The Quick 10: The Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame celebrates its 50-year anniversary this week. Although a big block-party-style bash is scheduled for later this summer after some much-needed renovations are complete, the actual construction kickoff happened on February 8, 1960, with the star ceremony taking place the following day. Since Hollywood's celebration is still a few months away, we thought we'd help celebrate the official day in our own meager way "“ by featuring the WoF in a Q10.

woodward1. The first stars were actually put in place in 1958 so the Chamber of Commerce and the L.A. City Council could show the town what they had in mind. But construction didn't start on the full plan until February 8, 1960. The first official dedication ceremony was for Joanne Woodward and her star the next day, but the Walk of Fame site still lists her official induction date as the 1958 date the prototypes were unveiled. The first new star to be laid was in honor of director and producer Stanley Kramer.

2. After the unveiling of the first eight prototype stars in 1958, the Chamber and the City were promptly sued by Charlie Chaplin's son, who was upset his father hadn't been included. Charlie Sr. is there now, but he had to wait another 14 years for his April 10, 1972 induction.

3. As with most things in Hollywood, induction to the Walk of Fame is going to cost you (or your movie studio). Upon selection, someone has to cough up $25,000, which pays for the star's creation, installation and maintenance. But Hollywood's honorary mayor, the late Johnny Grant, once said in an interview that it wasn't uncommon for film studios to offer up to four times that amount. "These studios, when they want a star and they've got a picture opening, they'd give you $100,000," he said. Sometimes fan clubs also foot the bill.

johnnygrantstar4. The vast majority of the stars fall under five categories. You can discern what the celebrity was inducted for by checking out the icon in the middle of their star: a motion picture camera represents the film industry, a T.V. set represents the television industry, a phonograph record denotes the recording industry, an old radio microphone shows that the celeb contributed to broadcast radio, and comedy/tragedy masks represent live theater. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including the Great Seal of Hollywood icon on Johnny Grant's star, the seal of the city of L.A. on L.A. mayor Tom Bradley's star and Disneyland's castle emblem. Additionally, the members of the Apollo XI mission are jointly honored with a moon shape instead of the traditional star.

5. If you're looking for Muhammad Ali's star, you're going to have better luck scanning the walls of the Kodak Theater than looking down at your feet. When he was inducted in 2002, Ali requested that his star be placed elsewhere because he didn't like the idea of being walked on, the committee agreed. So far, it's the only star to be placed anywhere other than the ground. In case you're curious, Ali apparently falls under the category "live theater."

6. So far, Gene Autry is the only person who has a star in each of the five categories.

7. There are three dogs honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You're probably familiar with Rin Tin Tin and Lassie, but the third one is a little more obscure (and was also the first dog honored): Strongheart, a German shepherd who was the first celebrity canine.

8. Shockingly, Judge Judy beat Judge Wapner to the Walk of Fame. She was honored in February 2006, while Lana Turner's ex-beau didn't get a star until last year.

9. Twenty or so stars are added to the WoF every year. The latest? Ringo Starr, who is being inducted tonight. He already has one as a part of the Beatles, of course, but he's now the third Beatle to be honored individually. Paul McCartney still doesn't have one for his solo efforts.

10. Each star is made of pink terrazzo. The slabs weigh about 300 pounds each, but that hasn't stopped thieves from making off with a few of them. Jimmy Stewart and Kirk Douglas both had their stars stolen by a contractor who was helping on some renovations to the WoF. They were both later found, but only after the stars had been replaced. It was probably for the best anyway "“ the stars had gotten badly damaged while in the "care" of the contractor. Gregory Peck's star suffered the same fate in 2005. One of Gene Autry's stars was also stolen during a construction project; Johnny Grant later received a call saying it had popped up in Iowa, but no one bothered to return it. I'm so proud.

10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.


While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.


It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.


Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.


Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.


The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.


Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.


According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?


Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.


December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.


Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.



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