In 1999 the Society received the joyous news Phil had finally been selected for a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It had been a long, hard battle but with the help and determination of Phil's family, friends and colleagues Phil was at last rewarded and honoured on the world famous Walk of Fame! No coincidence too that Phil would be placed next to his life long buddy Jack Benny...
Here is the original Hollywood Committee News release from 1999 followed by two short reports, and a newspaper clipping remembering that glorious day nearly 10 years ago when Hollywood paid tribute to the genius of Phil Silvers!
News Release: June 22, 1999
THE HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WALK OF FAME COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES NEW WALK OF FAME RECIPIENTS FOR 2000.
HOLLYWOOD, CA: A new group of the world's top entertainers in motion pictures, television, radio and recording have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was announced today by Johnny Grant, Chairman of the Walk of Fame Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. These individuals were chosen from among hundreds of nominations to the committee at a meeting held June 10, and ratified by the Chamber's Board of directors.
The Walk of Fame recipients for the year 2000 are:
MOTION PICTURES: Jim Carrey, Jodie Foster, Peter O'Toole, Rob Reiner and director Irwin Winkler.
TELEVISION: Ted Danson, June Foray, Don Knotts, Carrol O'Connor and Cristina Saralegui.
RADIO: Johnny Hayes.
RECORDING: Aerosmith, Carole Bayer Sager, Roberta Flack, Kiss and Sting.
POSTHUMOUS AWARD: Phil Silvers.
'The year 2000 will herald in many wonderful things including our newest Walk of Fame recipients!' commented Grant. 'I look forward to inducting these luminaries onto the world's most famous sidewalk especially during such an important year in all our lives', he added.
Well, what can we say? November 1 was certainly Phil Silvers Day in Hollywood! Steve and Mick set out from the UK on Monday 30 October, and had to endure countless delays (due to atrocious weather conditions) Our flights from London were delayed and we spent a night on the terminal floor! We arrived a day late, but without a shadow of a doubt the unveiling of Phil's Star was the proudest moment of our lives, equal to that very special day when Phil recorded a surprise message for us via the BBC! The Silvers' girls were a total delight, and really looked after us during our stay. Everybody was so warm and friendly!
Trying to pick highlights is virtually impossible but I'll give it a go! Tracey, Candace, Cathy, Nancey and especially Laury were very friendly. Laury and husband Chris, the perfect hosts even took us to Nancey's home to meet the family, followed by a tour of LA stopping off to see where Phil lived in Beverly Hills and Century City. We also were invited to Nick (Captain Barker) Saunders home to meet his lovely wife Gedda and chat about his long and illustrious career! Nick is amazing at 86 years, and he told us he even worked with James Dean! We also had the opportunity to meet Allan Melvin and Tige Andrews, both who spoke of their admiration for Phil, and Allan came out with a great expression whilst reminiscing about the filming of Bilko! It even shocked MC Johnny Grant who was overseeing the event! Jason Alexander's speech was heartfelt, and right at the last minute the amazing Red Buttons stepped in for Milton Berle, to give us a reading of the emotional eulogy written for Phil's funeral in 1985. At this point, both Mick and myself couldn't contain our emotions any more and tears of happiness started to flow! After Mr Grant announced it would be Phil Silvers Day in Hollywood, we knew this special day would be engraved on our hearts forever!
Just a note from Mick to say that the Ceremony on the Walk of Fame was a dream come true. Red Buttons, Allan Melvin, Tige Andrews, Edward Montagne were a joy! Phil's daughters, especially Tracey & Laury really looked after Steve and I and it's something we'll treasure forever! Got to see many of Phil's favourite places and old haunts. Everyone went out of their way to make it really special for us and and we'll treasure those precious memories forever!
News report from November 4, 2000:
STAR SHINES OUT FOR BILKO:
Phil Silvers who played the US Army's brash, boisterous Sgt Bilko has posthumously received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Five of his daughters, 10 grandchildren and some 200 friends and fans of Silvers, who died in 1985, stood in for him at the ceremony. The Star, the Walk of Fame's 2,167th was placed next to one honouring Silvers' good friend Jack Benny.
'I asked him once how he wanted to be remembered', said his daughter Tracey. 'He said he was most proud of his stage work, but knew that wasn't how the public would see it'. 'To them, I'm Bilko', he told her.