Hollywood is known in every country as the ‘Movie Making Capital of the World’.
The Hollywood sign is iconic and recognized the globe over. it was originally an outdoor ad campaign for a suburban housing development called Hollywoodland and erected in 1923.
It’s aspirational message remains the same, “This is a place where magic is possible, where dreams can come true”.
In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce began to repair and rebuild the sign. The contract with the Los Angeles Parks Department stipulated that “Land” be removed to spell “Hollywood” so it would represent the district and not the housing development. And so history is made.
This article will focus on Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame.
Sid Grauman and a friend went to check out his new house one day and when Sid stepped in the wet cement he got the idea to create the famous impressions in front of his theater.
Mary Pickford was the first person to leave an impression in the forecourt of the theater. Millions have visited the Chinese theater just to see the stars footprints, handprints and signatures.
Charlton Heston is in some of my favorite movies that I watched while growing up. He was in The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, The Omega Man, Solient Green and especially The Planet of the Apes, just to name a few. He won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Ben Hur in 1960.
He has one of the more recognizable signatures at Grauman’s.
Sophia Loren has been a sex symbol her entire life. She’s an Italian born actress that began her acting career at 14 after winning a beauty pageant in 1949.
Sophia won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1962 for her role as Cesira in the foreign language film “Two Women”.
She has one of the neatest signatures at Grauman’s.
Kirk Douglas, and his dimpled chin, became a leading box office star in the 50’s and 60’s. He appeared in more than 90 films. I really liked his Western movies.
He made his impressions the same year as Sophia Loren.
Jimmy Stewart is in one of my favorite films, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The movie plays several times a year during the Holidays and I always try to watch it at least once.
He is another person who made an impression that is easy to read. He also put the day in the date… Fri – 13.
Steve McQueen is another of my favorite actors. My favorite movie that he is in is “The Great Escape”. At one point he steals a German motorcycle and tries to ride to freedom. This is a high point in the movie for me and millions.
He made his “T” in Thanks look like a “J”.
Samuel L. Jackson is a very well-known actor. Some have said he’s in every great movie of his generation. My favorite movie of his is “Pulp Fiction”.
He’s the only person that I saw that wrote out the month in word form for his impression.
Michael Keaton was a surprise choice for his role in Batman but he did a great job as the caped crusader. There’s a lot of his films that I like. “Beetlejuice” is a great one and so is “Nightshift” but you can’t forget how funny he was in “Mr. Mom”.
I also heard that his movie “Birdman” was really good and he received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He lost out to Eddie Redmayne, who played Stephen Hawking.
It looks like he ran out of room for his date. He should have written the date below his shoes and he would have had plenty of room.
Bruce Willis became a star after his role in “Diehard”. He went on to make several more in the franchise as well as many other great movies. I think “Diehard” is my favorite though.
He wrote his catchphrase from “Diehard”. Yippie Ki Yay! He’s one of many impressions that have cracks in the cement.
Jim Carrey made the jump from T.V. to movie stardom. I like his comedies and also his more dramatic films.
He wrote “MERRILY MERRILY MERRILY MERRILY” in his impression. The rest of that is “Life is but a dream”.
Tom Hanks won two Oscars and is a well respected actor. He’s another who made the jump from T.V. to movie success. My favorite Tom Hanks movie is probably “Saving Private Ryan”.
Check out how thin his shoes were when he made his impressions. He must have small feet.
Jane Russell was a sex symbol in her movie career and made many men’s heart throb. Howard Hughes developed the underwire support bra for Jane because of her amble bosom.
jane and Marilyn Monroe made their impressions together and signed it with a movie they made together, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.
Marilyn Monroe is everybody’s favorite actress. She’s still popular today and many people get a tattoo of her on their bodies.
My favorite Marilyn movie is “The Seven Year Itch”. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it.
Marilyn wanted to make a butt impression and have Jane make a boob impression but they were nixed on the idea.
Marilyn left a Rhinestone to dot the “i” in her name but a souvenir hunter later chipped it out and stole it. You can see where it was in the picture below.
Here’s a photo of Marilyn and Jane leaving the impressions in 1953.
This is what the two impression look like side by side. You can tell they were wearing high heels when they did their feet.
This was a great day for both women. I wonder if they went out and partied afterwards.
Before I start showing you the ‘Stars’ on the Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ I have to tell this story.
Johnny Grant is the MC for all of the events at Grauman’s Chinese Theater for making impressions in the concrete and also for the ‘Stars’ on the ‘Walk of Fame’ ceremonies.
When he got the chance to make an impression in the concrete at Grauman’s… he misspelled his own name.
He wrote Johny Grant. He forgot the second “n” in his first name. It’s a little hard to make out in my photo but if you try you can see the error.
Can you just imagine… You get the chance to be immortalized with all of the Hollywood “Greats” and you screw up your own name for everybody to see FOREVER!
I have more photos of cement impressions from Grauman’s Chinese Theater on my website but now I’d like to show you some of the “Stars” on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame”.
John Lennon became famous while he was in the Beatles and later had a successful solo career. Many people blame Yoko Ono for breaking up the Beatles and many still dislike her today for it.
My favorite John Lennon song is “Imagine”.
You’ll notice that John has a record with a needle on his star because he received it for his music.
