Walk of Fame:putting stars in their places

When it comes to raw power, few people in this entertainment capital wield as much as Ana Martinez. She is not a movie mogul, making or breaking fortunes with sideways glances. She's not an A-list actress strutting red carpets and commanding billion-fan-armies on Twitter.

Martinez decides where stars are placed on the Walk of Fame.

"I've been called every name in the book. People can get pretty threatening when they don't get their way."

A word to the wise: Don't mess with Martinez. Employed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, she has reigned over the world's most famous sidewalk for 25 years, placing more than 600 pink terrazzo stars, and takes her job very seriously.

"I have had to adopt a certain persona," she said, demonstrating a scowl that could stop traffic. "But I'm actually quite nice."

Stars in cement: It's pretty silly when you think about it. We're going to honour you by letting people step on you?

But the Hollywood Walk of Fame, started in 1958 and now embedded with 2,484 stars, is big business. The chamber estimates that about 10 million people visit the 15-block stretch of Hollywood Boulevard each year.

The stars themselves cost $30,000 which covers their installation and raises money for the chamber and Hollywood Historic Trust. About 300 applications for stars are made each spring, according to Martinez, and a five-person committee picks up to 24 honorees for the following year.

Colorful Martinez writes a Q-and-A column on the Walk of Fame website called Ask Star Girl. Sample question: "I hear that there are celebrities buried under their stars. Is that true?" Answer: "If people were buried under their stars, which, by the way, measure 3x3, they would have to be standing up!"

When it comes to placing stars, Martinez, a mother of two who started as a receptionist, tries to accommodate requests.

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