Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the biggest star of all

Actors come and go, radio presenters live or die by their ratings and musicians top the charts only to be dropped, hostages to the vagaries of fickle public opinion.

But some stars are destined to be remembered forever, their successes immortalized in terrazzo and brass on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — a draw for visitors from across the world that has more staying power than any individual celebrity. 

Launched in 1958, the walk has built up more than 2,600 stars, each a tribute to the contribution of a public figure in the fields of motion picture, television, recording, radio or, latterly, live theater. 

“The criteria for getting a star are longevity in the field of entertainment — of five years or more — awards nominations, and very important to us is that they do philanthropic work,” said Ana Martinez, who arranges the ceremonies.

The ceremonies often coincide with the release of a movie as it is the celebrity who chooses the date, and a $40,000 fee is paid by the honoree’s entourage — $15,000 to cover the event and the rest for maintenance.

Read also: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell get Hollywood stars

– Millions of tourists –

Nearly 50 years after its launch, the 2.5-mile (four-kilometer) stretch smack in the middle of Hollywood now attracts an estimated 10 million tourists a year, who come to soak up the glamour. 

“It’s very special to be here, to be here in person to see the stars of the singers I love and I listen to often, and of the actors that I grew up with,” Brazilian tourist Daniela Oliveira told AFP.

Not all the honorees are actors and musicians, of course — the late film critic Roger Ebert has one, as do hockey announcer Bob Miller, LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Winnie the Pooh. 

Other stars often go to groups — fictional or otherwise — such as the munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Muppets” and “The Simpsons,” while Kermit the Frog, Mickey Mouse and Godzilla have their own. 

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– Selection controversy –

E.M. Stuart, erstwhile president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, is credited with coming up with the idea in 1953 for an attraction that would “maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour.”

The walk’s initial costs came to $1.25 million and the first stars honored the likes of Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Burt Lancaster and Joanne Woodward. 

The selection process for honorees sparked controversy, however, when it emerged that Charlie Chaplin had been turned down for a star and his son sued unsuccessfully for damages amounting to $400,000. 

Chaplin finally got his star in 1972, five years before his death.

The walk was designed to accommodate 2,518 stars, and by the 1990s most of the space had gone, prompting the dedication of a second row.

Now there are hundreds of blank stars — leaving hope for newcomers to the entertainment industry pining after the Hollywood dream. 

Read also: Real places that inspired scenes in Oscar-nominated films

Source – TheJakartaPost

5 top Hollywood actresses with new TV shows

These days, more A-list Hollywood actresses are starting to embrace the world of TV.

Emma Stone

Hollywood’s IT girl Emma Stone will reunite with Superbad co-star Jonah Hill for the Netflix comedy series Maniac which is set for release later this year. The TV show, directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga, is based on a Norwegian series of the same name and it follows the fantasies of a patient in a mental institution.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts’ upcoming Netflix TV series Gypsy will see the actress portraying Jean Holloway, a therapist who gets intimate with the people in her patients’ lives. Due for release later this year. Hmm … wonder how Fifty Shades Of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson will work her magic on this show?

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro have starred in three films together, and are now doing TV work. The actors reunite in the upcoming HBO TV movie Wizard Of Lies, where Pfeiffer plays Ruth Madoff, the wife of convicted American financial fraudster Bernie Madoff (De Niro). The series is set to premiere in May.

Meryl Streep

Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep will be starring in Warner Bros TV’s The Nix, a miniseries about a man on a mission to prove that his mother is not guilty of an alleged crime. Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Nix is an adaptation of a critically-acclaimed novel by Nathan Hill. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Streep is earning US$825,000 (RM3.6mil) per episode.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts will produce and star as Eleanor Ford in Today Will Be Different, a TV series based on a novel of the same name. In the series, Roberts’ character tackles the issues that she has been putting on hold such as confronting her son who has been faking an illness and a wayward husband.

This article appeared on The Star newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post

Three agencies probe drug link to former Thai politician’s son

Police doubtful over Akarakit’s claim he bought lamborghini

THREE KEY agencies will discuss today possible links between an alleged Lao drug lord and Thai celebrities, including the son of a former famous politician. 

“If the ongoing investigation delivers sufficient evidence, we will immediately take action. We will consider what we have now in our hands at our upcoming meeting,” Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NBS) deputy chief Pol Maj-General Pornchai Charoenwong said yesterday. 

Officials from the Office of Police Forensic Science examine the Lamborghini linked to ‘Benz Racing’ and alleged Laotian ‘drug lord’ Xaysana Keopimpha.

He was referring to the meeting of the NBS, the Office of Narcotics Control Board and the Anti-Money Laundering Office that will start at 10am today. 

The meeting will focus on the alleged drugs-trafficking network of Xaysana Keopimpha, a high-profile Lao man who was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport last month.

Police believe Xaysana must have had an extensive network involving many members of Thailand’s so-called “high society” assisting him with money laundering and asset concealment. 

Portraying himself as a rich and well-connected man from Laos, Xaysana cultivated relations with many prominent Thai figures at parties he hosted in the Kingdom. 

Famous big-bike racer Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, in glasses, better known as “Benz Racing”, reports to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau yesterday after being implicated in the alleged drug trafficking network of high-profile Laotian Xaysana.

