George Hamilton received the 2,388th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on his 70th birthday Wednesday, honoring an acting career that has been overshadowed by his perpetual tan, debonair style and witty talk show and game show appearances.
"This is something that in my opinion is long, long overdue," Hamilton's longtime friend and Walk of Fame honoree James Caan said at the late-morning ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard, across from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. "If anyone typifies most people's impressions of what a movie star is, what a movie star acts like, what a movie star dresses like, how he behaves, it's George.
"He's been doing it now for somewhere between 30 and 80 years. It pisses me off because I really don't know how long it's been because he still looks like a cross between Cary Grant and Tyrone Power. He drives the right car, he dresses in the right clothes, he's always in shape and of course, he's always tanned."
Caan then praised Hamilton as a man of many talents.
"He's a wonderful actor," Caan said. "He can sing, dance, wear funny pants. He's just an amazing entertainer."
Hamilton said he had wondered if he would get a Walk of Fame star.
"Somewhere back in 1986, there was the possibility," Hamilton said.
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Hamilton said "it really has to be an important moment for me to come here and acknowledge" his body of work at a star ceremony "with the respect it's due."
What made that possible was "My One and Only," a film he helped produce, loosely based on his early life with his mother and brothers, Hamilton said. It will be released Aug. 21 and stars Renee Zellweger.
"Not until this time ... have I felt that I've ever been involved in a project as worthy as the film that's coming out," Hamilton said.
Hamilton was born in Memphis, Tenn., on Aug. 12, 1939. His father, George "Spike" Hamilton, was a society band leader who led a band based at Los Angeles' Biltmore Hotel.
Although Hamilton said at the ceremony he wanted to be a doctor, not an actor -- "my mother and my brother wanted to be movie actors" -- he began his movie career the age of 13 in the western/romance "Lone Star," portraying a servant for President Andrew Jackson, who was played Lionel Barrymore in what turned out to be his final film role.
Hamilton's best known films include the Dracula spoof, "Love at First Bite," "Zorro, The Gay Blade," "The Godfather: Part III" and "Crocodile Dundee."
Hamilton's television credits include the groundbreaking miniseries "Roots" and a season as a regular on "Dynasty."
Hamilton had three stints on Broadway as Billy Flynn in "Chicago."
He was also a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" during its winter 2006 season, finishing fifth.