Gene Autry Star in Anaheim
Posted April 9, 2008
The following is an article excerpted from The Orange County Register.
Autry honored: Star for 'singing cowboy'
By Sonya Smith
Posted April 7, 2008
ANAHEIM America's "singing cowboy," Gene Autry, is now an Anaheim star.
Autry, the actor, singer and former Angel baseball team owner, was represented by his widow, Jackie, as his name was added to the Anaheim/Orange County Walk of Stars on Monday.
"Certainly, I wish Gene were here," Jackie Autry said. "His star is so close to Walt Disney's and that's very fitting. They were both visionaries."
Jackie Autry received a plaque with a star on it and then posed for pictures next to Gene's 3-foot-square star made of red Indian polished granite. She said it was an honor to have his star in Anaheim, the city to which he helped bring the Angels baseball team in 1966.
"As a young boy, Gene fell in love with baseball," Jackie said. "He was a rabid baseball fan."
But Gene Autry was not just known for baseball, to be certain. And John Gray, who attended the Monday ceremony, knows about the actor's work portraying cowboys in film and music. He has been director of the National Center of the American West in Griffith Park for the last nine years.
"This is a very significant representation of Gene's legacy," Gray said.
Disney received the first star Nov. 10, 2006.
The city says the stars honor political leaders, entrepreneurs and show-business figures with ties to Orange County. Other stars include: Carl Karcher, founder of the Carl's Jr. restaurant chain, with his wife, Margaret; Henry and Susan Samueli, owners of the Anaheim Ducks; and the Yorba family, early settlers.