who earned five different "stars," one in each of the above categories. His five stars are located at 6644, 6520, 6384, 6667, and 7000 Hollywood Boulevard,
While the limited space at
the Grauman's Chinese Theatre
forecourt is precious, and is reserved for true Hollywood royalty, one
needn't be a superstar to earn a "star" here on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame. The Walk started out in 1960 with over 2,500 "stars,",
948 of which were blank, and 1,558 of which were dedicated to past Hollywood
greats. About 2,500 of the "stars" have been dedicated so far - with more "stars"
being added recently to the Walk's west end.
"Stars" on the Walk of Fame have been awarded to minor TV personalities, local radio deejays, animated characters, and even to two dogs: Lassie and Rin Tin Tin.
The selection process is sometimes
confusing. Game show host Bob Barker
has a "star." So does Pat Sajak
(host of "Wheel of Fortune")
and Thomas Edison
(who invented motion pictures), as well as Big Bird,
Pee Wee Herman
and Mabel Taliaferro!
Yet some major movie stars, such as Robert Redford,
and Clint Eastwood,
still haven't been awarded "stars" on the boulevard.
It has become traditional for fans to place flowers on the "star" of a celebrity who has just died. Sometimes, the "star" even serves as a gathering place for concerned fans. In 1993, for instance, when Michael Jackson was accused of child molestation, fans left notes of support on Jackson's "star" in front of the Chinese Theatre. And Beatles fans gather each year at John Lennon's star to commemorate the anniversary of his death.
Walk of Fame used to stop at Sycamore, at its west end, but in 1994 it was expanded a block
west to La Brea Avenue. New "stars" have been added
along the sidewalk here, as have distinctive new street lights (resembling
studio lights with "barn-doors").
anchoring west end of the Walk of Fame, at the corner of Hollywood & La Brea,
is a gleaming silver gazebo, topped by a spire which reads "Hollywood,"
and featuring sleek, life-size statues of four silver screen goddesses
in evening gowns. In a nod to multiculturalism, the four actresses represented
by the statues are Mae West,
Dolores Del Rio,
and Anna May Wong.
Celebs who will be getting new
"stars" in 2014 include:
For movies: Orlando Bloom, Sally Field, Matthew McConaughey, Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, Paul Mazursky, audio inventor Ray Dolby, and producers Tom Sherak and Jack Harris. For TV: Claire Danes, Kaley Cuoco, Dabney Coleman, Deidre Hall, Cheryl Hines, Giancarlo Esposito, Tavis Smiley, producer Don Mischer, and (posthumously) Phil Hartman. For recording: Katy Perry, Rick Springfield, songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland, Jeff Lynne, Ray Parker Jr., Maná, and (posthumously) Tupac Shakur. And in radio: Renan Almendarez Coello.
(Individual dates for the ceremonies will be announced later. See the Calendar of Events.)
For movies: Ron Howard, Helen Mirren, James Franco, Viola Davis, Javier Bardem and makeup artist Rick Baker. For TV: Friends' Matthew Perry, Married with Children's Katey Sagal, EllenDeGeneres, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Glee's Jane Lynch and The Mentalist's Simon Baker. For recording: The BackStreet Boys, Usher, New Kids on the Block, Jennifer Hudson, Thalia, Jane’s Addiction, and posthumously: Janis Joplin and Luther Vandross. For live theatre: actress Olympia Dukakis and comic magicians Penn & Teller. For radio: Steve Harvey and DJ “Shot Gun” Tom Kelly.
Celebs getting new
stars in 2012 included: For movies: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, Scarlett Johansson, Malcolm McDowell, Pixar/Disney animation chief John Lasseter, media mogul Sumner Redstone, and (posthumously) Richard Burton.
Celebs getting new
stars in 2011 included, for movies: Penelope Cruz,
and Kenny Ortega.
For TV: Oprah Winfrey,
Taxi 's Danny DeVito, Saturday Night Live's
Tina Fey, How I Met You Mother's
Neil Patrick Harris, Married with Children's Ed O’Neill, American Idol creator
Simon Fuller, Cops' creator
and producer John Wells.
For theatre: Joe Mantegna.
For recording: Melissa Etheridge,
Will i. Am,
Bebe & Cece Winans,
Los Tigres Del Norte,
and (posthumously) Buddy Holly
and Louis Prima.
