A Guide To L.A.'s Other Walks Of Fame
By Michael Darling
Every year, more than 10 million people visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame to step on the over 2,500 bright-pink terrazzo stars of film, TV, radio, music and stage legends. While this may be the most famous "Walk of Fame" in L.A., it's not the only one. The Los Angeles area is home to other walks of fame (some little more than a few steps) honoring everyone from aviation pioneers to porn stars to animal actors. Here are the rest of Los Angeles' walks, some of which are now defunct, and some still active.
THE AVENUE OF THE ATHLETES
First Induction: 1976
Last Induction: 1985
In the 1970s, local camera store owner and former Dodgers team photographer L. Andrew Castle wanted to bring tourists to the Echo Park area by creating a walk of fame honoring sports stars. The Avenue inducted two classes of athletes in 1976 and 1977, but following Castle's death in 1978, the project fell by the wayside. A final class of four inductees was honored in 1985 before coming to an end, seemingly for good. Athletes on the Avenue are honored with a brass plaque featuring a symbol related to their sport, like a shoe for running or a baseball bat and glove for baseball. The 32 inductees include Babe Ruth, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Castle himself, whose plaque depicts a camera.
The Avenue of the Athletes is located in Echo Park on Sunset Boulevard between Mohawk Street and Laveta Terrace.
WESTWOOD WALK OF FAME
First Induction: 1977
Last Induction: 1978
In 1977, the new Westwood Village Square mall became home to a walk of fame honoring the winners of the Best Picture Oscar. The September 1977 debut of the walk was a star studded event with actors from many Best Picture winners appearing at the unveiling, including Wings star Charles "Buddy" Rodgers, Gone With The Wind's Olivia de Havilland and Rocky writer-star Sylvester Stallone. A year later a plaque was unveiled for 1978 winner Annie Hall, but none have been added since. Additionally, remodels of the shopping plaza has led to the disappearance of a couple of plaques.
The Westwood Walk of Fame is located at Westwood Village Square, 1101 Westwood Boulevard in Westwood.
FLIGHT PATH WALK OF FAME
First Induction: 1995
This walk of fame, established by the Flight Path Learning Center, honors aviation pioneers and is located along the flight path of LAX. Fifty-one individuals and organizations like Chuck Yeager, Sally Ride and JPL are honored with plaques that, unlike many other walks, give a brief list of their achievements.
The Flight Path Walk of Fame is located on Sepulveda Boulevard between Manchester Avenue and 92nd Street in Westchester.
MEDICAL WALK OF FAME
First Induction: July 19, 1984
Last Induction: July 19, 1984
Featuring just a half-dozen hand and footprints, this might be the most exclusive walk of fame in Los Angeles. As a plaque by the handprints explains, the Medical Walk of Fame is "dedicated to the hundreds of actors and actresses who have portrayed medical professionals on popular television shows and in motion pictures." The six actors featured are Ben Casey stars Vince Edwards and Bettye Ackerman, St. Elswhere stars Ed Begley Jr., Cynthia Sikes and David Morse and General Hospital star John Beradino, who also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Medical Walk of Fame is located in Exposition Park, outside the Park Management/Department of Public Safety building.
PORN BLOCK OF FAME
First Induction: 1998
Last Induction: 2012
In 1998 Hustler began honoring legends of the porn industry outside their flagship store on Sunset with Chinese Theater-style hand print ceremonies. However, it was announced last year that Gwyneth Paltrow had bought the property the Hustler store sat on, and was planning on tearing it down to open a private club. So, Hustler began moving to a new location on Hollywood Boulevard, taking most (but not all) of their Porn Block of Fame handprints with them.
Currently ten handprints, including those of Randy Spears and Nina Hartley, are outside the still active Sunset shop. On Hollywood Boulevard, a dirty dozen handprints, including those of Marilyn Chambers and Hustler founder Larry Flynt, directly touch the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Porn Block of Fame is located at 8920 Sunset Blvd., in West Hollywood and 6540 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood.
GOLDEN AGE OF PORN WALK OF FAME
First Induction: 1971
Last Induction: 1987
Ironically, the L.A. area's first public tribute to porn stars didn't begin with a porn star. In 1971, local radio DJ Jay Lawrence campaigned to get his hand and footprints enshrined at the Chinese Theater, but theater ownership declined. However, the Pussycat Lounge, a porno theater, welcomed Lawrence with open arms and held a cement ceremony in his honor. Over the next 16 years, the Pussycat honored seven actual porn stars including Marilyn Chambers, Linda Lovelace and John Holmes.
The Golden Age of Porn Walk of Fame is located 7734 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.
First Induction: 1985
The entrance to Guitar Center's flagship store features the greatest concert line-up that will never be. The eclectic group of handprints honors music legends from many genres, including James Brown, Mana, Grace Slick, Les Paul, Black Sabbath, Blondie and Carole King. Some of the honorees have added a personal touch; the members of Iron Maiden, for example, included the skeletal hand of their fictional mascot Eddie, while the late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister used his concrete handprint to flip the bird for all of eternity.
RockWalk is located 7425 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.
REDD FOXX WALK OF FAME
First Induction: 1987
Last Induction: 1987
Sanford and Son star Redd Foxx had production offices that once stood at 933 N. La Brea. While the building is gone, a small reminder still exists in the form of the so-called Redd Foxx Walk of Fame. At some point in 1987, Foxx invited his friends and former co-stars (like comedy duo Leo + Skillet, and Sanford co-star Lynn Hamilton) to sign their names on the sidewalk in front of the building. Unfortunately, over the last 30 years, sidewalk repairs have led to the destruction of parts of the “walk”.
The Redd Foxx Walk of Fame is located at 933 N. La Brea Ave. in West Hollywood.
TV AND MOVIE ANIMAL WALK OF FAMEIt's not really a proper walk of fame, but, outside the Burbank Animal Shelter, two cement blocks honor a few winners of the American Humane Association's Picture Animal Top Star of the Year (PATSY) award. While the PATSYs existed only from 1951 to 1986, the "walk" features the hoof and paw prints of first ten PATSY winners like the Shaggy Dog and Francis the Talking Mule. Benji, who didn't win a PATSY, was also included. As for when the first inductions were made, we called the Burbank Animal Shelter but they couldn't confirm the exact year.
The TV and Movie Animal Walk of Fame is located at 1150 N. Victory Pl. in Burbank.
STUDIO CITY WALK OF FAME
First Induction: 2003
Established by the Studio City Improvement Agency and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission, these granite diamonds pay tribute to movies and TV shows filmed in Studio City. Titles featured on the walk include Will and Grace, Rawhide, Orson Welles’ Macbeth and a slew of westerns produced by Republic Pictures.
The Studio City Walk of Fame is located at Ventura Boulevard between Carpenter Avenue and Rhodes Avenue in Studio City.
Michael Darling is a Los Angeles based freelance writer and editor; he is a contributing writer to the Los Feliz Ledger and former staff member of the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Follow him on Twitter.