Since its beginning in 1960, the Hollywood Walk of Fame has proved a perennial draw to tourists eager to see the stars. An estimated 10 million visitors come each year to the 18-block stretch.
The Walk of Fame was conceived in the 1950s by business leaders in Hollywood as a way to beautify the area’s historic core.
The groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 8, 1960, featured actresses Linda Darnell and Gigi Perreau, as well as veteran actors Francis X. Bushman and Charles Coburn, using shovels to scoop up the dirt.
Although the area near the famed intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street had been a central point for the fledgling movie industry before World War II, the area’s glamour had long since faded by the time producer Stanley Kramer’s star became the first actually set into the sidewalk on March 28, 1960.
The original plans called for 1,529 of the biggest stars of film, stage, radio, television and music to eventually be immortalized in the concrete using brass set in salmon-colored terrazzo stars surrounded by black backgrounds.
The Times has located more than 2,300 stars on the walk, representing 2,114 individuals or organizations as of July 2010. About 500 stars on the walk are currently blank, essentially acting as placeholders for future honorees.