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Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart & Taylor Lautner Deserve Chinese Theatre Honor?

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Chinese Theatre cement ceremony
Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson

In the last couple of days, two hand/footprint ceremonies at Grauman's Chinese Theatre have been announced: Mickey Rourke will dirty his hands and feet on October 31; The Twilight Saga trio of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner will do the same on November 3. Now, some have been complaining that Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner don't deserve to have their hand and footprints immortalized on the forecourt of the Chinese Theatre. Well, they're wrong.

Most of those whose prints now adorn the forecourt facing Hollywood Boulevard took part in the cement ritual long before they became movie legends. In fact, the ceremony has chiefly been nothing more than a publicity stunt to plug performers and/or directors in connection with a new release, as is the case with Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner, whose The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 opens on November 18, and Mickey Rourke, whose Immortals opens on November 11.

Joan Crawford had been a star for only one year when she left her mark in cement in September 1929, shortly after the opening of her jazz age hit Our Modern Maidens. Ann Harding was immortalized in cement – that is, barring a major earthquake – in 1930, the year after her arrival in Hollywood. Don Ameche, Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, Jackie Cooper, Shirley Temple, Jean Harlow, Diana Wynyard, and Deanna Durbin had been making movies for a handful of years – and nothing nearly as successful as Twilight, New Moon, or Eclipse – when they had their ceremony. Linda Darnell and Carmen Miranda had barely arrived in Hollywood when their footprints were set for posterity.

Henry Fonda, Rita Hayworth, Charles Boyer, Edward G. Robinson, and Charles Laughton were cemented in 1942, the year their omnibus drama Tales of Manhattan hit theaters. Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison were joined in cement and on screen (Anna and the King of Siam) in 1946. And Oskar Werner and Hildegarde Knef (or Neff) – neither of whom was a well-known film personality in the United States – in 1951, the year they starred in Decision Before Dawn. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were plugging Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) when they posed for the cameras with their hands covered in wet cement.

That goes to show that the Grauman's Chinese Theatre hand/footprint ceremony is all about the machinations of studio publicists, not well-established stardom. In fact, the flacks at 20th Century Fox must have worked round the clock throughout the '40s and '50s. What with cement ceremonies for all the stars in the previous paragraph, plus Darnell, Miranda, Jeanne Crain, Gene Tierney, Betty Grable, Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark, Clifton Webb, Susan Hayward, William Lundigan, Monty Woolley, Bette Davis (in 1950, for All About Eve), Cary Grant (1951, People Will Talk), Olivia de Havilland (1952, My Cousin Rachel), Jean Simmons (1953, The Robe), and The King and I's Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.

Second-rank 1950s leading lady Rhonda Fleming got hers in 1981 because at the time she was married to Chinese Theatre owner Ted Mann. Family ties also led to the inclusion of Rosa Grauman, the deceased mother of Chinese Theatre founder Sid Grauman. (Kobe Bryant's ceremony was reportedly a “mock” one.)

And really, no matter how much you may hate Twilight, are Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner any less deserving than, say, Herbie the Love Bug, or Star Wars' C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader? Or John Travolta back in 1980? Or Sylvester Stallone back in 1983? Or Steven Seagal in 1995? Or Jack Valenti no matter when? The Harry Potter trio – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint – had their ceremony in 2007.

So, set your anti-Twilight prejudices aside and admit that however long their careers turn out to be, Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner are not only fully deserving of the honor, but at present they're bigger stars than most of those whose hands and footprints now adorn the Chinese Theatre's forecourt.

Reminder: to date, the three Twilight Saga movies have grossed $1.8 billion worldwide. How many of those hand and footprint owners – even if the receipts of their movies are adjusted for inflation – can claim a similar or higher figure?

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint picture: Bob Freeman / chinesetheatres.com.

Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Hollywood Chinese Theatre
Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Hollywood Chinese Theatre

The list below consists of those who have left their handprints and footprints at Hollywood's Chinese Theatre. Curiously, during the studio era, most of the stars and directors who took part in the ceremony were employed by one of three studios: MGM, 20th Century Fox, and RKO. Stars from Warner Bros., Universal, Columbia, and – to a lesser extent – Paramount are mostly absent.

