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Friday, May 20, 2016

Hollywood Walk of Fame

In honor of Deidre Hall (Marlena on Days of Our Lives) getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in this blog post I go through a list of people including her to receive that honor who've worked primarily in soaps. See more below.

Since the Hollywood Walk of Fame is in Hollywood, this will be about west coast performers primarily. When someone gets a star, it is their "day" in Hollywood, which also includes a ceremony. Sometimes the award is given posthumously, and then if possible family members, and friends of the deceased attend. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Historic Trust are responsible for the event and stars. There are five major categories for the stars: motion pictures, television, recording, radio, and live performance/theatre. A person can be included in one or more categories depending on their career. There are 1000s of people who've received a star, so it would be worth checking out their list as people from every genre are included. Their database is searchable, so it is rather easy to find out if your favorite has one. Unfortunately, you can search using biographical data and category, but not by program or movie titles. People are nominated for this honor, and a board decides who will receive one. This sometimes explains why some people have a star with multiple categories or only one. (For example Jennifer Aniston has a motion picture star, not a television star. Though her bio mentions how she spent much of her childhood in NYC, due to her father getting a job on "Love of Life".)

Some people who've received a star got it prior to working in soaps, while others got it many years later. MacDonald Carey (Tom from "Days of Our Lives) received his award for television on February 8, 1960 over five years before he was on the soap. In the bio, they mention Days, but obviously it was written many years after the fact. Sadly, there is no information available about the ceremony. Here is a link to his page. In most cases though, the information in the performer's bio is correct at the time of the award ceremony, which means George Kennedy mentions his work on "Dallas", but not on "The Young and the Restless". In some cases, soap work isn't listed, but considering the two actors I found where that was the case (Kevin Bacon and Julianne Moore), were on east coast daytime soaps, I can understand it a bit better. Anne Meara (who was Peggy on "All My Children") received the honor with her husband Jerry Stiller in 2007, but nothing has been posted on their career.

I've posted the information on who has stars in chronological order so Dee Hall is mentioned last even if she was the reason for doing this entry.

Oddly enough the first person I could find that had a significant career in soaps that received a star while working on a show Anna Lee. She was on "General Hospital" as Lila Quartermaine, but her star is for her work in Motion Pictures. Her induction was on January 11, 1993 and is around the time of her 80th birthday. The press release was written before the ceremony, so no information about the event has been posted. Here is a link to her page.

From "General Hospital", the late John Bernadino received the honor back on April 1, 1993. That was part of the program's 40th anniversary as the show was born on April 1, 1963. John played Steve Hardy, the beloved chief of staff at the hospital. Due to how many years ago, this was there is no video or photograph available online to view.  If you read the the time capsule image, you get the press release announcing his receiving a star. It includes the factoid that at that time, he appeared on more soap opera episodes than anyone else on a west coast series. Here is a link to his page.

From "The Young and the Restless", the late Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) received the honor back on August 20, 1993. The press release mentions fans becoming restless, and also mentions some of the people who attended the ceremony. Unfortunately like John's ceremony, there isn't a video or any pictures posted. Here is a link to her page.

From "All My Children", Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) received the honor on January 28, 2005. Unfortunately there is no video, photo or press release, so there is no information about her actual ceremony. At this point, AMC hadn't moved to LA yet, so her star was based on work she mainly did in New York City. Here is a link to her page.

From "The Young and the Restless", Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) received the honor on July 20, 2007. The press release mentions how at that time, Y&R aired in 15 countries not including the US, with a daily worldwide audience of 120,000,000. It also mentions the awards he received up to this point, and many of his other acting roles. Unfortunately there is no video or even a partial list of who attended that day. Here is a link to his page.

From "The Young and the Restless", Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) received the honor on April 10, 2008.  In April 1982, she first appeared on Y&R and her press release explains the charities she's been involved with over the years are reference. Her page includes a video of the ceremony. It is under 5 minutes long, so it is highlights. Lee Phillip Bell and Jeanne Cooper made speeches on her behalf. Kate mentions the late Bill Bell and dedicates it to him. Here is a direct link to her page.

From "Days of Our Lives", Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans) received the honor on May 19, 2016. A video of the entire ceremony is available on her page. The first ten minutes or so are just background images. Eventually the ceremony and photo taking is shown unedited as it was livestreamed. Susan Seaforth Hayes made the speech in Dee's honor. many of the current Days cast was on hand as was soap alum John deLancie (who played Eugene on Days, but is better known as Q in the Star Trek universe and for his work on Breaking Bad - at least to people who aren't into soaps.) Dee's family also attended, and it was great to get an updated image of her sons. Here is a direct link to her page.

This site is interesting enough that if you have the time and inclination you should check it out. Some of the people who've been honored with a star are a bit surprising. It also gives a glimpse of who was popular in Hollywood. The first stars were given in 1958, and then sporadically until 1972, since then there have been regular yearly ceremonies.

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