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Ask CNN: Why and How Actors and Actresses are Chosen to Put Their Handprints in Front of the Chinese Theater?

Aired January 1, 2001 - 2:51 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to begin this new year with a new feature called "Ask CNN." Everyday about this time, we will answer one of the many questions we get from our viewers. Here's our first question and its answer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAN SHANAHAN: Hi, I'm Jan Shanahan, and I am from Brighton, Michigan. I would like to ask CNN: Why and how they choose these actors and actresses to put their handprints here in front of this theater?

JOHNNY GRANT, HONORARY MAYOR, HOLLYWOOD, CA: You know, it was Mary Pickford who accidentally started the hand and footprint ceremonies because she came home one day from shopping with her little dog Zorro. And they were putting in a new driveway at Pickfair (ph), the dog got loose and ran right through the wet cement.

The workmen were very upset, chasing the dog with their shovels.

Anyway, Mary went in the house, the phone was ringing, and it was that great showman Sid Gramann, and she told Sid what had happened. And a few days later, Sid, with that great computerized mind of his, had come up with an idea and said: Mary, why don't you and Doug come down here -- Douglas Fairbanks, her husband -- and put your hand and footprints in a ceremony here at the Chinese Theater. They did, and that was the birth of the -- one of the great public relations campaigns of all time, the hand and footprint ceremony at the Chinese Theater.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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