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Walk The Walk Of Fame

         ** Click Here To View Photos **

There's one great way to see the biggest stars in Hollywood - over 2,400 of them - and that's to take a stroll on the legendary Walk of Fame, also know as the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Every year more than 10 million people take the 2 ½ mile journey along Hollywood Boulevard, and this year the Walk of Fame is celebrating its 50th Anniversary by paying tribute to the famous and fabulous from movies, television, theatre, radio and music.

Celebrations started earlier this year on the official anniversary date, February 8, with the rare night time unveiling of a star for a Starr - Ringo from The Beatles - near George Harrison's on Vine Street in front of Capitol Records. John Lennon's star was moved there recently too, and the plan is that Paul's star will join them to make up the Fab Four. 

The original concept for the Walk of Fame was attributed to E.M. Stuart who wanted to resurrect the glamor and excitement of Hollywood past.  Little did they know that half a century later it would be the #1 attraction in Hollywood and one of the biggest in Los Angeles.

The first eight stars were installed simultaneously at Hollywood and Highland - the first celebrity to pose by a Walk of Fame star actress Joan Woodward. It was such a success that members of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce celebrated the unveiling of the first 'official star' - that of producer Stanley Kramer - at Hollywood and Gower in 1960.

Since then thousands and thousands of photographs have been taken of these Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies.  The largest collection of the sought after images is hollywoodphotographs.com.  There are over 335 photos of inductees, including Sidney Poitier, Alan Jackson, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Clayton Moore, Anne Murray, George Peppard and John Ritter.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is responsible of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

There are few mysteries about the Walk of Fame, and the Chamber’s website Hollywood Walk of Fame even explains how people can be nominated for a star. The Chamber receives around 200 nominations a year, and as long as they have the written support of the celebrity and his/her management (and $25,000 to spare for the cost of installation) the nominee is eligible for induction.

Around 20 or so stars are awarded each year, including posthumous ones. At the July 'Walk The Walk' celebration for the 50th Anniversary, the late big band leader Louis Prima was honored, and there was a performance by Louis Prima Jr and The Witnesses.

The day-long event showcased the five categories of stars - live theatre, motion picture, television, recording and radio - and thousands lined up to enjoy music, screenings, exhibits and a look behind-the-scenes at the Hollywood & Highland Center, Egyptian Theater, Capitol Records, Hollywood History Museum, the TV Guide Studios  and the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre.

One of the most popular events was a rare 'open house' tour at the distinctive, circular Capitol Records building. Visitors could take a peek into Studio A, which had equipment used by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and gaze at the walls lined with memorabilia, photos and gold and platinum albums.

 As for installing the actual stars in the sidewalk, you might be surprised to learn that they don't come in a ready-made paving slab. The actual 'star-making' has always been a family business, and Travis is the grandson of Italian-American Biaggio Paternostro, who laid the very first star.

Discover Hollywood magazine joined him at a recent installation, where he explained that earlier that morning he'd welded the brass alloy star and name. After getting to grips with a jackhammer and destroying the selected square of sidewalk, he adds a layer of cement and sand before the star, name and emblem are placed on top:

The eye-catching pink terrazzo (Italian for 'terrace') is made of 'aggregates' like marble, coral, shells or glass (they're the flecks in the slab) and then blended with either cement or epoxy as a binder. This allows the terrazzo to be customized and finished on site, and better still, it's around 70% recycled materials.

In November, 2010 there was a Grand Gala at Hollywood and Highland. The Chamber promised a spectacular, one-of-a kind event to celebrate this world famous landmark:

All the living Walk of Famers were invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Many showed up including, Pat Boone, Barbara Eden, Tippi Hedren, Anne Jeffreys, Tyne Daly, Arlene Dahl, Della Reese and Connie Stevens.


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