Steps in Time

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell leave their prints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Walking into wet cement has become a Hollywood tradition accorded only a few hundred celebrities—and one lucky talent contest winner. Three weeks shy of the grand opening of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1927, actress Mary Pickford was the first to leave her autograph and shoe prints along Hollywood Boulevard. On June 26, 1953, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell followed suit to promote their new movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Monroe left her impression on a specially formulated “blonde” cement block. Alas, Grauman’s is nearly out of real estate (you’ve got to wonder whether all three Twilight stars really deserved the honor last year), so the most coveted available spots are now reserved for the biggest stars.