This evening, COPS creator John Langley will be the 2,432nd person to receive a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. However, like the selection of Oscar winners, few people know how Hollywood decides who will receive a star on the celebrated Walk.
The first step to receiving a Walk of Fame star is to be nominated. Anyone can nominate a celebrity for the honor, as long as the star agrees to the nomination and agrees to appear at the Star’s unveiling ceremony, if selected. Not everyone finds these terms agreeable. Clint Eastwood and Julia Roberts declined to be nominated, while George Clooney and John Denver refused the mandatory appearance. Fans can also nominate a star after his or her death, but not until at least five years have passed.
There are currently five categories in which an entertainer can be nominated: motion pictures, television, recording (music), radio, and theatre. However, the selection committee has quite been creative in their interpretation of these categories. To be eligible, a nominee must have at least five years experience in his or her category, plus a history of charitable contributions. Someone, usually the nominating party (fan club, film studio, etc.), must also agree to pay the $30,000 construction fee, if selected, as well as general maintenance costs.
Each year, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Walk of Fame Selection Committee receives approximately 200 nominations and selects 12-15 performers based on the nominees’ industry achievements and agreement to the terms listed above. Until 1999, the identities of committee members were closely guarded, but have since been revealed to battle charges of “back room politics.”
The Walk of Fame recipients for 2011 are:
Motion Pictures: Penelope Cruz, Bruce Dern, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Ed Harris, The Muppets, Kenny Ortega, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ridley Scott, Sissy Spacek, Donald Sutherland and Reese Witherspoon.
Television: Danny DeVito, Tina Fey, Simon Fuller, Neil Patrick Harris, John Langley, Ed O’Neill, John Wells, and Oprah Winfrey.
Recording: Melissa Etheridge, Los Tigres Del Norte, Rascal Flatts, Go-Go’s, Slash, Will i. Am, and Bebe & Cece Winans.
Live Performance/Theatre: Joe Mantegna
Posthumous: Buddy Holly and Louis Prima
For more information visit the official website of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and be sure to visit StarCam for coverage of Walk of Fame unveilings.