Saturday, June 11, 2005

Unknown on the Walk of Fame: Vol. B, Part 7

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.

Part 7 baby! That means there were 6 before this! The next one will be 8.

John Bowers MP

John Bowers was a star in the silent days. Starting in 1916 he began appearing on the screen. He appeared in just under 100 films until the early 1930s. He was not able to make the transition to talking pictures and in 1936 (5 years after his last film) he killed himself.
His suicide was a bit bizarre. He rowed out to the middle of the ocean and drowned himself.
I know it's a downer, but with him out of the way we can move on to happier tales of Hollywood.

Major Bowers Radio

These names were taken from the Hollywood Walk of Fame's own site. The site is full of misspelled names and other mistakes. Major Bowers is such a mistake. His name was Major Bowes. I was going to contact the website but I hear that the entire staff committed suicide by drowning.
Anyway, Major Bowes hosted Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour on CBS radio from 1934 to 1946.
That show inspired many shows such as American Idol and The Gong Show - in fact, Bowes used to gong people that performed badly! They then gonged contestants on The Gong Show. On American Idol, however, rather than being gonged they get yelled out by Simon Cowell or they get to sleep with Paula Abdul. She gonged contestant Corey Clark. I wonder how many times I can fit "gonged" into this article. Maybe 2 or 3 more times. Probably more if I drop the running gag about people committing suicide.

David Bowie Rec
Popular musician, recorded many hit songs including "Changes". Bowie starred in the film "The Man that Fell to Earth." Imagine if he fell to earth, but since earth is 82% water he landed in the water and drowned. Then Major Bowes gonged him.

Bill Boyd Radio

A very successful singing cowboy on the radio in the 1920s.

Jimmy Boyd Rec

Boyd is most famous for his song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".

William Boyd MP

Not to be confused with fellow "cowboy" Bill Boyd, William was the star of many movies and is best known for playing Hopalong Cassidy.

Charles Boyer MP
Charles Boyer TV

Pronounced boy-yay, Boyer appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1970s. Among the many popular films he appeared in was the James Bond spoof Casino Royale.
He also hosted a TV show called "Charles Boyer Theater". Boyer committed suicide two days after the death of his wife. Neither death involved drowning.

Eddie Bracken TV
Eddie Bracken Radio

Star of many comedies from the 1950s including Hold that Blonde and Were Not Married!. Bracken's career continued through the 1990s. One of his most popular latter roles was Roy Walley (of Walley World) in National Lampoon's Vacation.

Ray Bradbury MP

A successful science fiction author, Bradbury has written for the "Twilight Zone" as well as movies like Fahrenheit 451 and Moby Dick.

Ed M. Bradley Mayor

I'm stumped by this one. He is listed under 'Live Theater' but has the word 'Mayor' written after his name. All searches for a Mayor Ed Bradley comes up blank. I will continue the search and I will update this in the future. Perhaps I should start a new series just on Ed M. Bradley Mayor called "REALLY unknown on the Walk of fame."

Terry Bradshaw TV

Former member of the Steelers football team, Bradshaw has been a popular sports commentator since his retirement.

Alice Brady MP

Academy award nominee for the film My Man Godfrey. Alice appeared in 79 films between 1914 and 1939.

Marlon Brando MP

Acclaimed star of such films as The Godfather and Streetcar Named Desire.

Tom Breneman Radio

Host of a very popular radio show called Breakfast in Hollywood. It was the 1940s version of Live with Regis and Kelly.

Walter Brennan MP

One of the most successful character actors of all time. Featured in films as diverse as Sergeant York, Rio Grande and The Pride of the Yankees.

Evelyn Brent MP

Star of over 100 films including Westward Ho and Jungle Jim. Evelyn's career spanned from 1915 to 1953.

George Brent MP
George Brent TV

Brent was a star of the big and small screen for almost 50 years. One of his most popular films was Jezebel.

Teresa Brewer Rec

Dixieland music star known for such hits as Bye Bye Baby goodbye.

David Brian TV

Popular film and character actor. Often cast in westerns, David was a guest star on many popular shows. He also starred in the TV series "Mr. District Attorney".

Mary Brian MP

Her first role was that of Wendy in the 1924 version of Peter Pan. Her last was as a guest on "This Is Your Life". In between she did over 70 films, many of which sounded like the titles of famous TV shows: Two's Company (1936), Dragnet (1947), Homicide Squad (1931) and Gun Smoke (1931).

Mark & Brian Radio

Syndicated radio duo and (briefly) stars of their own 1991 sitcom. They can be heard today on KLOS in Los Angeles.

Fanny Brice MP
Fanny Brice Radio

Famous comedienne who successfully made the jump from radio to movies. Her claim to fame on radio was the show "Baby Snooks". On the film (and on Broadway) it was Ziegfeld Follies.

Beau Bridges TV

Son of Lloyd Bridges, star of The Fabulous Baker Boys.

Jeff Bridges MP

Also Lloyd Bridges' son, star of many films including Blown Away and The Contender.

Lloyd Bridges TV

Legendary film and TV actor star of the Sea Hunt TV series. Bridges was also adept at comedy Appearing in Airplane and Hot Shots.
Ray Briem Radio

Radio talk show host in Los Angeles, Ray was at the prime of his career in the late 70s and early 80s.

Bernie Brillstein TV

Executive producer of many TV shows and movies including ALF, The Cable Guy, News Radio and Happy Gilmore.

And many more to come.

Due to the mystery of Ed M. Bradley and the many typos on the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce website I decided to send them the following email:
I just wanted to let you know I found a few typos on your website:

St. John Adela: This is actress Adela St. John. She is listed
alphabetically under her first name, not her last.
St. John Al: This is actor Al St. John. His name is also out of order.
Edward Arnold Rec: This was a TV and Film actor. I believe his star is in
television, not recorded music.
Agnes Ayers MP: Name should be spelled "Ayres"
Cont Basie Rec: Should be Count Basie.
Noah Jr. Berry: Should be Noah Beery Jr.
Major Bowers Radio: Should be Major Bowes.
Ika Chase: Should read Ilka Chase

In addition I found the following under "Live Theater":Ed M. Bradley Mayor
Could you tell me who this is?

Thank you,
Guy Hutchinson

In response I received the following email:
Mr. Hutchinson,

Thanks for finding those errors. We will fix them immediately. The one for Mayor Tom Bradley will be removed because it is not a Walk of Fame star. It is a different type of star found on private property.

Well, there is the answer. Not only is his name not ED, but it is not a Walk of Fame star! I will have to look for it.

Tom Bradley was an immensely popular mayor of Los Angeles for 5 terms beginning in 1973. Tom's signature is on a special block at Grauman's Chinese Theater containing a time capsule from 1977.

As for the other mistakes, I checked today and many of them were fixed. I am happy to see they did this. When people send me emails about my typos I usually sign their emails up on every spam list I can find.

Hmmm, that's interesting, I just got ten emails from the Online Gay Orthodontist webring! Oh drat!

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