6 Misspellings on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
When the new batch of Hollywood Walk of Fame recipients receives their stars, they'd better double-check for typos. Though spelling errors happen to the best of us, most of ours aren't quite as high-profile as the errors on the stars that make up the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The next time you're playing tourist in L.A., be sure to look down at your feet to catch a few of these—three of them have never been corrected.
1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Seinfeld and Veep actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus was honored with a star in 2010—but was surprised to find that the star actually honored Julia Luis-Dreyfus. It was hastily repaired in time for the ceremony, but has since been properly fixed. "The misspelling was so perfectly apt, a great metaphor for show business," Louis-Dreyfus said after the ceremony. "Right when you think you've made it, you get knocked down. It's an ideal metaphor for how this business works."
2. Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper had a long career in Hollywood, from serving as the head of production for RKO Pictures to collaborating with John Ford on a series of Westerns in the 1950s. But one of his most important contributions was creating, writing, and producing King Kong (1933). Cooper was alive and in his 60s when he was inducted to the Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960—as Meriam C. Cooper—so it's especially strange that this typo has never been fixed.
3. Dick Van Dyke
When legendary actor, singer, and musician Dick Van Dyke got his star on the Walk of Fame in 1993, he needed some space—literally. His surname should be spelled with a space between Van and Dyke, but it was represented as a single word (Vandyke) on the star. As you might expect, Van Dyke had a good sense of humor about it: Hollywood's honorary mayor, Johnny Grant, handed him a pen, and Van Dyke drew a vertical line to separate the words. The star has since been fixed.
4. Mauritz Stiller
Director Mauritz Stiller's pioneering accomplishments in the Swedish film industry prompted Louis B. Mayer at MGM Studios to invite him to work on some films. Stiller agreed—on the condition that he could bring his favorite budding starlet with him. Though the director only lasted a couple of years in L.A., his protégé, who later changed her name to Greta Garbo, stuck around for a while.
When Stiller's star was added to the Walk of Fame in 1960 as one of the original 1550 stars installed, he fell victim to a bit of miscommunication. "I guess someone in the office took his name over the phone back then and Mauritz Stiller sounded like Maurice Diller," Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president Bill Welsh explained in 1988—which is exactly how it was spelled on the star. The mistake went uncorrected for 28 years, but was finally fixed prior to a visit by the king and queen of Sweden.
5. Lotte Lehmann
Charlotte "Lotte" Lehmann also has a misspelled star that has never been corrected. The German soprano was an international opera star who brought her talents to the United States in 1938. After she retired from singing professionally, Lehmann taught at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara for years, eventually heading up the vocal department. Like Merian C. Cooper, Lehmann was alive and well at the time of her induction, and likely aware that her name had been misspelled as Lottie (even though stars weren't required to attend the ceremony until 1968).
6. August Lumière
The Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, pioneered an early motion picture machine called the Cinématographe. Though Edison's Kinetoscope had appeared on the scene a few years earlier, it was only capable of showing one movie to one person. The Lumière brothers' invention allowed many people to watch at once. With such an important contribution to the industry, you'd think the powers that be would have taken great pains to spell everything correctly when honoring the brothers on the Walk of Fame in 1960. But Auguste's name was missing the e. Then again, Auguste and Louis probably would have been surprised to know they made the Hollywood Walk of Fame at all; by 1905, they had retired from the movie industry and had moved on to photography.
Honorable Mention: Sylvester Stallone at Mann's Chinese Theater
When Sylvester Stallone immortalized his handprints at Mann's Chinese Theater in 1983, he didn't have to worry about dotting any is, but he did forget to cross one of his ts. The action star forgot to cross the t in his last name when he signed the wet cement. Workers later finished it for him.