Hollywood is known for its stars, whether they are on the stage, on the screen or on the sidewalk. Yes, that’s right, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the epicenter of the pop culture world for nearly 60 years. It is home to greats like Cary Grant, Meryl Streep, Frank Sinatra and…Judge Judy?
Administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the self-financed Hollywood Historic Trust, the Hollywood Walk of Fame runs along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street, and features more than 2,400 terrazzo and brass stars that have been embedded into the sidewalks and adorned with the names of adored celebrities. Conceived in the early 1950s and built between early 1960 and spring of 1961, the Walk of Fame attracts upward of 10 million visitors annually.
There are five categories of performance for which artists can be nominated to the Walk of Fame. These include motion pictures, broadcast television, audio recording/music, broadcast radio and theater/live performance. Interestingly, the only person to be honored with all five possible stars was Gene Autry. Roy Rogers, Mickey Rooney, Bob Hope and Tony Martin each have four stars while Frank Sinatra, Gale Storm, Danny Kaye, Dinah Shore and Jack Benny all have three a piece.
There are two stars for Harrison Ford in the motion picture category, but it’s not because he was just that good in Raiders of the Lost Ark; the second actually belongs to a silent film star who shares his name. You’ll also notice Larry King has a motion picture icon on his star; it’s actually just an error and should be a television. Muhammad Ali is the only star to break tradition and hang his star inside the Kodak Theater. After years of floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, he wasn’t about to let people walk all over him.
This year’s inductees are as varied as they are talented. From the world of motion pictures, Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, Scarlett Johansson, John Lasseter, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Aniston, Sumner Redstone and Richard Burton (posthumous) were all nominated. Television saw Valerie Bertinelli, Matt Groening, Mariska Hargitay, Patricia Heaton, Marg Helgenberger, Walter Koenig and Adam West receive stars. Jennifer Lopez, Pepe Aguilar, AMERICA, Boyz II Men, Hal David, David Foster, Vince Gill, Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart) and Barry White (posthumous) represented music. Rounding out the pack is Los Angeles radio star Ellen K., best known for co-hosting On Air with Ryan Seacrest who was given this year’s only award for radio.
For more information on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or to see when your favorite is scheduled to be inducted, visit www.walkoffame.com.