Last Thursday, police searched the home and car-accessory shop of famous motorcycle racer Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, better known “Benz Racing”, on suspicion that he might have been affiliated with the alleged drugs network. 

Akarakit, who is married to actress Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul, was not present during the search. 

He turned himself in to the NSB last Friday claiming that he did not personally know Xaysana. He told police that he had borrowed Bt6 million from Nattapon Nakkam, who is now in police detention for allegedly facilitating Xaysana’s drug deals.

“We have still had some doubts as to whether the loan really took place,” Pornchai said, adding that Akarakit did not have sufficient evidence to back his claim. 

Pornchai said police would probably summon Akarakit for questioning again. 

‘Benz Racing’ surrenders to police over drug kingpin case

Akarakit’s car-accessory shop was closed yesterday while residents in the area said they had not seen the bike-racing star since the scandal broke. 

Pornchai said assets of drug traffickers would be confiscated, and available records showed Xaysana’s alleged network had huge assets. 

Police suspect that Akarakit’s Lamborghini Gallardo SuperLeggera, which is worth more than Bt20 million, might actually belong to Xaysana. 

Akarakit had said he bought the sports car using his own money and the Bt6 million that he had borrowed from Nattapon. 

Source: TheNation / ThePhuketNews

Thailand – 7 SENSATIONAL festival outings

#Thailand - 7 SENSATIONAL festival outings

Music maps the year ahead, with art and food helping draw the throngs

BRACE YOURSELF for plenty of sensorial delights, cool sounds and creative fun as Thailand churns up a series of festivals celebrating music, art and the good life over the next few months.

Calendars ready? Mark these dates.

LONG KHAN MUSIC FEST

This Sunday at Root Garden on Thonglor Soi 3

Bangkok’s new green sanctuary on Soi Thonglor gives professional musicians who struggle to make a living a break with this free concert where the fans can chip in donations for whichever acts they like.

Running from 3 to 11pm, it has independent and chronically underrated acts like Poomjit, Ten to Twelve, 23 Street, Plot, the Lowdowns and De Flamingo in the line-up so far.

Facebook.com/LongKhanFest

KICKS FEST

Saturday, January 28, at the Soy Sauce Bar on Bangkok’s Charoenkrung Soi 24

The third edition of this ear-bending event devoted to indie punk and heavy rock features both homegrown bands and foreign guests, including Vietnamese expat punks James and the Van Der Beeks and Canadian rocker Yeti Jang. More acts are still to be announced. The local talent thus far includes Bomb at Track, Pistols99 and Pretty Punks. The noise starts at 7pm.

Facebook.com/TheWildestYouth

E-SAN MUSIC FEST

Saturday, January 28, at the Udonrat Dam in Khon Kaen

Dubbed “Thailand’s Woodstock”, this outdoor gathering packages the authentic sounds of the Northeast alongside other acts for a real world-music vibe. The roster for the fifth edition hasn’t been announced yet, but it will surely be worth the Bt300 admission fee.

Facebook.com/ESanMusicFestival

MYSTIC VALLEY FESTIVAL

Friday to Tuesday, February 3 to 7, at the Mountain Creek Resort in Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima

Edition Bangkok has mounted this EDM (electronic dance music) mass gathering that will occupy a vast green space in the woodland hills. More than 40 local and foreign DJs will keep the engine revving from four state-of-the-art stages, including such hot shots as Andy Moor, Arctic Moon, David Gravell, RAM, Richard Durand, Sven Vath, Phonique and Nakadia. The electronica will run the gamut from trap, trance and house to techno, with food trucks and a day market vying for attention. Camping facilities are free.

MysticThailand.com

MAYA MUSIC FESTIVAL

Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18, in Pattaya

The third edition of Thailand’s original EDM festival takes its unique Siamese themes to a new venue in the eastern coastal resort. Having launched with a jaw-dropping Naga theme in 2015 and topping that with a Hanuman stage last year, the event this year is bound to bring more surprises.

Among the mix of local and |overseas acts booked are KSHMR, Far East Movement, Timmy Trumpet, Blasterjaxx and superstar Tiesto. Standard tickets cost Bt4,000, but there are various packages to choose from.

MayaMusicFestival.com

#Thailand - 7 SENSATIONAL festival outings

WONDERFRUIT

Wednesday to Sunday, February 16 to 19, at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya

Also in its third year, this elaborate celebration of art, music, gastronomy and wellness is back at the same grounds not far from the seashore. Installation art and fantastic food prepared fresh by renowned chefs will attempt to distract you from the cool, eclectic music, as well the activities on offer, from hikes and crafts to yoga. It can be great fun for children, and pets are also welcome.

WonderfruitFestival.com

KOLOR IN THE PARK

Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19, at Marchat Wake Park in Pathum Thani

Electronic-music junkies have been looking forward to this splashy outdoor event’s return. For two days there’ll by dozens of acts from around the world sharing three stages, plus after-parties, light shows, a graffiti exhibition, gourmet food and an |arts-and-crafts.

www.KolourInThePark.com

#Thailand - 7 SENSATIONAL festival outings
Source: TheNation