On the last day of a recent trip to California I had 24 hours in LA. I spent an hour or so on Hollywood Boulevard, where I saw some of the stars on the Walk of Fame. Not real stars, obviously, just imprints and imitators. Handprints in the cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, street performers dressed up as characters from recent blockbusters, and the famous commemorative stars in the pavement. I only got to see a few of the hundreds of stars, but I still managed to find a few which had some kind of personal relevance to me.

The thing that surprised me the most was the number of unfamiliar names. Only the most rabid film buff would claim to recognise them all, and I’ve been a fairly keen cinéphile in my time, but there are names here which must mean little or nothing to most people. To be fair there are also plenty of B-list celebrities from recent times who will probably be forgotten before the decade’s out, and yet who have managed to get themselves “immortalised” with a star.

I’m sure I saw or read something a while ago about fans who “adopt” and care for their favourite stars, cleaning and maintaining them in their spare time, but I can’t find any reference to them on Google. Apparently homeless people are now employed to clean them all. Maybe they should hire aspiring actors instead. That would seem more appropriate to me.


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