Anyone who’s anyone in the ranks of celebrity-ville wants their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a coveted public monument covering eighteen blocks in California. These five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars display the names of musicians, directors, producers, fictional characters, theatrical groups and actors seen by millions of visitors each year. The latest addition: actor and comedian Steve Guttenberg, and I have to say, it’s about time. Guttenberg will become star number 2,455.
I first saw Guttenberg in a Dentyne Gum commercial in 1978, but you’d probably remember him best as Carey Mahoney in the Police Academy movies (1984-1987), or as Michael Kellam in Three Men and a Baby (1987). He’s also starred in other major Hollywood films including Cocoon and Short Circuit. He’s funny, intelligent and talented, but that’s not why I’m happy to see a star erected in his honor.
With a goal to better the opportunities for both youth and the homeless, he created Guttenhouse—apartments in South Los Angeles to help kids just after life as foster children. This amazing program helps kids through an on-site social worker to guide them into their adult responsibilities of life.
Also, Hollywood’s charity arm, the Entertainment Industry Foundation asked him to be their Ambassador for children’s issues. This includes working with VSP and Altair Eyeglasses in providing 50,000 underprivileged kids with glasses through Sight for Students—a $7 million program.
Unlike many actors and actresses, Steve Guttenberg didn’t forget where he came from, or the circumstances in which he grew up. His considerable efforts also include supporting and sponsoring charity events in his original stomping grounds, Plainedge School District, where he attended high school.
His love for kids and their welfare also showed in his direct participation of the CBS School Break Specials as a producer and director. He debuted as a director with the CBS School Break Special Love Off Limits (1993) and executive-produced Gangs, earning him a well-deserved Emmy nomination.
Even Guttenberg’s spare time involves charities and organizations which revolved around the welfare of youth. These included The Starlight Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Friends of the Children/Bridges.
Though the honor of the Hollywood Walk of Fame usually revolves around the accomplishments in entertainment, my satisfaction comes in knowing Guttenberg is a person of substance. His star was unveiled Monday, December 12, 2011 and was appropriately placed in front of the Police Activities League on Hollywood Boulevard.