Tuesday, September 01, 2009
the walk of fame

I thought this picture was rather poignant....whoever this was, just wanted to touch Michael Jackson's Star.....It was very crowded right around there...so I felt lucky to get this shot, at all---especially from a moving car. This picture above was taken on that same Monday that I was out and about......The whole Walk of Fame thing is kind of strange, you know. I don't think it started out this way, but it has evolved into a huge promotional campaign kind of thing for each star who is honored. The "committee" that decides who gets a star and who doesn't get a star these days is kind of a mystery....But, well, let's just say it helps if you have a Film opening and/or some other big thing happening that can be heavily promoted by your people and their people..... As I said, that was not always the case. I bet most of you don't even know who Vanessa Brown was. But at the time she got her Star, she was very 'well known'. Oh, and did you know that you or your Agent or Sponsors have to pay for the star? And it is very very costly now....It costs $25,000 now. (That was not always the case either...). Yes. You pay for it or your agents or managers or someone...NOT The Walk Of Fame Committee or The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce....Many many years ago, so I've heard, Carroll O'Connor was told he had been chosen to be given a Star on 'The Walk Of Fame'.....then he found out it would cost him $3,000. (It was many years ago remember....) He was shocked that he would have to pay for this so called Honor....He refused. As I understand it, it wasn't the money--it was the principal. (What kind of an Honor is it when you have to pay for that Honor??) Quite a few years later, the opportunity came around again and, I was told that this time he decided after much prodding from those close to him, to go ahead and accept the Star. The cost was, by that time, $10,000. Just think, he could have saved himself $7,000, if he had gone ahead the first time round. (lol)My dear friend, Betty Garrett, received her 'star' on May 23, 2003....(Above, with her Godson Jeff Bridges and his dear brother Beau and singer Rod McKuen...). She chose that day because it was her Birthday....And a very generous and caring benefactor came up with the money----a man that adored both Betty and her husband Larry Parks----with whom the very generous benefactor had gone to college. It was a great day. And after the Ceremony, Betty and her family and a few others---including myself---had Lunch at Musso & Frank! A perfect place to celebrate! Above there is Betty at lunch with her sweet granddaughter Maddie....I think there were maybe 18 of us at Lunch.....It was such a very special day for Betty and really, for all of us.....In the late 1980's I tried to help get a 'star' for Larry on The Walk Of Fame....the rules and regulations were somewhat different back then, then they are now....We even got a petition together that was signed by a lot of very well known and important Theatre and Film people---almost 100 people signed the petition here in Hollywood and in New York. It didn't matter. It didn't happen, and it still hasn't happened....There are all sorts of reasons....but, it would have been so very nice and if it could have happened this year, it would have been a great 90th Birthday present for Betty....but, so far....it doesn't even seem to be on the radar anymore. Here is Larry above, with Al Jolson.....This was during the filming of "The Jolson Story" for which Larry was nominated for an Academy Award. The picture above this one---the first picture of Larry----is from "Jolson Sings Again".....the sequel made two years later........Below is a picture taken in the early 1980's....that's me and a wonderful actor named Phil Abbott with Betty next to him---on Cortisone at the time so that is why the chubby cheeks, and dear Carroll next to her. We were at Carroll & Nancy's home in Malibu, doing a reading of a play that Carroll had written. He was a very good writer and it helped him to hear his play read out loud by actors.....A lot of water under the bridge since that lovely Saturday afternoon.......Both Phil and Carroll are gone now. In fact, Carroll died one year after he got his Star.....And the beat goes on.....

More To Come.......

UPDATE: About the fires.....they are not near me. They are 15 miles from me at this time. The air here is pretty bad so I am staying very quiet. They say there was a little bit of a break in the humidity which they are hoping will help with getting the fire near Mt. Wilson closer to being in control. Is it scary? Yes. But I know the Fire department is doing everything they can and I think we have the greatest Fireman in this country....I will try to keep you all updated and I thank you for your deep concern....it truly means a lot to me. 4:30pm, 9-01-09

had this to say:

I would agree that seems as though the star honor should not have to be purchased, especially by the recipient.

Selections for those stars does seem rather erratic. Too bad about no star for Larry Parks as that defies common sense. Seems that after a certain lapse of time the newbies in charge of such decision-making are more focused on recognizing the newer people as I found out with a certain music honor for my husband in his home town a few years ago.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 12:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

