'On Air With Ryan Seacrest's' Ellen K Honored With Star on Walk of Fame
A portion of the story first appeared in the May 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
The host of a daily segment for KTLA Evening News called Ellen K's Inside Hollywood, Ellen K began her career with a local internship while a student at Purdue. And on Thursday May 10, K will be honored with a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
During the next decade, she worked at stations in San Diego and San Francisco before settling in Los Angeles as Rick Dees' co-host on KIIS-FM. K now can be heard nationwide co-hosting Ryan Seacrest's morning program and as the voice behind the Grammys and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"Ellen has redefined what weekday mornings mean to so many of us -- she is the voice of L.A.," Seacrest tells THR. "She is a brilliant radio host with a tireless work ethic and a wicked sense of humor. She deserves to be honored with a star because, simply put, she is one."
K recently was hired as narrator of TLC's My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding in the U.S. and U.K. Among her charitable endeavors, she works closely with Children's Hospital of Orange County, the Cancer Research Foundation and Our Journey, an African children's relief fund.
"I can't believe it's real," says K of her honor. "It's not something that I ever thought would happen to me.” The honor will become real at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, in front of the W hotel at 6270 Hollywood Blvd. Among the speakers slated for the ceremony are Seacrest, teen pop star and Nickelodeon actress Miranda Cosgrove and E! reality star Kris Jenner.
“Miranda has been a friend for a long, long time,” K tells THR. “We met through the radio station, she came in as a guest and of course my son is a huge fan of iCarly… I felt she really let me into her family, so we got to know her differently than a performer or an actress on set. So that’s meaning to me that she’s going to be there. I love that girl.”
As for Jenner, K says that the two have been close friends for the past decade, enjoying some “wild times” through the years.
“We kind of bumped into each other right as her show was starting and of course I see her a lot in the E! building, because that’s where we tape the radio show,” K explains. “We started hanging quite a bit, going to each other’s parties, birthday dinners. We do dinners as a foursome with her husband and mine, and she’s just an amazing woman. She’s one of those people who’s so positive and so wise. She has an answer for everything.”
While K’s name is now synonymous with radio and television appearances, a career in the industry wasn’t always her dream. K tells THR that at the start of her college career, the avid swimmer was actually pursuing a degree in animal science.
K recalls one fateful day that changed the course of her life forever: “When I had to go on a field trip and put my arm inside a pregnant cow to feel if the calf was positioned correctly, I had to put a big plastic sleeve on. And when I pulled my arm out, it was a really cold winter day, but my arm was still warm for like an hour later. I called my dad -- and it was so gooey -- I was like, ‘Dad, I’m changing majors.’ It was not happening. I just knew I could not do this. I wanted to be large animal veterinarian until that day.”
It was then that K switched into a radio, TV and film program at Purdue, jump-starting her career with an internship at WXUS in Lafayette, Indiana.
K will likely be joined by her husband Roy and son Calvin during the Thursday ceremony. “It’s not something that I ever thought would ever happen to me,” K says. “It’s kind of like being on a rollercoaster, when the car turns and your body doesn’t. But it’s such a special, amazing, meaningful gift. I’m just kind of speechless and so excited about it.”