6 Misspellings on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Sharon Graphics, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Sharon Graphics, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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

Julia Louis-Dreyfus's star on the Hollywood Walk of FameSharon Graphics, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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's star on the Hollywood Walk of FameJGKlein, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

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

Dick Van Dyke's star on the Hollywood Walk of FameLoren Javier, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

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

Lotte Lehmann's star on the Hollywood Walk of FameChuck Coker, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

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.

Thursday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Guitar Kits, Memory-Foam Pillows, and Smartwatches

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Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 3. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

10 Fascinating Facts About Samuel L. Jackson

SUHAIMI ABDULLAH/GETTY IMAGES
SUHAIMI ABDULLAH/GETTY IMAGES

If you watch enough movies, you’re bound to spot Samuel L. Jackson. The 71-year-old star (he'll turn 72 on December 21, 2020) is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, appearing in Oscar-winning films like Pulp Fiction (1994) as well as blockbuster franchises like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From his background as an activist to the origin of his R-rated catchphrase, here are some things you should know about the Oscar-nominated actor.

1. Swearing helped Samuel L. Jackson manage his stutter.

Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Before he was one of Hollywood's most accomplished actors, Samuel L. Jackson had trouble speaking in front of others. He was bullied for his stutter as a child, and he avoided talking in school for nearly a year because of it. He eventually took the initiative to treat the issue on his own by researching breathing techniques at the library. He also came up with a unique anchor word: motherf***er. The expletive that helped him manage his speech impediment would also become his professional calling card later in life.

2. Samuel L. Jackson was an usher at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral.

The assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968 thrust a young Jackson into the Civil Rights Movement. Jackson, who was a sophomore at Morehouse College at the time, flew from Atlanta to Memphis a few days later to march in support of a garbage workers' strike. Back in Atlanta, he agreed to be an usher at MLK’s funeral when he heard they needed volunteers. In 2018, he wrote about the experience for The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “I remember seeing people like Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. People that I thought I'd never see, let alone have a relationship with later on in life. The funeral was pretty much a blur.” He later staged a lock-in at his college that got him suspended.

3. Samuel L. Jackson almost became a marine biologist.

Jackson attended college in the 1960s with the intention of becoming a marine biologist. After he held the lock-in at Morehouse, he saw a performance by the Negro Ensemble Company that inspired him to pursue acting. When his suspension ended, he switched his major to drama and joined the theater group that inspired him.

4. Samuel L. Jackson was a stand-in on The Cosby Show.

Before he made it big in Hollywood, Jackson worked as a stand-in for Bill Cosby during tapings of the sitcom. "I was the right height, and I was the right skin tone," Jackson told Vulture in 2012 about the gig. "We did the blocking, while they did the camera choreography because it was a three-camera show. For two to three years, they would put his crazy sweaters on me."

5. Samuel L. Jackson's famous Jurassic Park line was inspired by another film.

Not long before he found a permanent place on Hollywood's A-list, Jackson played a small part in Jurassic Park (1993). John “Ray” Arnold wasn’t the star of the film, but he did say one of its more memorable lines: “Hold onto your butts.” Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp recently revealed that he borrowed the line from director Robert Zemeckis, who uttered it before watching reshoots of his film Death Becomes Her (1992).

6. Samuel L. Jackson asked for a purple lightsaber in the Star Wars prequels.

Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Jackson is such a big Star Wars fan that he immediately accepted the role of Jedi Mace Windu when George Lucas offered it to him. He did, however, make one request regarding the part: He wanted a purple lightsaber. Traditionally, lightsabers come in green for Jedi and red for Sith, but Lucas reluctantly agreed to make an exception for Mace Windu in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002). Jackson recounted the origins of his unique weapon on The Graham Norton Show: “We had this big arena, this fight scene with all these Jedi and they’re fighting or whatever. And I was like, well s***, I want to be able to find myself in this big ol’ scene. So I said to George, ‘You think maybe I can get a purple lightsaber?’”

7. Samuel L. Jackson is the highest grossing actor of all time.

Samuel L. Jackson has appeared in more than 150 movies, including blockbuster franchises like Star Wars and several of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including The Avengers series. So it’s not surprising that the actor has earned the distinction of being Hollywood’s highest-grossing actor. The combined box office earnings of all his films—which includes Avengers: Endgame, the biggest money-maker of all time—add up to more than $13 billion worldwide.

8. Samuel L. Jackson has his own wig consultant.

Jackson is bald in real life, but he has sported many iconic hairstyles over the course of his movie career. His ‘dos have become such a big part of his on-screen personas that he employs his own personal hair stylist and wig consultant. Robert L. Stevenson has used Jackson’s head as a canvas on dozens of films.

9. Samuel L. Jackson appears in Kill Bill Vol. 2.

After first collaborating with director Quentin Tarantino on Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown (1997), Jackson made a brief cameo in his Kill Bill series. The next time you watch Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), pay close attention to Rufus the wedding piano player—he’s played by a familiar face.

10. You can hear Samuel L. Jackson on Amazon’s Alexa.

Jackson is known for his distinctive voice and colorful vocabulary. In 2019, the actor lent his vocal talents to Amazon’s Alexa. The Samuel L. Jackson Alexa option has many of the same capabilities as regular Alexa, including playing music, setting your alarm clock, and singing “Happy Birthday.” You can even let the feature use swear words for a more authentic experience.