Who was the first celebrity in hollywood?

The first star dedicated to the historic runway was actress Joanne Woodward, winner of the Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve (195). Woodward's career began on Broadway, where she worked as a substitute for the female lead in the romantic drama Picnic in the early 1950s. On February 8, 1960, the construction of the long planned boulevard began. The first star placed on the new Paseo was that of Stanley Kramer on March 28, 1960, near the intersection of Hollywood and Gower.

By that fall, the works had advanced enough that it was decided to dedicate the Walk on November 23, 1960, together with the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Stuart, as the creator of the idea, was appointed chairman of the Completion Committee and planned the ceremony to mark the completion of the project. In reality, the work wasn't completed until the spring of 1961, when it was finally accepted by the Public Works Board, with the first 1558 stars. The answer is Florence Annie Bridgwood, better known as “Flo Lawrence”, or the “girl from the biogram”.

Nowadays, her name is one of the most recognizable in the history of cinema, but for most of her life, which she spent in the spotlight of fame, no one really knew what to call her. In her book, she maintains that the French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1892) is the first modern celebrity model. The way it all began was a bit accidental. The first impression of a celebrity was that of silent movie star Norma Talmadge, added in 1927 when she accidentally stepped on wet cement.

This gave Grauman an idea that later became the theater's most famous film. It is not certain where the original idea came from; however, the ceiling of the dining room of the historic Hollywood Hotel once had stars painted on the ceiling with names of celebrities and that may have been a forerunner of the idea of placing stars on sidewalks. Bernhardt became the godmother of modern celebrity because her career coincided with several inventions that she cleverly used to promote herself. Like so many movie stars today, Lawrence learned how quickly celebrity attention can be extinguished.

Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia, explores self-promotion and stardom in her new book, The Drama of Celebrity. This famous theater opened its doors in 1927 and, over the years, has seen a good number of stars (real-life celebrities, rather than catwalk markers) at movie premieres and more. The handprints and feet of honored celebrities are based on the theater's esplanade, dubbed the “Esplanade of the Stars”. I think it's going to be interesting to see what happens to celebrity culture when it stops being a set of common reference points.

In what is now Europe, some of the first known celebrities were politicians, artists and athletes. The Chinese Theater, on the other hand, is also located on Hollywood Boulevard, and is known for the handprints of famous people on the cement of the theater's esplanade. While you're looking for the stars of your favorite celebrities, you can have fun watching people go by with all the tourists taking selfies and street artists disguised as superheroes ready to pose with tourists. If you ever want to be part of the star ceremony, when the star is dedicated with the gift of the honored celebrity, then you can do it.

To celebrate her addition, Ellen DeGeneres and former Total Request Live host Carson Daly spoke at the ceremony and offered their support.

Debora Cantv
Debora Cantv

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