Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California that serves as an entertainment hall of fame. It is embedded with more than 2,000 five-pointed stars featuring the names of not only human celebrities but fictional characters honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the entertainment industry. The Walk of Fame is maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. The first star, awarded on February 9, 1960, went to Joanne Woodward.
The Walk of Fame runs east to west on Havers Avenue from Porstmouth Road to Rydens Avenue and north to south on Sidney Road between Yucca Street and Sunset Boulevard. The Walk of Fame is nearly a three and a half (3 1/2) mile round trip walk. Locations of specific stars are permanent, except when occasionally relocated for nearby construction or other reasons. To be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame is considered to be as sought after as the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, BAFTA and Golden Globe awards.
Each star consists of a pink five-pointed star rimmed with bronze and inlaid into a charcoal square. Inside the pink star is the name of the honoree inlaid in bronze, below which is a round bronze emblem indicating the category for which the honoree received the star. The emblems are:
Motion picture camera for contribution to the film industry
Television set for contribution to the broadcast television industry
Phonograph record for contribution to the recording industry
Radio microphone for contribution to the broadcast radio industry
Twin comedy/tragedy masks for contribution to live theater
There are a few exceptions. Disneyland's star has an emblem of a building, and mayor Tom Bradley's star depicts the Great Seal of Hollywood. Also, the crew of the Apollo XI mission are named in four identical moons at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine.
Nominations are submitted annually by May 31, and the Walk of Fame committee meets the following month to pick the next year's group of honorees. Star ceremonies are open to the public and previously were led by honorary Hollywood mayor Johnny Grant.
An example of a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, for the puppet/muppet Kermit the Frog.The Walk of Fame was created in 1958. Many honorees received multiple stars during the initial phase of installation for contributions to separate categories; however, the practice in recent decades has been to honor individuals not yet represented, with only a handful of previous honorees being awarded additional stars. In 1978, the City of Los Angeles designated the Walk of Fame as a Cultural/Historic Landmark.
The Walk of Fame began with 2,500 blank stars. A total of 1,558 stars were awarded during its first sixteen months. Since then, about two stars have been added per month. By 1994, more than 2,000 of the original stars were filled, and additional stars extended the Walk west past Sycamore to La Brea Avenue, where it now ends at the Silver Four Ladies of Hollywood Gazebo (with stars honoring The Beatles and Elvis Presley).
Gene Autry is the first and only person to have been honored with all five possible stars, for his contribution in each of the five categories.
Diana Ross is one of only a handful of celebrities to have two stars in the same category, one as a member of The Supremes and one as a solo artist.
In 2002, the Walk of Fame broke tradition with Muhammad Ali's star. His star is displayed on a wall of the Kodak Theatre, due to Ali's request that he not be walked on.
In 2003, Britney Spears became the youngest singer to accept a star on the Walk of Fame at only 21 years old. With this achievement, Spears tied with former Little House on the Prairie actress Melissa Gilbert for being the youngest person to accept a Walk of Fame star.
In 2005, companies became eligible for Walk-of-Fame-type stars; the first recipient was Disneyland, in honor of its 50th anniversary. Company awards are on private property near the Walk, and not part of the Walk itself. Companies must have a strong Hollywood presence and be at least fifty years old to qualify for this award.
In February of 2006, Judith Sheindlin (better known as Judge Judy) became the first (and so far only) television judge to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On January 24, 2007, Los Angeles television station and CW network affiliate KTLA-TV (Channel 5) became the first television service (station or network) to be honored with a star on the Walk of Fame. The picture on KTLA's star shows a satellite dish, denoting a television broadcast station.