Monday, July 28, 2014

Santa Clarita: Walk of Western Stars – Legends of Old West

Walk of Western Stars honors John Wayne and others
Walk down Main Street in Old Town Newhall in Santa Clarita and you’ll be reminded of legends of the Old West. Embedded in the pavement of the sidewalks are plaques honoring members of the entertainment industry – specifically those in Western film, TV and radio. Known as the Walk of Western Stars, this stretch of sidewalk is a fitting testament to Santa Clarita’s deep-rooted Western heritage.
Walk of Western Stars on Main Street, Old Town Newhall
Santa Clarita has always had a love affair with the Hollywood Western movie. The wide open space, the diverse landscape, and close proximity to Los Angeles have attracted movie directors to the area for more than a hundred years. Singing cowboy Gene Autry and legendary actors Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Roy Rogers are among those that have filmed Old West movies here and have all been inducted into the Walk of Western Stars. Other notable inductees include Tex Ritter, Chuck Connors, and Dale Evans. The most recent honorees are Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen, whose plaques were revealed earlier this year at the annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.
Besides being a hub for movies, a variety of western-themed television shows have filmed in Santa Clarita, including Gunsmoke, Annie Oakley and The Wild, Wild West. Today, several movie ranches call Santa Clarita home and filming has extended past the Western genre to include movies such as action-packed Spider-Man and Fast & Furious as well as television shows such as NCIS.
A saddle is the centerpiece of each plaque
As you browse the sidewalk tributes, consider a stop at the William S. Hart Museum and Park on Newhall Avenue. Once the former home of William Surrey Hart, a silent screen actor who became one the first big stars of Western movies, it houses a collection of significant Western artwork, early Hollywood mementos, and furnishings and artifacts representing multiple Native American cultures.
Santa Clarita’s Walk of Western Stars is less than 60 minutes from most areas of Los Angeles. It can be accessed via Interstate 5 at Lyons Avenue or off Highway 14 at Newhall Avenue.


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