Hollywood is steeped in history, and there’s no better way to feel the decades of entertainment lore than strolling along the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. Those 2,514 sidewalk stars honor legendary movie actors, world-famous singers, and plenty of people you’ve never heard of (though your grandparents probably loved them).
Not surprisingly, there are some fascinating facts and stories behind these stars. Here are ten things you might not know about the Hollywood Walk of Fame:
1. The largest group of people represented by a single star is the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz (about 122 adults and 12 children).
2. Nine inventors have stars on the Walk, including Thomas Edison, who invented the first true film projector and has many patents related to motion picture technology.
3. Only those in the five major entertainment industries (film, TV, music, radio, theater) are supposed to have stars, but there has been some notable stretching of the rules. Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, Magic Johnson, and the crew members of Apollo 11 all have stars.
4. There are two Harrison Ford stars because there have been two noteworthy Harrison Fords (one was a silent film star in the 1920s). There are also two Michael Jacksons (the not-so-famous one is a radio personality in Los Angeles).
5. There are 13 stars with just one name, the most famous being Houdini, Liberace, Roseanne, Shakira, Slash and Sting. Madonna doesn’t have a star (she isn’t interested).
6. As for the most common names, there are 15 Williamses, 14 Moores, 12 Joneses and seven Smiths.
7. To have the honor of getting a star, you are required to attend the unveiling ceremony (and pay a $30,000 fee). Since 1968, about 40 people have turned down the opportunity, including Julia Roberts, Clint Eastwood and George Clooney. No stars for them.
8. You can have more than one star if you achieved big things in more than one form of entertainment. Only one person has stars for all five categories: Gene Autry.
9. A number of fictional characters have stars too. Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, and the Simpsons top that list.
10. Four stars have been stolen (no easy feat, considering they weigh about 300 pounds apiece). The stars for James Stewart, Kirk Douglas, Gene Autry and Gregory Peck were all nabbed. Gene Autry’s and Gregory Peck’s were never recovered.
These 10 facts are really just a start; a little Google search will bring up all kinds of other interesting odds and ends about the Walk of Fame. Even better, look into the trips to California with EF Explore America, and you can walk the walk yourself!