SAG’s kicked off its diamond anniversary celebration by getting a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
In Thursday morning ceremonies, the guild’s Award of Excellence star near the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, site of the SAG’s first membership meeting in 1933.
Event drew about 500 including former SAG presidents Kathleen Nolan, Barry Gordon, Melissa Gilbert, Ed Asner and William Schallert. SAG member (and honorary Hollywood mayor) Johnny Grant hosted, noting that he’d achieved the goal of getting every actor in Hollywood a star.
Grant got the idea a year ago duing a Hollywood Chamber luncheon when he was seated with SAG Hollywood director Ilyanne Morden Kichaven and actor William Russ. “William asked me why SAG hadn’t gotten a star, so I asked Johnny and he said, ‘I think we can do that,’ ” Kichaven recalled.
The star, awarded by the Hollywood Historic Trust, representing only the fifth for an organization and the first for a labor union. The org’s presented more than 2,350 other stars; the other orgs honored with stars are Variety, KTLA, Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.
Cost of the SAG star was funded by contributions to the SAG Foundation, including a sponsorship by Ford Motor, which supplied a fleet of 15 hybrid vehicles to ferry guests from a morning breakfast at Hollywood and Highland to the celebration.