Exceptions include those whose “cement ceremony” took place at the time they were making movies at MGM or Fox, e.g., Edward G. Robinson and Rita Hayworth in 1942, Bette Davis in 1950, Olivia de Havilland in 1952. Strangely, one-time Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Jean Hersholt shows up twice on the list.

Norma Talmadge (post dated for the opening day May 18, 1927)
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (April 30, 1927)
Norma Shearer (August 1, 1927)
Harold Lloyd (November 21, 1927)
William S. Hart (November 28, 1927)
Tom Mix and Tony the Wonder Horse (December 12, 1927)
Colleen Moore (December 19, 1927)
Gloria Swanson (circa 1927)
Constance Talmadge (circa 1927)
Charles Chaplin (circa January 1928)
Pola Negri (April 2, 1928)
Bebe Daniels (May 11, 1929)
Marion Davies (May 13, 1929)
Janet Gaynor (May 29, 1929)
Joan Crawford (September 14, 1929)
Ann Harding (August 30, 1930)
Raoul Walsh (November 14, 1930)
Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler (January 31, 1931)
Jackie Cooper (December 12, 1931)
Eddie Cantor (March 9, 1932)
Diana Wynyard (January 26, 1933)
The Marx Brothers (Feb. 17, 1933)
Jean Harlow (September 25 and September 29, 1933)
Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald (December 4, 1934)
Shirley Temple (March 14, 1935)
Joe E. Brown (March 5, 1936)
Al Jolson (March 12, 1936)
Freddie Bartholomew (April 4, 1936)
Bing Crosby (April 8, 1936)
Victor McLaglen (May 25, 1936)
William Powell and Myrna Loy (October 20, 1936)
Clark Gable and W. S. Van Dyke (January 20, 1937)
Dick Powell and Joan Blondell (February 10, 1937)
Fredric March (April 21, 1937)
May Robson (April 22, 1937)
Tyrone Power and Loretta Young (May 31, 1937)
Sonja Henie (June 28, 1937)
The Ritz Brothers (September 22, 1937)
Eleanor Powell (December 23, 1937)
Don Ameche (January 27, 1938)
Fred Astaire (February 4, 1938)
Deanna Durbin (February 7, 1938)
Alice Faye and Tony Martin (March 20, 1938)
Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy (July 20, 1938)
Jean Hersholt (October 11, 1938)
Mickey Rooney (October 18, 1938)
Nelson Eddy (December 28, 1938)
Ginger Rogers (September 5, 1939)
Judy Garland (October 10, 1939)
Jane Withers (November 6, 1939)
Linda Darnell (March 18, 1940)
Rosa Grauman and George Raft (March 25, 1940)
John Barrymore (September 5, 1940)
Jack Benny (January 13, 1941)
Carmen Miranda (March 24, 1941)
Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor (June 11, 1941)
Rudy Vallee (July 21, 1941)
Cecil B. DeMille (August 7, 1941)
The Family of Judge James K. Hardy (Aug. 15, 1941)
Abbott and Costello (December 8, 1941)
Edward Arnold (January 6, 1942)
Joan Fontaine (May 26, 1942)
Red Skelton (June 18, 1942)
Greer Garson (July 23, 1942)
Henry Fonda, Rita Hayworth, Charles Boyer, Edward G. Robinson, and Charles Laughton (July 24, 1942)
Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour (February 5, 1943)
Betty Grable (Feb. 15, 1943)
Monty Woolley (May 28, 1943)
Gary Cooper (August 13, 1943)
Esther Williams and Private Joe Brian (August 1, 1944)
Gene Tierney (January 24, 1945)
Jack Oakie (Feb. 21, 1945)
Jimmy Durante (October 31, 1945)
Sid Grauman (January 24, 1946)
Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison (July 8, 1946)
Margaret O'Brien (Aug. 15, 1946)
Humphrey Bogart (August 21, 1946)
Louella Parsons (September 30, 1946)
Ray Milland (April 17, 1947)
Lauritz Melchior (November 17, 1947)
James Stewart (February 13, 1948)
Van Johnson (March 25, 1948)
George Jessel (March 1, 1949)
Roy Rogers and Trigger (April 21, 1949)
Richard Widmark and Charles Nelson (April 24, 1949)
Jeanne Crain (October 17, 1949)
Jean Hersholt (October 20, 1949)
Anne Baxter and Gregory Peck (Dec. 15, 1949)
Gene Autry and Champion (December 23, 1949)
John Wayne (January 25, 1950)
Lana Turner (May 24, 1950)
Bette Davis (November 6, 1950)
William Lundigan (December 29, 1950)
Cary Grant (July 16, 1951)
Susan Hayward (August 10, 1951)
Hildegard Knef (as Hildegarde Neff) and Oskar Werner (December 13, 1951)
Jane Wyman (September 17, 1952)
Ava Gardner (October 21, 1952)
Clifton Webb (December 7, 1952)
Olivia de Havilland (December 9, 1952)
Adolph Zukor (January 5, 1953)
Ezio Pinza (January 26, 1953)
Donald O'Connor and mother Effie O'Connor (Feb. 25, 1953)
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell (June 26, 1953)
Jean Simmons (September 24, 1953)
Danny Thomas (January 26, 1954)
James Mason (March 30, 1954)
Alan Ladd (May 12, 1954)
Edmund Purdom (August 30, 1954)
Van Heflin (October 8, 1954)
George Murphy (November 8, 1954)
Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr (March 22, 1956)
Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and George Stevens (September 26, 1956)
Elmer C. Rhoden (September 16, 1958)
Rosalind Russell (Feb. 19, 1959)

