Right in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (also known as the TCL Chinese Theatre) is “The Forecourt of the Stars” that contains more than 90 years of Hollywood history. The famous spot where celebrities from all eras solidified their presence in wet cement. On June 26th 1953, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell contributed to the world-famous collection of celebrity imprints by both placing their hands and feet in wet cement to forever be immortalized in the forecourt of the theater. The two divas were co-stars in Howard Hawks’ musical comedy “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953) and were at the theater to promote the upcoming release of the film. Russel and Monroe played Dorothy Shaw and Lorelei Lee, two nightclub showgirls and best friends, in the film. Much to the disappointment of the press, the two Hollywood stars mirrored their characters and became good friends during production.
The two Hollywood friends would go on to leave imprints of their hands and feet in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre. It is not uncommon for celebrities to leave other imprints that suited their personalities (Betty Grable left an imprint of her “million dollar legs”). Monroe had a cheeky suggestion that she would sit while Russell leaned over the cement, leaving an imprint of their “most famous assets,” but the request was denied. Instead, Marilyn dotted the “i” in her name with an earring that was stolen three days later. However, one thing that does remain is the words “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” written across the two squares, forever tying them to the film and to each other as an unmatched duo both on and offscreen. 67 years later, the imprints are still there to serve as a token of their friendship and will forever memorialize their presence as two of the biggest divas in Hollywood.
“I’ll never forget Marilyn saying, “It’s for all time, isn’t it?” “Yes,” I told her, “it’s for all time, or as long as the cement lasts.” She made me cry, she was so sweet. I believed in her. We made a hell of a team and I wish we had done another picture together.”
– Jane Russell