15 April 2009

Fleeting Footsteps

The song above is simply my favorite. It was written by Amanda McBroom about her father, and I could hug her for doing so. There are hundreds of songs I love or ones that are tied to memories both good and bad, but I cried the first time I heard this one, called NPR to get the title that I had missed, went out and bought the same day, and more than 20 years later I still tear up when I hear it. I could go into therapy for the next decade to find out why, but it is much easier to simply play it and feel better afterwards, then go back to living. The part that hooks me every time is the bridge:

Now fame Is Fleeting and stars they keep fallin'
Staying right up there that's the business of art
She long kisses some, and she passes by others
Disappointment and bourbon are hard on the heart.

(waterworks start here)

Staying famous is darn hard work, and for the audience, the cultural parade can pass you by unless you really work at keeping up. Frequently, the entertainment news comes on and they mention people that I either don't know or have heard of vaguely only in passing through son or grandson. A little of this parade can be seen in the movies such as Same Time Next Year that starts in 1951 and moves through almost three decades in ever changing vignettes. As the pictures between scenes flash by, I can tell you the year that matches each one. Put my grandson in front of that parade and he wouldn't be able to identify any of them unless it had just been covered as "history" in school. In 1951 I was seven. The adult woman character in the movie gives her favorite "movie star" as "Lon McAllister". As an adult watching the movie for the first time in 1978 when I was 34, my reaction was, "Lon Who?". All of this is a round about way to bring us to Today in History when on April 15, 1927 Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Norma and Constance Talmadge became the first celebrities to leave their footprints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater. The future Hollywood landmark was still under construction at the time.

Ever since "stars" have been adding their foot and hand prints and tourists have been trying to place their, for the most part, too large feet and hands in those, for the most part, too small prints. Movie stars have been described as "little people with big heads" and they aren't always talking about their egos but a matter of photography and what the camera "loves" on screen. You can look down the list below to see who is there. How many do you either know about or remember? Who was "long kissed" or "passed by"?


Norma & Constance Talmadge (post dated for the opening day May 18, 1927)
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (post dated for the opening day May 18, 1927)
Norma Shearer (August 1, 1927)
Harold Lloyd (November 21, 1927)
William S. Hart (November 28, 1927)
Tom Mix and Tony the Wonder Horse (December 12, 1927)
Colleen Moore (December 19, 1927)
Gloria Swanson (circa 1927)
Constance Talmadge (circa 1927)
Pola Negri (April 2, 1928)
Bebe Daniels (May 11, 1929)
Marion Davies (May 13, 1929)
Janet Gaynor (May 29, 1929)
Joan Crawford (September 14, 1929)
Despite claims by some that he did and that they were later removed, Charlie Chaplin never placed his handprints in the cement at the theatre.


Ann Harding (August 30, 1930)
Raoul Walsh (November 14, 1930)
Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler (January 31, 1931)
Jackie Cooper (December 12, 1931)
Eddie Cantor (March 9, 1932)
Diana Wynyard (January 26, 1933)
The Marx Brothers (February 17, 1933)
Jean Harlow (September 25 and September 29, 1933)
Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald (December 4, 1934)
Shirley Temple (March 14, 1935)
Joe E. Brown (March 5, 1936)
Al Jolson (March 12, 1936)
Freddie Bartholomew (April 4, 1936)
Bing Crosby (April 8, 1936)
Victor McLaglen (May 25, 1936)
William Powell and Myrna Loy (October 20, 1936)
Clark Gable and Woody Van Dyke (January 20, 1937)
Dick Powell and Joan Blondell (February 10, 1937)
Fredric March (April 21, 1937)
May Robson (April 22, 1937)
Tyrone Power and Loretta Young (May 31, 1937)
Sonja Henie (June 28, 1937)
The Ritz Brothers (September 22, 1937)
Eleanor Powell (December 23, 1937)
Don Ameche (January 27, 1938)
Fred Astaire (February 4, 1938)
Deanna Durbin (February 7, 1938)
Alice Faye and Tony Martin (March 20, 1938)
Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy (July 20, 1938)
Jean Hersholt (October 11, 1938)
Mickey Rooney (October 18, 1938)
Nelson Eddy (December 28, 1938)
Ginger Rogers (September 5, 1939)
Judy Garland (October 10, 1939)
Jane Withers (November 6, 1939)


