Film, TV Legends Say Walk of Fame Honor is a Sign of Arrival
A time capsule was buried last week at Hollywood and Highland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. To mark the occasion, past honorees recall receiving their stars.
Arlene Dahl, 1960
"Getting a star was an unexpected joy. I was under contract for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and making quite a few movies at the time. I had just come back from Europe, having made three movies abroad. My husband at the time, Chris Holmes, and I went to see it just before I went to Las Vegas to perform on-stage at the Flamingo. I was very impressed. So was everybody! It was like having an Academy Award. When my granddaughter was doing a reality show in Hollywood recently [Shayne Dahl Lamas, Season 12 winner of The Bachelor] she went to visit my star. But she couldn't find it! They were building the W Hotel at the time and taking the sidewalks apart. The workers assured her it was in a vault with Roy Rogers and John Wayne. I was so happy they'd put my star in a vault!"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 2010
"The ceremony is such a public moment, but it felt very personal. I feel even more lucky that they misspelled my name! Dick Van Dyke is the only other Hollywood star to have his name misspelled. It's a very exclusive club. And it was kind of perfect for that reason. To have that happen set it apart -- and how symbolic of what working in show business is like!"
Mike Medavoy, 2005
"I had been asked if I wanted a star so I went to Marlon Brando and asked him to write me a letter recommending me. I got the following response: 'Mike, grow up. You don't need a star on the Hollywood Boulevard to know your real value. As your friend I'd be happy to write the letter, but when I'm laying on the beach in Tahiti looking up at the stars I'll be thinking of all the birds shitting on your star.' He thought getting awards was meaningless. Six or nine months later Marlon passed away [but I found out] he had, in fact, written the letter recommending me. People go to Grauman's Chinese Theater to look at the fingerprints and they look at the stars. I'm sure when they see mine, they say, 'Who?' "
Mamie Van Doren, 1994
"I love the location. It's right near Mann's Chinese Theater. I used to walk there when I was a youngster -- people thought I looked like Jean Harlow. I never thought I would actually be in the cement one day. When Farrah Fawcett got her star the year after mine, she asked to be next to me. I thought that was really nice. Believe it or not, I go clean it myself. I take a can of Brasso and throw it in the back of my truck. I like to shine it when it gets dirty. I really make it sparkle. It's probably due for another cleaning now."
Henry Winkler, 1981
"You hear about it all your professional life and then all of the sudden here is the day: You're going to get your star. It's one of these signs that you have arrived, that you're part of history. We were still doing Happy Days and the entire cast showed up. The crowds were amazing. I'm secretly happy the real one is under a portico of the Pantages Theatre, because it's a little protected there. When I arrived in California [the Walk] was one of the first places I went, besides having my picture taken with Mickey. You think to yourself, 'Will I ever reach a point where I will be here?' "
See next page for a timeline of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Walk the Walk: Key Milestones of the Renown Hollywood Landmark
E. M. Stuart, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, conceives the idea for a Walk of Fame.
The Chamber creates the Hollywood Improvement Association to guide the project, which is broken into four categories: motion pictures, television, recording and radio.
Citing his past moral and political indiscretions, the Chamber refuses to include Charlie Chaplin in its plans.
Feb. 8, 1960
Ground is broken for the installation of stars.
March 28, 1960
The first one, belonging to Stanley Kramer, is laid near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Gower Street.
Installation of the initial 1,558 stars is completed.
Richard D. Zanuck receives the Walk's first star addition.
Charlie Chaplin is finally awarded a star.
The City of Los Angeles' Cultural Heritage Board names the Walk a Historic Cultural Monument.
Mickey Mouse becomes the first animated character to receive a star.
Popular radio and television personality Johnny Grant is honored. Impressed with his enthusiasm, the Chamber invites Grant to chair the Walk of Fame committee. He goes on to host dozens of Walk ceremonies as Hollywood's honorary mayor.
The Harlem Globetrotters become the first sports team recognized.
About 3,000 fans turn out to see Joe Besser accept a star for the Three Stooges.
Johnny Grant encourages the Walk of Fame committee to add live performances as a fifth Walk category.
Singer Michael Jackson and radio personality Michael Jackson are both honored. For the first time, two people with the same name have stars.
Gene Autry receives his fifth star, making history as the only personality to have one in all five categories.
Sophia Loren receives the Walk's 2,000th honor.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, 18, become the Walk's youngest recipients.
In honor of its 75th Anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter receives a star.
Nov. 1, 2010
Bruce Dern, Laura Dern and Diane Ladd become the latest honorees, marking the first time three family members are recognized with individual stars at the same time.
-- Chris Koseluk