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Ebert Gets Starred

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 25, 2005 2:35PM

We don't normally go to Bill Zwecker for breaking news, but we'll give credit where credit is due. Though the AP wires just picked it up this weekend (thanks to a press release from Disney), Zwecker reported back at the beginning of April about Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert 2005_04_25_ebert.jpg
receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Timed to coincide with the end of his Overlooked Film Festival wrapped up in Urbana, the announcement also noted a local celebration is in the works as Ebert joins such luminaries as Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck and Pat Sajak.

Chicagoist was surprised to learn that there is an actual nomination period for the Walk of Fame. Apparently, one cannot go nominating someone willy-nilly anytime one gets the urge and a $15,000 nominating fee burning a hole in his or her pocket. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce website also states that just because someone gets nominated does not mean they automatically receive a star. In fact, several hundred nominations are received each year and “all nominated artists are carefully and objectively evaluated.”

So forgive us if we were shocked (shocked!) to learn that American Idol’s own Ryan Seacrest was the recipient of a Walk of Fame star just last week. “But Chicagoist,” you exclaim, “don’t nominees have to be working in the field for five years?” Yes, Virginia, but you’re forgetting about Seacrest’s ground-breaking work in radio and on the 1997 kids game show The Click, which combined the excitement of the still-nascent Internet with the thrill of spelling. Plus, he’s pretty.

Back to Ebert. Along with the star, Ebert will be getting his very own day here in Chicago courtesy of Mayor Daley. On July 12th at 11:00 AM, a dedication ceremony will be held at the Chicago Theatre for a sidewalk plaque honoring Ebert’s contributions to movie journalism. July 12th is also the kickoff date for the Sixth Annual Chicago Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park, which runs until August 23rd every Tuesday night in Grant Park (as well as on other days at other locations throughout the city). This year all the films were chosen by Ebert, with the lineup as follows:

Citizen Kane - July 12
Annie Hall - July 19
My Darling Clementine - July 26
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial - Aug. 2
The Night of the Hunter - Aug. 9
The Hustler - Aug. 16
Star Wars - Aug. 23

You were expecting, maybe, North?