Linda Darnell (March 18, 1940)
Rosa Grauman and George Raft (March 25, 1940)
John Barrymore (September 5, 1940)
Jack Benny (January 13, 1941)
Carmen Miranda (March 24, 1941)
Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor (June 11, 1941)
Rudy Vallee (July 21, 1941)
Cecil B. DeMille (August 7, 1941)
The Family of Judge James K. Hardy (August 15, 1941)
Abbott and Costello (December 8, 1941)
Edward Arnold (January 6, 1942)
Joan Fontaine (May 26, 1942)
Red Skelton (June 18, 1942)
Greer Garson (July 23, 1942)
Henry Fonda, Rita Hayworth, Charles Boyer, Edward G. Robinson, and Charles Laughton (July 24, 1942)
Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour (February 5, 1943)
Betty Grable (February 15, 1943)
Monty Woolley (May 28, 1943)
Gary Cooper (August 13, 1943)
Esther Williams and Private Joe Brian (August 1, 1944)
Gene Tierney (January 24,1945)
Jack Oakie (February 21, 1945)
Jimmy Durante (October 31, 1945)
Sid Grauman (January 24, 1946)
Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison (July 8, 1946)
Margaret O'Brien (August 15, 1946)
Humphrey Bogart (August 21, 1946)
Louella Parsons (September 30, 1946)
Ray Milland (April 17, 1947)
Lauritz Melchior (November 17, 1947)
James Stewart (February 13, 1948)
Van Johnson (March 25, 1948)
George Jessel (March 1, 1949)
Roy Rogers and Trigger (April 21, 1949)
Richard Widmark and Charles Nelson (April 24, 1949)
Jeanne Crain (October 17, 1949)
Jean Hersholt (October 20, 1949)
Anne Baxter and Gregory Peck (December 15, 1949)
Gene Autry and Champion (December 23, 1949)


John Wayne (January 25, 1950)
Lana Turner (May 24, 1950)
Bette Davis (November 6, 1950)
William Lundigan (December 29, 1950)
Cary Grant (July 16, 1951)
Susan Hayward (August 10, 1951)
Hildegard Knef (as Hildegarde Neff) (December 13, 1951)
Oskar Werner (December 13, 1951)
Jane Wyman (September 17, 1952)
Ava Gardner (October 21, 1952)
Clifton Webb (December 7, 1952)
Olivia de Havilland (December 9, 1952)
Adolph Zukor (January 5, 1953)
Ezio Pinza (January 26, 1953)
Donald O'Connor and mother Effie (February 25, 1953)
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell (June 26, 1953)
Jean Simmons (September 24, 1953)
Danny Thomas (January 26, 1954)
James Mason (March 30, 1954)
Alan Ladd (May 12, 1954)
Edmund Purdom (August 30, 1954)
Van Heflin (October 8, 1954)
George Murphy (November 8, 1954)
Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr (March 22, 1956)
Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and George Stevens (September 26, 1956)
Elmer C. Rhoden (September 16, 1958)
Rosalind Russell (February 19, 1959)


Cantinflas (December 28, 1960)
Doris Day (January 19, 1961)
Natalie Wood (December 5, 1961)
Charlton Heston (January 18, 1962)
Sophia Loren (July 26, 1962)
Kirk Douglas (November 1, 1962)
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (May 25, 1963)
Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine (June 29, 1963)
Mervyn LeRoy (October 15, 1963)
Hayley Mills (February 22, 1964)
Dean Martin (March 21, 1964)
Peter Sellers (June 3, 1964)
Debbie Reynolds (January 14, 1965)
Marcello Mastroianni (February 8, 1965)
Frank Sinatra (July 20, 1965)
Julie Andrews (March 26, 1966)
Dick Van Dyke (June 25, 1966)
Steve McQueen (March 21, 1967)
Sidney Poitier (June 23, 1967)
Anthony Quinn (December 21, 1968)
Danny Kaye (October 19, 1969)
Gene Kelly (November 24, 1969)


Francis X. Bushman (November 17, 1970)
Ali MacGraw (December 14, 1972)
Jack Nicholson (June 17, 1974)
Tom Bradley and Ted Mann (May 18, 1977)
The Chinese Theatre's 50th Anniversary (May 24, 1977)
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2, and Darth Vader (August 3, 1977)
George Burns (January 25, 1979)


