In the 60 years since the plans for the Walk of Fame were first proposed to the Los Angeles City Council, the 15 blocks along Hollywood Boulevard (and 3 blocks of Vine Street) have become home to more than 2,500 stars, commemorating some of the best in the business. Here’s how the five-pointed tributes are created.
A Hollywood Chamber of Commerce committee approves applicants, and candidates must promise to attend the ceremony if selected. There’s also a sponsorship fee of $30,000 to cover the cost of the installation, ceremony, and maintenance. While a production company or studio usually foots the bill, sometimes fans chip in. Liza Minnelli’s devotees held bake sales and movie-viewing parties to raise money.
It’s up to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Ana Martinez (aka “Stargirl”) to find the right spot. For instance, she put the star for Farrah Fawcett—known for her hair—by a salon, and she tries to keep family members together.
The week before the unveiling ceremony, the star’s pink terrazzo paste is added to the setting bed. The next day the terrazzo is ground smooth, polished, and waxed to its final shining state.
The brass letters of the honoree’s name are soldered onto two rods and arranged in the center of the star along with an emblem of a film camera, a radio microphone, a record, a TV receiver, or comedy and tragedy masks, depending on the person’s specialty.
If a blank star exists in the selected space, workers will leave the black terrazzo background and the brass outline of the star intact. Otherwise they’ll jackhammer the entire three-by-three-foot square before laying down reinforcing wire to create the setting bed for the new terrazzo.