June 27, 2014

A Hollywood star for Raymond Chandler

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Hollywood starRaymond Chandler, author of seven novels including The Big Sleep and former president of the Mystery Writers of America, will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year, according to Diane Bell of the Associated Press. Chandler is best-known for his protagonist Philip Marlowe, a private eye played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1946 film.

It’s hard to get more noir than Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and indeed Chandler is considered one of the first creative forces behind film noir as we know it. LA screenwriter Bill Boyle sponsored Chandler’s nomination for a star in 2015. Chandler was nominated for Oscars in 1945 and 1947.

His most famous character has some choice words about show business, including, “Hollywood is the kind of town where they stick a knife in your back and then have you arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.”

Hollywood hasn’t added many novelists, but they do include Sidney Sheldon and Ray Bradbury. Dr. Seuss made the list, and Melville House author Charlie Chaplin appears on the walk twice.

It’s a little amazing Philip Marlowe didn’t make an appearance alongside other fictional characters, like Mickey Mouse, Snoopy (who will also be added in 2015), or the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. But his author will get a moment of Hollywood fame next year, alongside twenty-nine others that include Will Ferrell, Daniel Radcliffe, and Pitbull.

Chandler made one brief film appearance in Double Indemnity in 1959, which wasn’t discovered by film experts until 2007. Carolyn Kellogg reports he’s the man sitting outside Keyes’s office:

 

Kirsten Reach was an editor at Melville House.

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