Hollywood — Stars everywhere!
My first visit to Hollywood, California, was in May 1978. I took two younger, female cousins to see all the stars…. the stars in the sidewalks, that is.
I took a picture of every single star that Kay, Shelley, and I could find in 1978, more than 1700 of them. That was back in the film and developing days, so developing those rolls of film when I got back to Texas put a serious dent in my bank account. I also used the 36-pictures-on-a-roll film, so I had a lot of rolls of film to be developed.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in 1958, and ten million people annually visit to see the stars, of which there are now 2,498 (as of May 24, 2013). Even in today’s world of digital photography with no picture developing costs (other than sitting down at the computer and looking at them all), I’m not taking 2,498 pictures of stars, especially since I don’t like some of the people who have stars (Michael Jackson comes immediately to mind).
The stars are coral-pink terrazzo and brass (not bronze). On March 28, 1960, the first permanent star, for movie director Stanley Kramer, was completed near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Gower. Urban myth has Joanne Woodward receiving the very first star, but in actuality there was not a first star.
The initial group of 500 stars was decided upon in 1956 but before construction could begin, lawsuits had to be settled. One lawsuit, by Charlie Chaplin Jr, wanted damages because his father had been excluded. According to Wikipedia, “The Selection Committee ultimately excluded him, ostensibly due to questions regarding his morals (he had been charged with violating the Mann Act—and exonerated—during the White Slavery hysteria of the 1940s) but more likely due to his left-leaning political views.” Left-leaning political views in Hollywood?
While the lawsuits played out, eight display stars were created. Joanne Woodward’s was one of the eight, and she was the first person to pose with her star for photographers, leading to the urban myth. By the time the lawsuits had been settled, the number of stars to be installed had climbed to 1,558.
An average of 20 stars are added to the Walk each year. Here are six of my favorite stars, taken with Jim when we went to Los Angeles and Hollywood on National Train Day, May 11, 2013:
Hollywood Walk of Fame trivia:
There are five categories of stars: motion pictures, broadcast television, audio recording or music, broadcast radio, and theatre/live performance.
The creation of the Hollywood Walk of Fame resulted in the creation of the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, and the first Grammy Awards were presented in 1959.
Urban decay hit Hollywood in the 1960s. After construction of the initial group of 1,558 stars ended in 1961, it was eight years before another star would be added, that of Richard Zanuck in December 1968.
Beginning in 1968, each living star recipient has been required to attend the unveiling ceremony. More than forty have declined the honor due to that condition. Barbra Streisand is the only recipient who failed to appear (in 1976) after agreeing to do so.
In 1980, a fee was established to help pay for maintenance of the Walk of Fame. Initially it was $2,500. As of 2012 it was $30,000. It is payable by the person or entity nominating the recipient. Sorry. I’m not nominating you!
In 1996, 300 stars were removed and stored by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority while they built the Metro Rail subway system.
There are many people who have multiple stars because they are in different categories. However, Gene Autry is the only person to have five stars, one in each category.
Two fictional stars have stars: Big Bird and Kermit the Frog.
There are two Harrison Fords, the silent film actor and Indiana Jones/Han Solo.
The most common last name is Williams (15), followed by Moore (14), Jones (12), and Smith (7).
The family with the most stars is the Barrymore family with seven: John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore (two stars), Ethel Barrymore, Sidney Drew, John Drew Barrymore, and Drew Barrymore.
Muhammad Ali’s star was granted after the Selection Committee decided that boxing was a form of live entertainment. His star also is the only vertical star, located on the wall of the Dolby Theatre. It was placed there when Ali requested that his name not be walked upon.
Lastly, only one costume designer has received a star, eight-time Academy Award winner Edith Head. My senior English teacher in high school was named Edith Head, and she is a significant reason why I understand the ins and outs of the English language.
Now if I can just get advance notice of when someone famous is going to have an unveiling ceremony, I can get a picture of a star with a star!
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Posted on August 13, 2013, in History, Manmade, Out & About, Photos and tagged elizabeth taylor hollywood star, george harrison hollywood star, hollywood california, hollywood walk of fame, john lennon hollywood star, lassie hollywood star, leonard nimoy hollywood star, paul mccartney hollywood star, queen hollywood star, ringo star hollywood star. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.