Cher, Chinese TheatrePhoto: Cher, getting her hands dirty while plugging Burlesque in November 20120. Bob Freeman / chinesetheatres.com.

Cantinflas (December 28, 1960)
Doris Day (January 19, 1961)
Natalie Wood (December 5, 1961)
Charlton Heston (January 18, 1962)
Sophia Loren (July 26, 1962)
Kirk Douglas (November 1, 1962)
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (May 25, 1963)
Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine (June 29, 1963)
Mervyn LeRoy (Oct. 15, 1963)
Hayley Mills (Feb. 22, 1964)
Dean Martin (March 21, 1964)
Peter Sellers (June 3, 1964)
Debbie Reynolds (January 14, 1965)
Marcello Mastroianni (February 8, 1965)
Frank Sinatra (July 20, 1965)
Julie Andrews (March 26, 1966)
Dick Van Dyke (June 25, 1966)
Steve McQueen (March 21, 1967)
Sidney Poitier (June 23, 1967)
Anthony Quinn (December 21, 1968)
Danny Kaye (October 19, 1969)
Gene Kelly (November 24, 1969)
Ali MacGraw (December 14, 1972)
Jack Nicholson (June 17, 1974)
Tom Bradley and Ted Mann (May 18, 1977)
Herbie the love bug (May 27, 1977).
The Chinese Theatre's 50th Anniversary (May 24, 1977)
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2, and Darth Vader (August 3, 1977)
George Burns (January 25, 1979)
John Travolta (June 2, 1980)
Burt Reynolds (September 24, 1981)
Rhonda Fleming (September 28, 1981)
Sylvester Stallone (June 29, 1983)
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (May 16, 1984)
Donald Duck and Clarence Nash (May 21, 1984)
Clint Eastwood (August 21, 1984)
Mickey Rooney (Feb. 18, 1986)
Eddie Murphy and Hollywood's 100th Anniversary (May 14, 1987)
Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, George Takei, and Walter Koenig (December 5, 1991)
Harrison Ford (June 4, 1992)
Michael Keaton (June 15, 1992)
Tom Cruise (June 15, 1992)
Mel Gibson (August 23, 1993)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (July 14, 1994)
Meryl Streep (September 25, 1994)
Whoopi Goldberg (Feb. 2, 1995)
Bruce Willis (May 18, 1995)
Steven Seagal (July 10, 1995)
Jim Carrey (November 1, 1995)
Johnny Grant (May 13, 1997)
Robert Zemeckis (July 8, 1997)
Michael Douglas (September 10, 1997)
Al Pacino (October 16, 1997)
Denzel Washington (Jan. 15, 1998)
Walter Matthau (April 2, 1998)
Warren Beatty (May 21, 1998)
Danny Glover (July 7, 1998)
Tom Hanks (July 23, 1998)
Robin Williams (December 22, 1998)
Susan Sarandon (January 11, 1999)
William F. “Bill” Hertz (March 18, 1999)
Ron Howard (March 23, 1999)
Sean Connery (April 13, 1999)
Richard Gere (July 26, 1999)
Terry Semel and Bob Daly (September 30, 1999)
Anthony Hopkins (January 11, 2001)
Nicolas Cage (August 14, 2001)
Martin Lawrence (November 19, 2001)
John Woo (May 21, 2002)
Morgan Freeman (June 5, 2002)
Christopher Walken (October 8, 2004)
Jack Valenti (December 6, 2004)
Sherry Lansing (Feb. 16, 2005)
Adam Sandler (May 17, 2005)
Johnny Depp (September 16, 2005)
Samuel L. Jackson (January 30, 2006)
Kevin Costner (September 6, 2006)
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Jerry Weintraub (June 5, 2007)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint (July 9, 2007)
Will Smith (December 10, 2007)
Michael Caine (July 11, 2008)
Hugh Jackman (April 21, 2009)
Robert Downey Jr. (December 7, 2009)
Jerry Bruckheimer (May 17, 2010)
Cher (November 18, 2010)
Robert Duvall (January 5, 2011)
Helen Mirren (March 28, 2011)
Peter O'Toole (April 30, 2011)
Jennifer Aniston (July 7, 2011)
Mickey Rourke (Oct. 31, 2011)
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner (Nov. 3, 2011)

