The Stories Behind Hollywood Hand Prints

If you’ve been to Hollywood, it is likely you have seen the famous handprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  If you haven’t been to Hollywood, it’s likely you’ve seen images and videos of the handprint ceremonies on television or over the internet.  There are over 200 famous handprints in front of this theater.  Most celebrities press both handprints and footprints into the cement.

If you do happen to go one day, it may be fun to find your favorite celebrity and compare your hand (or foot) to theirs.  You can see how they signed their name and read anything else they put on their slab.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner immortalized with Hollywood handprints

Little-Known Facts

Here are some interesting facts you may not have known about the famous handprints in Hollywood.

  • The first handprint was done back in May of 1927 by Norma Talmadge.  The last handprint was done just this last February of 2013 by Robert Dinero.
  • Whoopi Goldberg also pressed one of her dreadlocks into the cement.
  • In 1943, Betty Grable did an imprint of her leg in the cement.
  • Instead of his hand print, John Wayne left an imprint of his fist in the cement.
  • George Burns was smoking a cigar when he left his handprint and also left an imprint of his cigar.
  •  Marilyn Monroe dotted the “I” in her name with a rhinestone, but it was chipped out later by a vandal.
  • It is reported that Marilyn Monroe wanted to leave an imprint of her backside in the cement but was told not to.
  • It is often thought that only actors have their handprints immortalized here.  There are prints from all over the entertainment industry.  They include former Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel, opera singers Lauritz Melchoir and Ezio Pinza and gossip writer Louella Parsons.
  • The stars of “Harry Potter” Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint also left imprints of their wands next to their hands.
  • Johnny Grant placed his hands in the cement on two separate occasions – in 1997 and 2007.
  • Harold Lloyd left the imprint of his eyeglasses.
  • Al Jolson left an imprint of his knees.
  • Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope left imprints of their noses.
  • Sonja Henie left an imprint of her ice skating blade.
  • The only person who has prints here and is not a part of the entertainment industry is Rosa Grauman, Sid Grauman’s mother.  Sid is the owner of the theater.
  • It is a rumor that Charlie Chaplin once had is prints in the cement but later removed with concrete cutting tools.  This is not true.  His prints were never placed here.  Once a person has their prints in front of Grauman’s theater, they will never be removed.

More Than Just Famous Prints

Grauman’s Theater is a fun place to visit if you happen to be in Hollywood.  The forecourt (where the prints are) is open 24 hours a day.  If you would like to see the inside of the theater, you can go on a tour or purchase a ticket to a movie that is shown there.  This is also the spot for movie premiers and celebrity sightings.  It is a historic building and a popular tourist sight.  This theater has hosted thousands of movie premiers, corporate parties, celebrity birthday parties and even some Academy Award ceremonies.

When you go to the forecourt to see the prints of the stars, allow yourself about 30-45 minutes to go through the prints.  You will be given a map to the prints so that you may see the ones you would like to see.  Have fun comparing your hands with the hands of your favorite celebrities.  It may be the closest thing you get to touching them in real life.

Guest Author: Jamie Bailey has written for many years about a variety of subjects.  She especially enjoys writing about travel, Hollywood gossip and health.  Next time she visits Hollywood, she hopes to see a celebrity sighting and maybe even hold Brad Pitts hand(print).

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