Jimi Hendrix died too soon. I would have loved to see what he would have done musically had he lived to old age.
He has the record and needle for his music as well.
B.B. King just passed away recently and had a very long and successful career. I would have liked to see him play live but never got the chance.
He had his famous guitar named “Lucille” with him until the end. He also has the record and needle on his star.
Walt Disney is world famous for creating Mickey Mouse and other notable Disney Characters. His name is also well known because of the theme parks.
As a child, I used to hate Sunday evenings because school was the next day. The bright spot was that I could watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and then The Wonderful World of Disney next on Sunday evenings. I never missed either show.
Walt has a T.V. on his star because of his work in television.
Many don’t know the face of this next person. Care to venture a guess?
It’s Gene Roddenberry, the creator of T.V.’s Star Trek series. He’s got the T.V. on his star also.
Everybody knows this next person. It’s Leonard Nimoy, better known as Spock from Star Trek.
Leonard just recently passed away but will always be remembered for Star Trek and also from his star on the “Walk of Fame”.
He has a movie camera for his work in movies. Some entertainers have multiple stars on the “Walk of Fame”. Leonard may have another with a T.V. for his work in television.
George Takei played Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series on T.V. He’s now more famous than ever and regularly makes public appearances at Comic Con type conventions around the world.
He’s got a T.V. too.
Johnny Carson is known as the most popular late night television host ever. I used to watch his show regularly and would laugh a lot. My favorite character he played was Floyd R. Turbo.
Some of his funniest moments were when he would invite animal experts on his show and he would interact with the animals. I think a monkey peed on his head one time.
Katherine Hepburn is another one of my favorite actresses. She and Spencer Tracy made a lot of good movies together.
She has a movie camera because she was a big time movie star of her generation.
Bob Hope was an entertainer all the way up until he couldn’t do it anymore. Not only did he make funny as hell movies, sometimes with Bing Crosby, and also host the Oscars the longest stretch, he also did USO tours for the troops overseas.
Bob is remembered with a movie camera on his star for his work in film.
Dean Martin is another of my favorite entertainers as a child. I’d watch his movies and television show. He also was a member of the “Rat Pack”. I bet he did an awful lot of partying in his day.
I think Dean is one of the celebrities that have multiple stars on the “Walk of Fame”. I think he also has one for his music career. “When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie… that’s amore” was a famous line from one of his songs.
Sammy Davis, Jr. was another member of the famous “Rat Pack”. He converted to Judaism and married a white woman during his career and in those days this didn’t sit well with many.
Sammy has a star for his music career and maybe one for movies too.
Grace Kelly was a beautiful actress that married into royalty from another country and quit acting. That’s too bad and I bet many hated that she retired from acting at such an early age.
I loved her in “To Catch a Thief” with Cary Grant.
Kirk Douglas is one of the people that have an impression at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and also a star on the “Walk of Fame”. Basically, everyone from Grauman’s also has a star as well.
Kirk Douglas was a stud actor that had great looks and great talent. My favorite movie of his is “There was a Crooked Man” I think.
On Saturday morning’s I’d wake up early, grab a bowl of Captain Crunch cereal and plant myself in front of the T.V. for the cartoons.
After Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo, I’d love it when a Tarzan movie came on. I watched and loved them all.
Everyone of my age and older remembers Johnny Weissmuller as the original and only Tarzan.
Johnny was the best Tarzan, in my opinion, because he was a swimming champion. He was one of the world’s fastest swimmers in the 1920’s. He won 5 gold medals in the Olympics and one bronze for water polo.
He won 52 U.S. National Championships and set more than 50 world records, both in freestyle and backstroke. He was also purportedly undefeated in official competition during his entire competitive career. You name me another Tarzan that has the same credentials and I’ll mow your lawn for a year.
Harrison Ford will always be known as Han Solo to many millions even though he has had a spectacular acting career.
Star Wars was his break out role and he’ll always be remembered for it first when thinking of Harrison.
Other than Star Wars, my favorite Harrison Ford movie is the Indiana Jones franchise.
The “Walk of Fame” even has a dog with a star. Rin Tin Tin was a German Shepherd that was rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier named Lee Duncan.
Duncan trained him and he began to work in Hollywood.
Rin Tin Tin was an immediate box office success and went on to star in 27 films during his career that gained him worldwide fame.
If Rin Tin Tin has a star you should assume that Lassie has one too. And you’d be correct.
In front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater you see many different people dressed up like characters that are famous and / or from the movies.
Here I am interviewing Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.
I met with “Charlie Chaplin” also. He kept putting his had out for me to shake it then he would pull it away just as I reached for it. Such a smart ass, lol.
“Crocodile Dundee” was cool. And he really looked like Paul Hogan as the character.
I got to interview “SuperGirl” as well. I thought she looked cute in her outfit.
Something worth mentioning, as I wrap up this article, is the mural just off of Hollywood Boulevard. It has all of these famous actors and actresses seated in a theater. Can you pick out Marilyn Monroe?
This next photo was from when I was invited to an Awards Banquet in Hollywood for a Screenplay I had written. It was a fun trip and I enjoyed receiving the award for my hard work.
The photo below is just down the block from Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little about Hollywood. Until next time, have a chill day.