A trim Carroll O'Connor with a mustache, wow. I always think of him as "Archie Bunker" but, of course that was just a role; one of many he did so well. And to think all those photos I have seen of famous folks posing with their star that they paid for! You need to go for drives more often if they turn into such interesting posts.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 12:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh boy I know about the cost of the "star" and how they hold out for movie opening and such. We had to convince DeForest to accept his.. he kept saying how "political" it was and kept refusing ..but finally he said yes and I'm glad he did. Many times fans and friends of the actor/actress find ways to collect the money for the honor..for it surely shouldn't cost THEM a cent! (well.. maybe the luncheon after lol) Deforests luncheon was on the Paramount lot and was quite nice.
I wish i had still been living in Sherman Oaks when Betty received her star.. I certainly would have attended !!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 4:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Great history lesson. I knew that they charged for the stars and also could not understand how is it an honor if you have to pay for it? Kinda like "benefits" at work. They used to truly be a benefit that your employer paid for, now we pay for most of it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 6:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Always hated when I learned people PAY for this honor. (Their reps do at least, or in some cases family members) What a shame.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 8:11:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Should not be a paid honor. That takes totally away from the word "honor". Now I am going to have to Google Vanessa Brown.
Am so glad Betty's was a gift,that is more like it. Love the Bridges boys.
I did see the Jolson story and loved it. He should have a star.
Hope all that smoke is no where near your lungs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 10:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

$25k? I think that's more than a funeral plot in some areas these days. My goodness.

It is a pretty special honor, even if it's a bit on the weird side that they have to pay for the honor.

I wonder if there's a list somewhere of all who have stars...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 11:14:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

I've always been fascinated with the walk of fame and how does one get it. Now, I know something through you and I am very thankful for that. It's a lovely history lesson as one commented above me.

Sorry if I miss some of your posts since school just started and I am swamped with work and schoolwork.

Anyway, I am doing some back reading. Take care always. Hugs from me and Odd!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 12:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I had to read this twice.

- and I said to myself:
What is this? Hmmmm.
The Walk of Fame - Just buy your spot and your eternal?

tooo stupid, if you ask me.

I say nothing more about this---

I love your way of presenting and the Photos as proof of the pudding.

Tor in a chilly Summerhouse.
Cats are surviving.

Have you seen the Kittens, photo taken Monday by Ingelin

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 1:36:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love the first shot of the hand pointing to Michael Jackson's star. I can't believe they have to pay such a hefty amount for their "honor." I'm with Carroll O'Connor on this one! Everything boils down to money lately. It's sad.

I was getting ready to e-mail you about the fires, so I thank you for the update, and I'm glad to know you and Sweetie are indoors safe and sound.

All my best...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 5:40:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I HAVE been wondering about you and your proximity to the fires! Keep your air conditioner on and your windows closed because I'm sure that smoke travels in the winds.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 6:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have very dear friends in Anaheim Hills and they have been keeping me up to date
it is all so scary and heartbreaking

I am glad you're OK

Carroll O'Connor was wonderful

Betty has the most beautiful smile

and well, you know I think you're a goddess

the touching MJ's star photo is lovely

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 6:34:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I just found your blog though TorAa and very glad to have come. Your blog looks so very interesting. I’ll come back to read your past posts. My eldest daughter lives in Long Beach (near Belmont Shore) and I asked her yesterday if she could smell the smoke, but she said no, not at all. It is such a tragedy for so many people. Here in Georgia we don’t get many fires, we get tornadoes.
I did not know the “stars “ had to pay for the stars, that does not seem right.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 7:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I was wondering how your breathing was with all the smoke. I hope you have good air purifiers in your home Naomi.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 10:00:00 PM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

Fifteen miles is still far too close and I do hope it isn't affecting your breathing. Makes my grumbling about neighbours bonfires a bit ludicrous.
I loved the post and have always been fans of the Bridges family. I think Jeff is very sexy in such a cool laid back way.
I hope some rain comes your way and helps to freshen the air again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 6:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for the update at the end. I was going to inquire as to your safety.

And thanks for the inside stuff re: the walk of fame. We've come a long way since the Pharaohs commissioned the pyramids at Giza to immortalize themselves. Perhaps $25K is actually a bargain.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 7:07:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, just great the picture of the hand pointing to Michael Jackson's star! Love also to know all the history of "The Walk of Fame". I did not know about the cost of this honour...
Great post as always! You did a good job here. Thanks for sharing.

I do hope that the fires will be repress very soon and the air will be fresh again.
Have a nice day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 7:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I was wondering about how close you were to the fires. Hopefully they will be out and the air back to normal soon.

That is a cool photo you got for the first one! I really thought (til I read) that you pulled it off of Google or something. That is quite a shot to get from the car!

I had no idea that people had to pay for their own stars. I always figured it was paid for by the committee that bestowed it. Interesting.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 3:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love that Michael Jackson photo! Great shot!

Yet another wonderful trip down memory lane. I never realised that they paid for their own star.

Great photo of you too. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 4:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I didn't know you had to pay for the star however, I should have known. I also wonder how they pick the stars I'm sure it's very political like everything else today I really enjoy living vicariously through your life....fascinating..

Dorothy form grammology

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 6:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I spoke with Jason a couple of nights ago, and I asked him about the fires. I mentioned you, and he said the fires were not close to you. I was hoping you were staying indoors with some kind of air purifier going.
I sure hope they can get control of those fires soon. I know those firefighters work so hard. The air quality must be horrible!

