General News

EXTRA: A Star Is Not-Quite Born

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

In our dedicated effort to bring the world stories built upon fascinating angles, we hereby offer you an account of what goes on the day before the unveiling of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Well, all right, the truth is that this story was supposed to be about an actual unveiling ceremony, but the one scheduled for today was postponed 'til Thursday by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce due to the Los Angeles Lakers parade victory in downtown L.A. (we didn't find this out until we got down there).

The chamber apparently figured that the majority of Angelenos (journalists included) would opt for the basketball rally over Jay Ward, aka the dead guy who was supposed to get the star.

But we figured that since we were on Hollywood Boulevard anyway (instead of at the glitzy parade), we might as well stick around.

And here's what we found out: The day before the unveiling of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is very, er, business as usual-like. There was no commotion or roadblocks and not much of a crowd. But there were other people there.

Besides us, in attendance were: a few cops; a family of tourists from Sweden ("We are just curious to see what's going on," the mother told us); Brent, who works nearby and harbors a certain misperception about the event ("I think this is for the Lakers celebration," he said. "I am waiting for the parade to come by."); and the DotcomBlondes, aka Jane and Joel.

"What we do is we go around and interview people -- special interests, things that are going on throughout the Southern California area. Today, we are here for the unveiling ceremony of the Jay Ward star, but unfortunately, it has been postponed," said Jane and Joel (mostly in unison).

The DotcomBlondes then proceeded to plug insistently the upcoming live action-animation "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle," opening June 30. (Ward was the brains behind toon favorites Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle, Dudley Do-Right, etc. He died in 1989.)

City employee Robert Cochran also was on the boulevard this morning, busy smoothing out a footprint on a cemented star. He gave us the scoop on how the constellations get on the street.

Said Cochran: "They first come and chip out a blank star, and then they go and install the name in the plaque. Then we mix up a marble and cement mix -- with color, obviously -- and put it in there and finish it up. And tomorrow, we'll come back, we'll turn it around and grind it, polish it out, zeal it and wax it and get it ready for the dedication."

Before we left, the DotcomBlondes promised us that on Thursday -- the actual day of the Jay Ward star unveiling -- there will be roadblocks and crowds and photographers and newscasters.

Suppose that could be interesting, too.

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