Hollywood Walk of Fame: The LA attraction honouring America's most famous and infamous stars

The latest act of vandalism to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has cast a light on the popular Los Angeles tourist attraction once more.

The landmark is world famous and covers 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue and a further three along Vine Street, honouring the leading lights of the American entertainment industry.

A path running 1.3 miles, it is one of LA’s most popular draws, along with the likes of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Sunset Strip, with holidaymakers clamouring to seek out the monuments to their favourite movie actors, singers and comedians.

The Walk is currently comprised of more than 2,600 coral stars, each one lined with brass and set in charcoal terrazzo slabs. Each contains the name of the honoree and a symbol indicating whether they made their name in the field of films, television, music, radio or live performance.

Special stars have also been laid for astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to mark Apollo 11 reaching the moon in 1969 and for Mickey Mouse, the first fictional character to be granted one, in 1978.

Receiving a star usually involves the honoree themselves applying to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce – which oversees the process – making the case for their inclusion and paying $30,000 (£23,000) to the Hollywood Historic Trust, part of which pays for its installation and maintenance.

The idea for the Walk originated in 1953 and has been credited to EM Stuart, then volunteer president of the Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate the city and its “Dream Factory”, “a community whose name means glamour and excitement around the world”.

Plans were submitted to Los Angeles City Council in 1955 and the initial list of 1,558 candidates for inclusion was drawn up by a committee of studio executives and directors meeting at the celebrated Brown Derby restaurant over the next two years, with Cecil B DeMille, Samuel Goldwyn, Walt Disney, Hal Roach and Mack Sennett among their number.

Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star destroyed with a pick axe

Construction of the Walk began in 1958 and eight names were selected at random from the list to be the first recipients, Burt Lancaster being the best remembered today. Actress Joanne Woodward is commonly thought to have been the first honoree but this is a myth: director Stanley Kramer was the subject of the first permanent paving slab in March 1960. 

More have been added over the intervening years, with Italian actress Sophia Loren granted the 2,000th in 1994.

Some of the honorees have come to be regarded as controversial with hindsight but none before President Trump have ever had their star permanently removed in the Walk in its 60-year history.

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