John Travolta (June 2, 1980)
Burt Reynolds (September 24, 1981)
Rhonda Fleming (September 28, 1981)
Sylvester Stallone (June 29, 1983)
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (May 16, 1984)
Donald Duck and Clarence Nash (May 21, 1984)
Clint Eastwood (August 21, 1984)
Mickey Rooney (February 18, 1986)
Eddie Murphy and Hollywood's 100th Anniversary (May 14, 1987)


Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, George Takei, and Walter Koenig (December 5, 1991)
Harrison Ford (June 4, 1992)
Michael Keaton (June 15, 1992)
Tom Cruise (June 15, 1992)
Mel Gibson (August 23, 1993)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (July 14, 1994)
Meryl Streep (September 25, 1994)
Whoopi Goldberg (February 2, 1995)
Bruce Willis (May 18, 1995)
Steven Seagal (July 10, 1995)
Jim Carrey (November 1, 1995)
Johnny Grant (May 13, 1997)
Robert Zemeckis (July 8, 1997)
Michael Douglas (September 10, 1997)
Al Pacino (October 16, 1997)
Denzel Washington (January 15, 1998)
Walter Matthau (April 2, 1998)
Warren Beatty (May 21, 1998)
Danny Glover (July 7, 1998)
Tom Hanks (July 23, 1998)
Robin Williams (December 22, 1998)
Susan Sarandon (January 11, 1999)
William F. "Bill" Hertz (March 18, 1999)
Ron Howard (March 23, 1999)
Sean Connery (April 13, 1999)
Richard Gere (July 26, 1999)
Terry Semel and Bob Daly (September 30, 1999)


Anthony Hopkins (January 11, 2001)
Nicolas Cage (August 14, 2001)
Martin Lawrence (November 19, 2001)
John Woo (May 21, 2002)
Morgan Freeman (June 5, 2002)
Christopher Walken (October 8, 2004)
Jack Valenti (December 6, 2004)
Sherry Lansing (February 16, 2005)
Adam Sandler (May 17, 2005)
Johnny Depp (September 16, 2005)
Samuel L. Jackson (January 30, 2006)
Kevin Costner (September 6, 2006)
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Jerry Weintraub (June 5, 2007)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint (July 9, 2007)
Johnny Grant (July 9 2007) placed hands and footprints in cement 2nd time
Will Smith (December 10, 2007)
Michael Caine (July 11, 2008)
Zac Efron (April 14,2009)

Map of ForeCourt with placement of prints


carol g said...

What a grand song. Applause, Applause!! Jamie, you have so much knowledge stored away in that head of yours... I appreciate every post you create. Thank you.

maryt/theteach said...

What a wonderful tribute, Jamie! I had never heard that song before but I listened all the way through and I know why you cry - the song has such a plaintive tone. I know most of the names, even Zac Efron. And the very early ones too. But I'm a movie freak! Thanks for sharing that post! :)

Ivanhoe said...

I always wondered what were the inductions based on. There are most of the people that deserve it for sure, but there are also a few names that did not "show" anything yet :o)

Jamie said...

Several were connected with a motion picture release connected to a major studio, particularly in the 40s and 50s when the huge kleig lights would knife through the skies over Hollywood Boulevard. Often the stars had been on the news just before getting acquainted with wet cement.

Anonymous said...

Jamie, Thank you for that beautiful song. I didn't even know who Amanda McBroom was and wanted to find out more about her. I was surprised that she wrote 'The Rose', another of my favorites.

Travis said...

Uhm...Zac Efron?

No offense meant to the young man, but really? I guess he, along with the kids from Harry Potter, would be considered as someone who had a cultural impact through a particular film.

I imagine that's the basic criteria for having your prints immortalized at Grauman's.

Jamie said...


You did better than me. I might recognize his face, but it was "Zac who" for the name.

Linda said...

I recognized quite a few more names once I got into the 1950's though were some from the earlier years that rang a bell.

As for Zac Efron - seriously? Amanda and I just had a talk about him the other day (my arguing the point that he's cute and she arguing the point that he's a Disney puppet) but I never would have thought of him as worthy of this honor - not yet at least!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Jamie, thanks for this stellar list of dates when the famous added their prints at GCT....always so happy to learn any new detail 'bout our Dino...never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool...oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth....