Now retired, I recently moved back to the fabulous city of Hollywood, California. After service in the Korean War, I worked there as a newspaper editor. In the years since, it hasn’t changed that much. Walking along Hollywood Boulevard again these days, there are the same old tourist shops, theaters, restaurants, and throngs of tourists. What’s different is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the 2,460 star-shaped brass plaques embedded in the sidewalks that honor actors, directors, and other members of the entertainment industry.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is right on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in the heart of Hollywood. The stars start around La Brea Avenue and extend down Hollywood Boulevard to around Gower Street. The stars on Vine Street are a few blocks each way at the intersection with Hollywood Boulevard. The Walk of Fame is run by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and induction ceremonies are open to the public and advertised on the official website. For example, in May 2012, actress Scarlett Johansson will get her star.
Like most fans, I have my favorites, and one of my first ventures when I returned after so many years was to wander along Hollywood Boulevard to seek Walk of Fame plaques of those I fondly remembered. Here are some of my favorites, along with their specific street address locations:
The sidewalk star of Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling hero of 1930s and 1940s adventure movies, is in front of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel at 6654 Hollywood Blvd. An appropriate location, because Flynn was notorious for his party lifestyle and was rumored to have had many adventures in the hotel.
Nat “King” Cole
The star honoring the crooner of the 1940s and 1950s is at 6229 Hollywood Blvd., near Musso & Frank Grill, a favorite hangout of show business personalities since the 1930s. Near Nat’s plaque is one for Harrison Ford, but not the Indiana Jones portrayer. It’s for an obscure silent film actor of the 1920s with the same name.
Sammy Davis Jr.
I paused in front of the posh W Hotel at 6254 Hollywood Blvd. for memories of singer-dancer Sammy Davis Jr. One of my fondest was seeing him perform live in Las Vegas in the 1960s, when he was a member of the famous Rat Pack, along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.
Mel Brooks as an actor and director has always been a favorite of mine. His star is close to the Egyptian Theater at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. Brooks is a recent inductee; he got his star in 2010.
Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra’s star is at 1600 Vine St., near the corner of Hollywood and Vine, in front of the famous Capitol Records building.
Follow world traveler and travel writer Ted Sherman on Twitter @travel4seniors and check out his blog: travel4seniors.com.
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