Source: Via Chinese Theatres and Wikipedia.

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6 Comments to Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart & Taylor Lautner Deserve Chinese Theatre Honor?

  1. Joyce

    Well, sorry folks….I don't agree. Mostly because the newer generation stars are stars for no reason at all. Most of them can't act their way out of a paper bag and they are only famous because of their looks…….PERIOD! The young kids watching, fall in love with them and their story lines only and not because of their acting abilities. I'm not saying that these people can't act, I'm saying that they didn't work hard to get where they are….they were given opportunities from friends and family. Kristen Stewart is a perfect example of this. Some people get everything handed to them in life……others have to study and work hard to get anywhere. The latter are the people I respect and want to throw my hard earned dollars to. If you disagree, that's ok, but think about this…..why do you think there are sooooo many very young millionaires nowadays??? Too many people just walking in the door and money thrown at them without them doing anything to deserve it. You don't see long lasting stars anymore. Once signs of aging start to show up, out the door they go and in comes the next uneducated dummy you can throw your $$ to!! Even the writers are foul and lazy nowadays!! Every movie we see are movies that have already been done. The new and original ones are boring and they have the nerve to charge you more money to watch that crap. Sorry, but its true, and most of you know it.

  2. Bettybmusing

    Truth wins the ceremony. Thank you for your excellent list of who's who, what, when and why. For many their “Chosen Ones” will always be the ones who should received “all”the honors…sad. I am truly happy the Twilight cast is receiving this well deserved honor.

  3. AJ

    Of course they deserve this as much, if not more, than a lot of people who have been given this gesture. People are just being jealous, bitter and nasty as usual!!!!!!

  4. grace

    Thank you for the information,btw twilight also paved the way for vampire themed tv shows, e.g. true blood,vampire diaries et al. The mere fact that these shows created jobs for lots of people is reason enough for this honor.

  5. Alex Anisimow

    Well Deanna Durbin helped save Universal Studios from going under with her first two films which were both smash hits - not from marketing hype, but rather her own genuine raw talent. Her prints were cemented on premiere night of her third movie called MAD ABOUT MUSIC which was another massive hit. Even so early in her brilliant career, Deanna Durbin was ALREADY a STAR and deserved the Chinese Theatre accolade.

    See her ceromony on video at my website - be amazed - and that ain't hype!!

  6. jen

    No argument from me. The receipts are proof enough!