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Walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Jun 30, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Starting at the corner of Hollywood and La Brea, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Los Angeles area. Being an atypical LA resident, I decided it was about time for me to be a tourist and go, because I’ve never been there before.

But before I left, I wanted to do a little bit of research. As a result, I learned a few things. For example:

History of the Star’s Design

Each star consists of a pink terrazzo 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 different emblems include:

  • 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 (Source: Wikipedia)

The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of about 3.5 miles of stars.

I strolled, watched, and was at times amazed, other times astounded by the sheer number of stars and the who’s who on the famous walk. Not to mention the great time I had watching everybody’s varying reactions to the stars.

“Oh, look, here’s The Simpsons.” “Hey, I found Kiss!” “Look Mom, here’s Mickey Mouse!”

Almost everyone can find someone they know on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Early History

Twin sided Walk of Fame

Just as with the rehabilitation of the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame started as a way of promoting redevelopment in Hollywood. Although its history started in 1960, by the end of the decade, the Walk of Fame had deteriorated, becoming the home of drug dealers and addicts, runaways, the homeless and petty criminals.

The Walk’s Comeback

For over 10 years no new stars were added. But one man changed all that. Along came Johnny Grant, the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood. He led the efforts to revive the Walk of Fame by adding two new rules:

1. Honorees would be required to show up for a Walk of Fame dedication ceremony

2. Honorees would have to pay a $2500 fee to help pay for the Walk of Fame’s upkeep.

It worked. Today, the Hollywood Walk of Fame has more than 2000 stars filled in and more waiting in the wings. (Source: Wikipedia)

Oh look, it's Ryan Seacrest!!

That same afternoon, the heartbreaking death of Michael Jackson was just being announced on the news and from person to person.

Walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame with an Interactive Map

I’ve included a map featuring the entire walk (click to see more pictures), which also includes the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater (an upcoming story), the Hollywood & Highland Center, and the Hollywood and Vine famous street corner.


View Hollywood Walk of Fame in a larger map

Included in the map are two Metro stops. One is at the Hollywood and Vine intersection, and the other at the Hollywood and Highland crossing. Both are located literally on Hollywood Boulevard.

Of course, being a forward thinking city, Los Angeles has recently installed a few new bike racks on Hollywood Boulevard– so bike parking is easier than ever. (Check out the round marker on the map at Hollywood and McCadden Place for the picture.)

The Passing of the Stars

Sadly—indeed tragically– I happened to be at the Hollywood Walk of Fame the day that two of our biggest and most iconic entertainment figures of our era passed away—Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, RIP.

Farrah Fawcett’s dedicated fans decorated her star in a tribute to her life, and in her memory.

Farrah Fawcett's Star

As I stood at the corner waiting to cross the street, someone in a stopped car asked if we had heard the news of his death. “No” was my initial reply, because I thought it was a hoax. However that notion was dispelled within a few minutes, after literally everybody on the streets were talking about it. As I continued my walk, the only conversations remaining on Hollywood Boulevard that day was of the tragic death of the “King of Pop.”

It’s amazing that even in times of sadness Travelin’ Local can bring a sense of community to an otherwise group of total strangers.

Some people are as large in life as they are in death—and for that, I’m sure that the angels look down upon them from heaven.

For a true LA insider’s look at the Hollywood Hills, try the Hollywood/Highland Travelin’ Local Walking Tour. It’s 3 miles of total LA uniqueness.

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19 Responses to “Walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame”

  1. Morning Links: Airfare information for new Cuba flights; jet with 153 aboard crashes in Indian Ocean; Hollywood Walk of Fame - Travel - LATimes.com says:

    [...] Do you want to walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Travellin Local explains the walk’s emblems so you can interpret the stars on the sidewalk, [...]

  2. Lisa's Chaos says:

    It would be great to walk it! I think we need a blogging walk. :) Stars all around. :)

    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..June’s Photo Scavenger Hunt

    [Reply]

  3. Lisa's Chaos says:

    Or maybe lil laptops would be more appropriate. :)

    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..June’s Photo Scavenger Hunt

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Lisa’s Chaos, LOL………..Just add GPS to the mix and you’re all set!!

    [Reply]

  4. Lance says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I really like this. Something about seeing those stars…and maybe who/what they represent. Very cool! And I really like the one of the tribute to Farrah Fawcett.

    Lance’s last blog post..Through The Eyes of Truth

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Lance, I was surprised at how many stars are of people I never heard of. Researching all the stars would take a long time. :)

    [Reply]

  5. David says:

    I am really digging your story, your photos, your interactive map, your empathy for the loss of these 2 major international stars, and the tone in which you approach your subject matter–with an open and curious mind, with an artist’s conceptual point of view, and a reporter’s hard nosed drive for the truth of the story.

    Great post.

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @David, Thanks, David. I really enjoyed the walk. And putting the map together was fun, too.

    [Reply]

  6. Jannie Funster says:

    Wow, and to think you learned about MJ’s death while walking the walk.

    I had no idea that it’s 3.5 mile slong! Holy cow. And looks very well taken care of indeed.

    And hey, if I pay $2500 can I please get one too? :)

    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..Like a bord on a wire, 9

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Jannie Funster, I think an invitation is needed, plus the $2500, but I’m sure yours in the mail. :)

    [Reply]

  7. Barbara Swafford says:

    Hi Lisa,

    What a great lesson in the walk of fame. I had no idea it had gotten so long.

    Thank you for including Farrah’s star. Sadly her death was overshadowed by the news of MJ, but she will not be forgotten. She was a strong woman and a role model for many.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Finding Pleasure In Ordinary Things

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Barbara Swafford, I totally agree with your thoughts about Farrah. I thought she was a very good person, and helped so many. She will be missed.

    [Reply]

  8. Davina says:

    Hi Lisa. I enjoyed this “walk” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Thank you for highlighting this. I enjoyed learning about how the Walk has been cleaned up too. I grew up watching Charlie’s Angels and listening to Michael Jackson. Their memory will live on.

    Davina’s last blog post..Guest Post: Three Shades of Happiness

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Davina, I’m so sorry, Davina, I somehow missed this comment. As I type this comment, I’m watching the Michael Jackson Memorial on television. Their memories will live on for generations to come.

    [Reply]

  9. Twitted by DavinaH says:

    [...] This post was Twitted by DavinaH [...]

  10. D. Travis North says:

    I had absolutely no idea the scale of the Walk of Fame. As always…it’s great to learn some things about something I previously had misconceptions about. Thanks.

    D. Travis North’s last blog post..How To Photograph Fireworks (@ Wired How-To Wiki)

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @D. Travis North, I actually didn’t realize how long it was until I started walking. :)

    I need to go back and see Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The day I was there, a film premiere was being done, so I couldn’t get any good shots of the front of the building.

    [Reply]

  11. Robin says:

    Great interactive map! Didn’t realize the stars are such an extensive walk.
    Robin´s last blog ..10 Most Famous Streets in the WorldMy ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Lisa Newton Reply:

    @Robin, Thanks, Robin. There is so much to see there. And I don’t think you’ll find a more unique character on any other street.

    [Reply]

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