How Stars Get on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

February 3, 2017

963px Matt Damon Star Under Construction
Jelson25/Wikimedia

There are more than 2,500 stars that line the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. The stars represent the contributions of people in the entertainment industry in five different areas; motion pictures, broadcast television, radio, music, and live or theater performances. While it may seem like the process for getting a star on the Walk of Fame would be a complicated procedure, in reality, it’s not all that difficult. Anyone can fill out an application for their favorite celebrity, and if selected, they could get their own star on an area of the sidewalk running along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. But there is one more thing. Those who want to make the nomination better be ready to pony up some cash.

While it is true that any everyday person can put in an application, the fee that has to be paid by whoever nominated the celebrity is a cool $40,000. In addition to this sizable sum of cash, there are other requirements on who you could nominate. One such requirement is that the celebrity has to have been a celebrity for at least five years, and they need to have accomplished something in their entertainment category and be involved in some charitable works. You can even nominate someone who is dead, but they have to be dead for five years. Only one deceased celebrity is given a star each year. Celebrities also have to agree to the nomination in writing and agree to show up at some point to get their stars if they chosen.

A six person committee selected by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce meets every June to pick who will get a star. The Chamber receives about 200 applications a year, and of these, 20-24 get selected. The star is made of terrazzo (a material that has chips of marble or granite set in concrete and then polished) and brass, and the $40,000 fee covers the cost of construction and upkeep of the star. A celebrity doesn’t have to immediately march down to Hollywood to get their star either. They have five years to schedule their ceremony which works well if they have something to promote. So anyone can make a nomination and fill out the necessary paperwork, but it you wanted to nominate your Uncle Louie, who made an appearance in Breaking Bad as an extra five years ago, the chances of him being selected are pretty slim.

Other Hollywood Walk of Fame Facts

The idea for the Walk of Fame originated in 1953, and the first star to be laid was that of director Stanley Kramer on March 28, 1960.

Gene Autry is the only celebrity with a star in all five categories.

Muhammad Ali has the only star that isn’t on the sidewalk. It is on the wall of the Dolby Theater. It was his personal request for his name not to be walked on.

There are 15 fictional stars with stars on the Walk of Fame that includes such icons as Bugs Bunny, Godzilla, and Mickey Mouse.

There are four monuments to the Apollo 11 moon mission on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but instead of stars, they consist of four separate circular moons, the date of the moon landing, and the names of the astronauts.

800px HollywoodWalkOfFameMoonAtHollywoodAndVineSince 1968, 40 celebrities have declined their selection because they didn’t want to appear, and only one, Barbra Streisand, agreed to appear but didn’t show up. Her star was ultimately unveiled without her in 1976.

Errors have been made on some of the stars. Actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld fame had hers mispelled as “Julia Luis Dreyfus”, and actor Don Haggerty had his first name mispelled as “Dan”. Coincidentally, actor Dan Haggerty got a star a few years later. Dick Van Dyke had his last name crunched together and spelled, “Vandyke”. While these were corrected, three names on the Walk of Fame were not.

Four of the stars on the Walk of Fame have been stolen. Stealing a star is quite a feat since each one weighs about 300 pounds. James Stewart and Kirk Douglas had their stars stolen when they had been moved due to a construction project. The perpetrator was a construction worker from the project, and though the stars were recovered, they had to be replaced due to excessive damage. The other two stars stolen were never recovered. One belonged to Gregory Peck and the other was one of Gene Autry’s five stars.

Sources: Time, Walk of Fame, LA Times, Jet, UK Telegraph

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of great trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium. I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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