James Bond producers cement their handprints in Hollywood: But how did the tradition begin?

·2-min read

The producers of the James Bond film franchise have cemented their place in Hollywood history.

Producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were joined by actor Christoph Waltz, who played the villain Blofeld in Daniel Craig's films, as they placed their handprints in cement outside the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood (21 September).

The sibling duo, aged 62 (Broccoli) and 80 (Wilson), own EON Productions and have produced the last nine films in the beloved spy series

"A cultural phenomenon"

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
Christoph Waltz (L) shakes hands with producer Michael G. Wilson (R) as co-producer Barbara Broccoli looks on during a hand and footprint ceremony - Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

Speaking at the ceremony, Waltz, the Austrian-German actor spoke about the remarkable legacy of the James Bond films.

"The cultural phenomenon of an indelible presence - over 60 years of film history, 25 sensational movies seen by possibly billions of enthusiastic people all over the world, and the exaltation of a spy into mythological dimensions," Waltz said.

"More people believe in 007 than in Santa Claus," he added.

In Michael Wilson's speech following the cementing of his handprints, he spoke about his childhood memories of seeing "stars placing their hands and feet in the concrete."

"After school, I and my friends would come up here, sneak up here, and put our hands and feet in the same position," Wilson told the crowd.

"And at that age, I never dreamed that for one second that over 70 years later, I'd be standing here today with my best producing partner anyone could ever have - my sister, Barbara."

How did Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre's world-famous collection of celebrity footprints in cement begin?

Public Domain Image
Norma Talmadge poses in a dress (Unknown date) - Public Domain Image

The story began with a stumble and fall in 1927.

Silent film star Norma Talmadge was visiting her friend Sid Grauman at the new theatre he was building on Hollywood Boulevard, when she accidentally stepped in the wet cement out front.

Her footprints gave Grauman the idea to make his own unique hall of fame of the stars in front of the theatre, helping promote the new movie house and set it apart from his Egyptian Theatre down the street.

He asked his friends and business partners, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, to intentionally put their hands and feet in wet cement, and he did the same.

It was then that Grauman’s Chinese Theatre’s “Forecourt of the Stars” was born.

The tradition has since been completed by the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Al Pacino.

AP Photo
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell put their hands in wet cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, 1953 - AP Photo

Check out the video above for a look at Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli's hand printing ceremony