When I first moved to Phoenix, one of my top priorities was exploring everywhere within a day’s drive (smile). One of the first places I just had to see was Los Angeles. The magical, mythical L.A. I have to tell ya, I was sorely disappointed that first trip and I’ve yet to recover on subsequent adventures in the City of Angels. Don’t get me wrong, I love the southern California coast, but I could live without venturing further inland. I realize this puts me in a minority (smile). Nonetheless, I had sights to check off my bucket list, so a friend and I bravely ventured forth to play tourists for a couple of days. We had a lot of fun exploring the different neighborhoods and seeing the famous sights but one of my favorite parts was definitely exploring the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The stars are located along both sides of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. The first star was laid in March 1960 and belonged to Stanley Kramer. Now there are over 2,500 stars with approximately 2 additions per month!
As the Walk of Fame is, essentially, just a sidewalk, the attraction is open 24/7, 365. There is no fee to visit and there are no “official” tours (although there’s always someone nearby to offer). The same goes for the dedication ceremonies – there’s a public viewing area, but no tickets, etc. The schedule for the star ceremonies can be found on the official website.
And now, a few random star facts:
- Over 10 million people a year come to “walk the Walk.”
- A star can be awarded posthumously, but the individual must have been deceased at least 5 years.
- About 200 applications are received annually; only about 20-24 stars are selected each year.
- The emblem inside the star indicates the honoree’s category. There are 5 possible categories – Motion Pictures, Broadcast Television, Music, Broadcast Radio, and Theater/Live Performance.
- It is possible for an honoree to have more than one star (under the different categories) – Gene Autry is the only honoree to have stars in all 5 categories.
- Two pairs of stars share identical names representing different people – Harrison Ford and Michael Jackson.
- 12 stars are identified with one word stage names.
- The largest group of individuals represented by single star is the estimated 122 adults and 12 children collectively known as the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz.
- Mickey Mouse was the first animated character to receive a star.
- The youngest star recipients are Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (at 18 years old).