Joanne Woodward earns first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - HISTORY
Year
1960

Joanne Woodward earns first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

On this day in 1960, the official groundbreaking ceremony is held for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The first star to be dedicated on the historic walkway belonged to the actress Joanne Woodward, an Academy Award winner for The Three Faces of Eve (1957).

Woodward’s career began on Broadway, where she worked as an understudy to the female lead in the romantic drama Picnic in the early 1950s. It was during that production that she first met the actor Paul Newman; their marriage would become one of the most envied and enduring in Hollywood. After heading west from New York, Woodward signed a contract with 20th Century Fox. Her role in that studio’s 1957 film The Three Faces of Eve, as a woman with multiple personality disorder, earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. Her romance with Newman intensified during the filming of The Long, Hot Summer (1958) and they were married in January 1958. Two years later, Woodward earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After the official groundbreaking on the now-famous walk, construction continued for the next 16 months, and by the time it was over more than 1,500 actors, musicians and filmmakers had received stars. Today, the Walk of Fame lines both sides of Hollywood Boulevard from Gower to La Brea, and both sides of Vine Street, from Yucca to Sunset. Woodward’s star is located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce manages the walkway, which became an official landmark in 1978. New stars are added at a regular rate; by 1994 the total numbered more than 2,000. From 1980 until his death in 2008, the ceremonies were presided over by the popular “mayor” of Hollywood, Johnny Grant. In addition to playing small roles in movies such as The Babe Ruth Story (1948) and White Christmas (1954), with Bing Crosby, Grant also traveled with the popular comedian Bob Hope on U.S.O. tours, performing at military bases all over the world. Grant was named to the honorary position of mayor of Hollywood by the Chamber of Commerce in 1980 and spent the next three decades as Hollywood’s leading spokesperson throughout the United States and abroad.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Normandie burns in New York

The Normandie, regarded by many as the most elegant ocean liner ever built, burns and sinks in New York Harbor during its conversion to an Allied trip transport ship.Built in France in the early 1930s, the Normandie ruled the transatlantic passenger trade in its day. The first ...read more

Davis Cup competition established

On February 9, 1900, the solid silver trophy known today as the Davis Cup is first put up for competition when American collegian Dwight Filley Davis challenges British tennis players to come across the Atlantic and compete against his Harvard team.Davis, born in St. Louis, ...read more

The Normandie catches fire

On this day, the largest and most luxurious ocean liner on the seas at that time, France’s Normandie, catches fire while in the process of being converted for military use by the United States.The Normandie, built in 1931, was the first ship to be constructed in accordance with ...read more

Magic Johnson returns for All-Star Game

After stunning the world three months earlier with the news he had contracted the HIV virus and was immediately retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers, basketball great Magic Johnson returns to play in the 42nd NBA All-Star game in Orlando, Florida, where the crowd greeted him with ...read more

William Henry Harrison is born

On this day in 1773, future President William Henry Harrison is born on the Berkeley Plantation in Virginia. Harrison went on to serve as the ninth U.S. president for a brief 32 days in 1841, the shortest term ever served. Harrison is also credited with the record for the longest ...read more

Elizabeth Bacon marries George Custer

Destined to be her husband’s most dedicated champion, Elizabeth Bacon marries George Armstrong Custer in Monroe, Michigan.Shortly after graduating from a Presbyterian college in Monroe, Elizabeth Bacon met the dashing young Captain Custer, who immediately began a vigorous ...read more

Alice Walker is born

On this day in 1944, Alice Walker is born in Eatonton, Georgia, the youngest of eight children born to sharecroppers. In their poor, rural community, Walker’s mother set an example of generosity and community support by taking in children whose families couldn’t care for them. ...read more

Coors brewery heir is kidnapped

Adolph Coors disappears while driving to work from his Morrison, Colorado, home. The grandson of the Coors’ founder and chairman of the Golden, Colorado, brewery was kidnapped and held for ransom before being shot to death. Surrounding evidence launched one of the FBI’s largest ...read more

George Custer married

On this day in 1864, Union General George Armstrong Custer marries Elizabeth Bacon in Monroe, Michigan, while the young cavalry officer is on leave. “Libbie,” as she was known to her family, was a tireless defender of her husband’s reputation after his death at the Battle of the ...read more

Auto pioneer Wilhelm Maybach born

Automotive industry pioneer Wilhelm Maybach, who founded the luxury car brand bearing his name, is born on February 9, 1846, in Heilbronn, Germany.In 1885, Maybach and his mentor, the German engineer Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900), developed a new high-speed, four-stroke internal ...read more