Celebs selected to get new stars in 2010 included, for movies: Russell Crowe, Adam Sandler, Emma Thompson, John Cusack, Colin Firth, Mark Wahlberg, director James Cameron, producer Gale Ann Hurd, and music composers Alan Menken and Randy Newman. For TV: Seinfeld's Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jon Cryer of Two & a Half Men, Law & Order's Sam Waterston, Mission: Impossible's Peter Graves, sportscaster Chris Berman, political comic Bill Maher, and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. For recording: the Beatles' Ringo Starr, the late Roy Orbison, ZZ Top, Van Morrison, Bryan Adams, The Funk Brothers, Alan Jackson, Chaka Khan, and Marco Antonio Solis. And for live performances: singer Andrea Bocelli, and Cirque Du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte.
Celebs getting new stars in 2009 included, for movies: Cameron Diaz, Robert Downey Jr., Leslie Caron, Hugh Jackman, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, William H. Macy, Charles Durning, and director Tim Burton, plus the Disney animated character Tinkerbell.; for TV, Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman, Full House's John Stamos, CSI's William Petersen, The Closer's Kyra Sedgwick, sitcom writer/producer Chuck Lorre, and Survivor producer Mark Burnett; for recording: Kenny "Baby Face" Edmonds, Shakira, Rush, The Miracles, The Village People, jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, and Universal Music CEO Doug Morris; and from radio, Bill Handel and Harry Shearer.
Celebs getting new stars in 2008 included: for movies: Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett, Tim Robbins, Stan Lee (Marvel Comics creator), The Westmores of Hollywood (makeup legends), and The Munchkins (from "The Wizard of Oz"); for TV: Brian Keith ("Family Affair"), Susan St. James ("McMillan & Wife"), Howie Mandel ("Deal or No Deal"), soap star Kate Linder ("The Young and the Restless”), Sherwood Schwartz (creator of "Gillian’s Island" & "The Brady Bunch"), Vince McMahon (WWE wrestling promoter) and newsman Bill Geist; for music: George Harrison (The Beatles), Christina Aguilera, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brooks & Dunn, and Ricky Martin, and for live theatre: Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked", "Godspell").
The list of celebs getting stars in 2007 included: for movies: Matt Damon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Caine, Jamie Foxx, John Goodman, director Robert Altman and producer Lauren Shuler Donner; for TV: Kiefer Sutherland, Barbara Walters, Erik Estrada, Jerry Stiller, and "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf; for musical recording: Mariah Carey, Sean "Diddy" Combs, The Doors, Crystal Gayle, Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, and Shania Twain; for radio: sportscaster Stu Nahan and rock disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer; for live theatre/performance: Lily Tomlin and composer Tim Rice.
The list of celebs getting stars in 2006 included: for movies: Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Holly Hunter, William Hurt, Nathan Lane, and Steve Martin. For TV: Ray Romano, Vanna White, Judge Judy, sportscaster Jim Hill, producer/writer David Milch and journalist/host Robert Osborne. For musical recording: Motley Crue, Isaac Hayes, Alejandro Fernandez and record producer Lou Adler. Shecky Greene and Magic Castle founders Milt & Bill Larsen. For radio: DJ Wink Martindale, talk show host Dan Avey, and DJ's Mark & Kim. And posthumous stars will be awarded to: actor Jack Cassidy and ABC founder Leonard Goldenson.
The list of celebs getting
new stars in 2005 included, for movies: Tim Allen,
and Ben Stiller.
For TV: Tom Brokaw,
David Hyde Pierce,
and Soupy Sales.
For musical recording: Billy Joel,
The Righteous Brothers,
and Herb Jeffries.
For live theatre/performance: Theodore Bikel,
and Fred Travalena.
For radio: Jim Ladd
and Bob Miller.
And posthumous stars will be awarded to: Redd Foxx,
and David O. Selznik.
( I don't know the exact dates
of all of these upcoming unveiling ceremonies; the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
usually only announces the details of each event about one week before it takes
place. Also, although most of the recipients will choose a date in the
next year, they actually have five years to decide when they will receive
their star. Check my Calendar of Events
for the next upcoming ceremony. )
(* The song "Celluloid Heroes" was written by the Kinks' Ray Davies, © Arista Records. You can buy it here.)
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