I think it's quite a kick that Caroll O'Connor refused his star the first time around. I have to agree with his way of thinking! Just think if they handed someone an Oscar and a bill for $25,000 bucks for the "honor."

I did not know Betty had a star. I am so glad she does. You may have written about it before, but I didn't remember it if you did.

Yummy!! Musso & Frank!!!!!!
I must eat there again next time I'm in southern CA. I'll be sure and let you know when I go there, so I can drop off a meal for you to enjoy too!!!
I've been craving an In N Out Burger too lately. We don't have those in Arkansas, so I can't have one until my next trip to CA.

Well, it's nice to be back in Blogdom and reconnecting with my dear blog buddies.
We're off to Savannah, Georgia to take Courtney to school I'll be back blogging again after we return home.

I hope you are doing well.
Lots of love and care to YOU!!!!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 8:18:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I was out of town today and I am so happy to know that the fires are not that near where you live. Do stay inside and take care!!

Mr. kenju was watching "On the Town" last week and saw Betty again (I think that was the name of it.) He LOVES finding her on TV!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 8:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You learn something new every day - I didn't realise that you had to 'pay' for your own star! How perfectly dreadful - there should be a committee of some kind -I hate to think in the future just 'anyone' getting their own star; especially 'Reality Wannabes'...

And yes, I am still here and yes, I am still pregnant. (Hopefully not for much longer!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 12:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

In all the years I've been reading your blog you always made your showbiz and artist friends seem so down to earth and it was all fascinating and yet regular, but when you mentioned Phil Abbott and I looked him up and saw that he was not in one, but TWO episodes of "The Twilight Zone" I felt like a silly starstruck schoolgirl. And I also watched all of "The 4400" so I even saw his son! Okay, I need to calm down. But thanks for another great post. And you are right about the stars on the walk. Something about that doesn't seem right. I've seen lots of nobodies get stars when some of the greats don't have them. It's just wrong.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 12:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, such a fasinating story about the walk of fame.... I had no idea that Jeff Bridges was related to Betty... How wonderful. I have always been a fan of his. I am very grateful that the wild fires and away from you... I hope the humidity stays down and they are able to get the fires under control... My fingers are crossed for you... BTW: I have a very fond heart for fireman.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 12:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

just popping by to see if the fires are bothering you ... glad to hear that you are further away from them - tho' i can just imagine the BAD AIR!!! sheesh!

loved the story on the walk of fame ... and the pics are always great to look at! thanx for sharing!

Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 6:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi, stay safe. I hope the fires stay far away!

Thanks for a wonderful look at Hollywood, somewhere most of us have never been, and may never get the chance to see. I second the previous commentators that having honorees pay for their own star is ridiculous!

Can I ask you a silly question? I had a great-uncle who composed music for the movies in the 40's and 50's; his name was Heinz Roemheld, and he wrote the standard "Ruby". Both of his daughters married game-show hosts, Jack Narz and Bill Cullen. I never met my great-uncle, so have no idea what he was like, but is there any chance you might have run across him in your days as a singer and actress? I am a little embarrassed to ask this, but just thought I'd do it ...

Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 8:48:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

First, I was in bushfires in Australian in 1983 so I understand what it must be like. The fire fighters are the most amzing people and you have the best crew on earth there (besides ours too as they help each other out a lot because our summers are different).

Oh see I learn something every time I come here. I didnt realise that you had to pay for your star, ah well. I hope Larry does get a star and what a handsome man he was too! Wonderful post Naomi and keep well and out of that smoke.

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 12:29:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

How cynical and commercial the Walk of Fame has become. It is a great shame that Larry Parks hasn't been given a star. The Jolson films are wonderful and were made back in a time when Hollywood seemed more interested in entertaining and telling a story than simply seeing $$$ signs in their eyes!

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 3:08:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The next best thing to seeing Hollywood myself, coming here for a visit. xo

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 2:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi N, I hope you see this post since you get so many. I loved your story about all the stars, and the one with the finger on MJ star is the best!! I hope the fires are soon put out, my daghter has been sending me pictures from her home, just terrible. I will be sending good vibes your way!! Maeve (your friend from Long Island)!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 10:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Gee, having to pay for your star just doesn't sound right to me! I'm glad Betty has one. Too bad her husband doesn't.

I am so GLAD to hear that the fires are no threat to you. It's so sad when I hear about those fires and all that land burning. What a shame. Seems CA has so many of them. I can't help but think of all the little creatures out there that get burned up and people too at times; not to mention the loss of homes. So very sad.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 7:36:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Yes, I know who Vanessa Brown was! :D
She was Jane, in, Tarzan and the Slave Girl.
It really is unfortunate she never played the part again . . .

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 7:34:00 PM PST 

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