Thursday, June 02, 2005

Unknown on the Walk of Fame: Vol. B, Part 5

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a series of bronze plaques imbedded in pink and black squares that run across Hollywood Blvd. (from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue) and on Vine Street (from Yucca Street to Sunset Boulevard.)
The stars on the Walk honor not just movie stars, but radio, TV, & theater performers, directors, singers, magicians, and just about anyone remotely connected to Hollywood.
The stars are given in five categories: Motion Pictures, Television, Recording (singers, songwriters, etc.), Radio and Live Theater
The Walk started in 1960, and since then, over 2,000 stars have been added. Contrary to popular assumption, not all the stars are those of superstars. Many of them are of people that you have never heard of.
In this ongoing series we look at EACH and EVERY person who received this honor. You have probably heard of 2 or 3 of the people listed below. Others will sound vaguely familiar. Many will be completely unknown to everyone born after 1930. Hopefully, after today you will remember them forever.

Ernani Bernardi Rec

What a way to start! In the 30s and 40s Bernardi was lead saxophonist and arranger for Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and other huge names in popular music. Later he left music to become a Los Angeles City Councilman.

Sarah Bernhardt MP

No, she isn't the comedienne that tossed salad at Oscar the Grouch in Follow that Bird. That was Sandra Bernhard.
Wouldn't it be great if they were at the Oscars together? Then David Letterman could say "Sandra Bernhard, Sarah Bernhardt. Sandra Bernhard, Sarah Bernhardt."
But that couldn't happen. Sarah was dead by 1921.
Still her contributions to motion pictures can't be denied. She was the first famous stage actress to go into pictures. Her first film was a silent short. It was the first film incarnation of Hamlet. The year it was first shown was 1900!
Due to her popularity and association with acting (as one of its first superstars) her name became synonymous with acting and the expression "acting like Sarah Bernhardt" came about. This was often used by parents to describe a child's overly dramatic crying fit.

Ben Bernie Radio

Famous host of Jazz programs on the radio in the 1930s. He coined the word "yowsah" to describe the feeling of listening to jazz. He would often shout it during live performances. Years later it became the catch phrase of one Inspector Gadget.

Elmer Bernstein MP

Oscar winning composer who did some of the most famous film scores ever. Among his compositions is The Magnificent Seven.

Leonard Bernstein Rec

World renowned composer. One of his most successful pieces is West Side Story.

Noah Jr. Berry TV

This list of names is from the Walk of Fame's official website. For some reason they list "Noah Beery Jr." as "Noah Jr. Berry".
Noah Beery Jr. had a 60 year show business career. Among his best loved roles was that of Jim Garner's dad on The Rockford Files.

Chuck Berry Rec

Artist responsible for Johnny B. Goode and many other hit songs.

Edna Best MP

Actress who appeared in films from 1921 to 1956. One of her most successful films was the Alfred Hitchcock directed thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Charles Bickford MP
Charles Bickford TV

Gruff character actor who starred in movies like A Star Is Born (1954) and TV series such as The Virginian.
E. Powers Biggs Rec

Biggs was a performer who brought the classical pipe organ back to prominence in the 1940s and 50s.

Theodore Bikel Live Theatre

Tony award winning performer from the musical The Sound of Music. He is also a performer in motion pictures and TV. One of his more famous roles was as Kisielev in The Desperate Ones.

Constance Binney MP

She was an actress in over a dozen films between 1918 and 1923. Here is how I linked her to Kevin Bacon:
Constance Binney starred in First Love (1921) with George Webb
George Webb appeared in Too Hot to Handle (1938) with Clark Gable
Clark Gable starred in The Misfits (1961) with Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach had a cameo in Mystic River (2003) which starred:
Kevin Bacon!!
Man I wish it was the mid nineties. You people would be really impressed.

Big Bird TV

An 8'2" yellow bird, star of TV's Sesame Street.

Clint Black Rec

Popular country musician since the late 1980s.

Sidney Blackmer MP

Tony-award winning actor who played Teddy Roosevelt in seven movies and is best remembered for his role in Rosemary's Baby.

Carlyle Blackwell MP

Actor who starred in over 150 films between 1909 and 1930. His last film was called Bedrock. Sadly, it wasn't about Fred Flintstone.

Mel Blanc Radio

One of the greatest cartoon voices ever. He is best known as the voice of Bugs Bunny. Before his work in cartoons he starred in many radio shows including The Jack Benny Show. Sadly that show wasn't about Fred Flintstone either.

Coming soon Vol. B, part 6. Sadly, it won't be about Fred Flintstones.

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