I hope you’re all keeping in mind that I have lots of books and ATFT gear for sale, and they all make great gifts! Click the ads on the right side of this webpage to see the whole selection.
Last week I ventured into downtown Denver, seeking yet another off-the-beaten-path destination I found on roadsideamerica.com. This time it was the abandoned TV walk of fame. I’d read that, back in the 60s, an ABC affiliate TV station in Denver would ask visiting network stars to sign their names in concrete and leave hand- or footprints along with it.
It was a little iffy as to whether I would find this thing intact. I’d read several articles online about how either current or potential owners of the property wanted to tear down the building there and put up a new one. That meant destroying the sidewalk, too, where the concrete signatures had been installed. I couldn’t determine the exact status of the situation, but I headed down there to check it out for myself. At least I would know one way or the other.
I took the train then a bus to Denver’s Capitol area. Google maps said it was a seven-minute walk from the Denver Art Museum (DAM). FYI, on my way past, I saw that one of the DAM buildings had been totally demolished and that they were building a new one in its place. If you saw my post about DAM, the demolished building was the South Building that had the un-politically-correct sculpture on top of it.
The seven-minute walk took me a little longer because it was so HOT – about 95 degrees that day. But I finally approached the address. To my relief, I saw that the Rocky Mountain PBS station still occupied the building. That was a good sign!
I crossed the street and saw that I was not too late! It was still there!
You can see the colored cement tiles in the sidewalk next to the building. You can also see the orange spray paint that construction workers use before they dig something up. Guess I made it just in time!
So, here are the shots of all the signatures – and whatever I was able to decipher and/or unearth about the tiles and actors. Some of them were really familiar to me; others not so much.
- Don Johnson I got really excited about this one! I remembered him from “Miami Vice” in the 80s. Alas, it’s not the same Don Johnson. Turns out that it’s the name of the manager of the TV station who left in 1993 and left his mark along with the others. I still don’t know what the word “six” means here, though.
- Chuck Connors This one was a challenge. I couldn’t really read the tile! For that matter, they were all pretty eroded, some were really cracked. I enhanced the contrast with Photoshop for this article. They aren’t really that clear. But for this one, I had more than one angle in my pictures, so that helped. I found a great newspaper article about this place, and it mentioned his name as being part of the walk of fame. I know him from “The Rifleman” TV show, but he was also a pro baseball player (Dodgers), a soldier, AND a basketball player (Celtics) before he was an actor. It was easy to find his signature online to compare.
- Gardner Mckay starred in the “Adventures in Paradise” TV show. I wasn’t familiar with him at all, but he was a famous artist and writer after his acting career. He even exhibited at MOMA in NYC.
- Roy Rogers I think all of us know this name. I love that he put his dog’s (Bullet) and horse’s (Trigger) names on the tile. Bullet was his family pet who starred on TV with the rest of the family. Both Bullet’s and Trigger’s remains were stuffed by a taxidermist after their demise. They are now both owned by a Nebraska TV station.
- Charlton Heston This was post-Ben-Hur but pre-Planet of the Apes and NRA.
- Brett Halsey Didn’t know this name, but he’s a well-known character actor. He’s still around at 85 years old, and he writes. I bet if you saw him, you’d know his face, too.
- Jerry Lewis At least I think it’s Jerry Lewis. I couldn’t find mention of him as part of the walk of fame, but he did have a show in the 60s on ABC and it could be his signature. I’m going with it. Especially because of the accurate self-portrait!
- Bill Frawley You’ll know him as Fred Mertz on the “I Love Lucy” show. I think his “slaunte” inscription is the Irish toast, kind of like, “Cheers!”
- Jack Kelly Super-famous as Maverick in the TV show of the same name in the 60s, but he did lots of other work through the years, including appearances on the lame-ish “BJ and the Bear” show around 1980.
- Roger Smith The “77” inscription refers to his show “77 Sunset Strip”. Though I’ve seen his face and also know of the show, keep in mind, people, that when he signed this in 1962, I was only two years old! Don’t want you thinking I remember all this from experience!
- Jackie Coogan The original Uncle Fester from the Addams Family! Uncle F was one of my favorite characters of in the TV show – the original one in the 60s. Coogan was actually a child star, starting out in silent movies. He was also famous as a successful child star who never saw any of his earnings because it was stolen by greedy parents and guardians. After never seeing any of the $4M+ he’d earned, the Coogan Act was passed in California to protect other children. He’s another who worked prolifically while he was with us, and I love how he signed it with ‘Hi!’
- Peter Breck of “The Big Valley” TV show. He was Barbara Stanwyck’s middle son on the show. I remember watching the Barkley family’s drama with my cousins as a child.
- Anthony Eisley I’d definitely never heard of the “Hawaiian Eye” show, nor this guy. But I sure recognized his face when I looked him up. He was also on “Perry Mason”, “77 Sunset Strip”, and lots of other shows, including “Knots Landing” in the 80s.
- Ty Hardin I didn’t know this guy or his show “Bronco”, but I was gratified to discover that his birth name was Orison Whipple Hungerford, Jr. And ‘Layne’ in the inscription was Bronco’s last name.
- John Ericson starred with Anne Francis in “Honey West”, a show I never heard of before seeing this tile. He worked prolifically, too, and was in many show I do know, such as “Medical Center”, “Streets of San Francisco”, and “CHiPs”. He was German and his real name was Joachim Alexander Ottokar Meibes.
- Linda Evans was starring in “The Big Valley” when she signed this. She later played a character in “Dynasty” in the 80s. Note that “Dynasty” was set in Denver! In fact, in Germany it was titled “The Denver Clan”.
- Nick Adams I didn’t know this guy, either, though I recognized his face. Starred in “The Rebel” in the 60s, but did lots of other work, too. He was friends with James Dean and was cast in similar roles often. I wonder if the name of his TV series had anything to do with Dean’s Rebel without a Cause?
- James Morgese Here’s another PBS station manager who signed concrete before he left.
- Jack Lord I knew Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett on the old “Hawaii Five-O” – the original one, not the current one. As kids we would always make fun of his hair, which always hung down like casual, errant bangs on his forehead but NEVER MOVED during the entire series. Sixties’ hairspray! Anyway, at the time of this signing, he hadn’t moved to the Big Island yet. He was playing the character Stoney Burke in the series of the same name, which I don’t remember at all.
- EJ Peaker She is another one I don’t know at all, but she was in a show called “That’s Life” when she inscribed this tile. Before that she’d done “Route 66” and “The Flying Nun”and, later, lots of bit parts in many shows.
- Roone Arledge Now this was a name I’d heard many times before. Roone was a famous sports writer and producer, known for “ABC’s Wide World of Sports”. He was president of ABC Sports (1968-86) and ABC News (1977-98). I love that he included a peace sign here.
- Bill Bixby Also a well-known name for me, but I knew him as David Banner on “The Incredible Hulk” in the late 70s. At the time he signed this, it was before he was exposed to gamma rays. Instead, he was starring in “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”, which I do remember not liking!
So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed my literal walk down this sidewalk in Denver, as well as my figurative walk down memory lane with some of these actors and shows. I don’t know what’s going to happen to this walk of fame, but I’m terribly glad I got to see it before they destroy it. I hope someone swoops in and saves the tiles, anyway!
Photo for No Apparent Reason: