Jimmy Kimmel getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today came at a pretty convenient time — his late-night show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” turns 10 on Saturday, and its time slot just moved to 11:35 p.m.
Turns out, that’s the way it works with most celebrities. ABCNews.com talked with Ana Martinez, the Walk’s VP of public relations (and @wofstargirl on Twitter), to find out how people get stars, how much they cost (spoiler alert: $30,000!) and why some of Hollywood’s biggest names — Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston — don’t have stars of their own.
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ABCNews.com: How does someone get a star? Is there an application process?
Martinez: It’s a process. We accept applications beginning in April, and there’s a committee that meets once a year in June. There’s a chairman and five committee members and they’re all experts in their fields. We consider candidates in five categories: radio, recording, television, motion picture, and live theater/live performance. The criteria is longevity in the field of entertainment, nominations for awards, awards and charitable work. They have to have done charitable work.
ABCNews.com: Who’s eligible to nominate someone?
Martinez: Anybody can nominate a celebrity with the permission of that celebrity. A fan club, a publicist, a relative, anybody.
ABCNews.com: And what does it cost?
Martinez: There is a sponsorship fee involved — $30,000. If selected, the fee is paid by the sponsor about a month or so before the ceremony. The fee goes toward the maintenance of the star — they’re made of a thin marble. We’re dealing with a $4 million repair issue right now, the walk is in need of a facelift. So the fee goes toward that, the ceremony, the barricades, and half of the fee goes toward the Hollywood Historic Trust, which is in charge of maintaining the stars.
ABCNews.com: How many stars do you give out each year?
Martinez: We get about 300 applications a year and they only select an average of 24 people, about 4 in each category. We want to do about two a month, but one year, we did 36.
ABCNews.com: So what about all these famous people that don’t have a star yet? Why aren’t they on the walk?
Martinez: Like Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington? Julia isn’t interested. Denzel was selected many years ago and never set a date for the ceremony. Clint Eastwood is another one, Al Pacino is another one. Because of that, now we have to have a sign off. They have to sign off and say they’re in agreement with the nomination, and they have to do the ceremony within five years or they expire.
Whitney Houston, when she passed away, people went crazy, asking, “Where’s her star?” She was offered a star in the ’90s but she never set her date. It expired. But I’m sure the committee would vote on a reinstatement. We’ve done posthumous ceremonies where a family member accepts it.
ABCNews.com: Which star has gotten the biggest crowd for their ceremony?
Martinez: We generally get about 600, but we had 4,000 fans for a mariachi singer named Vicente Fernández. The Latin ones are the biggest. They can range from 1,000 to 2,000 people. Those ceremonies are really crazy in a fun way. They’re really passionate, they get there early.