Hollywood Walk of Fame: First & Most Recent Star, History & Stars Who Refused One

Hollywood Walk of Fame star
Sylvain GRANDADAM /Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images/Adobe Express

If you’ve ever visited Hollywood, California, one of the biggest attractions there is the Hollywood Walk of Fame where celebrities have received stars on both sides of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. A man named E. M. Stuart can be credited with coming up with the idea for the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1953 when he served as the volunteer president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. It took a while to get things rolling in 1955, the basic proposal was agreed upon and they began working with the city of Los Angeles.

Once all of the details were ironed out, it became a question of who would receive the very first star? Four committees were established to represent the different types of entertainment industries at the time: motion picture, television, recording, and radio. People could send in suggestions and around 150 names were sent in each week. The Chamber and the City finalized the project on August 15, 1958, after a lot of work and ongoing talks.

Portrait of actress Joanne Woodward standing next to her car in Hollywood, November 1957

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In the first year, the honorees included Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedgwick, Ernest Torrence, and Joanne Woodward. The very first star that appeared in 1960 was for the beautiful and talented Joanne Woodward. Now, in 2024, actor Mark Ruffalo is the latest celebrity to receive the 2,772nd star!

Actress Joanne Woodward's star is seen on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 16, 2003 in Hollywood, California

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You might be wondering, what are the criteria these days to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The honoree must have worked in their category for five years or more, made contributions to the community, have significant professional achievements, and guarantee attendance at the ceremony if selected. Stars must be nominated to the committee by someone else but the star must agree to the nomination. Now, the categories include motion pictures, television, radio, recording, and live theater/performance.

Actor Mark Ruffalo is honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 08, 2024 in Hollywood, California

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Although it seems that anyone would be extremely excited to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there are actually celebrities who refused the honor for various reasons. First, there is a cost. The celebrity must cough up $75,000 for the creation, installation, and upkeep of the star and we can imagine with inflation that price keeps on rising!

Julia Roberts attends the screening of "Armageddon Time" during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 19, 2022 in Cannes, France

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Stars such as Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Bruce Springsteen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Prince, George Clooney, and Clint Eastwood have reportedly turned down the idea of having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Roberts apparently doesn’t want people stepping on her name, while Clooney couldn’t commit to a date for the star ceremony. If the nominee doesn’t commit to a date for the ceremony then their nomination will be revoked. Before he died in 2016, Prince reportedly refused twice! He could still get one, but the process to give a star posthumously is apparently a long and tedious process.

Tell us, have you ever visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

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