Cheeta vying for star on Walk of Fame

June 12, 2008 9:32:13 AM PDT
Three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame have gone to the dogs, so why can't Cheeta the chimp get some love?The animal actor, whose credits include the 1967 comedy "Doctor Dolittle" and the "Tarzan" movies, is trying for the seventh time to get a sidewalk star and become the first monkey to get the honor. His handlers have launched an online petition to get supporters to urge the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to give him a star in 2009.

Each June, the Walk of Fame Committee picks a list of inductees for the next year from hundreds of nominations.

Cheeta's "inclusion on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will not only give recognition to one of the international, animal megastars of all time, but focus attention on his fellow primates in the wilds of Africa who now face extinction," the petition reads.

The petition notes that Cheeta's canine colleagues Lassie, and 1920s stars Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart are immortalized on the boulevard, along with fictional animals Kermit the Frog, Godzilla and Donald Duck.

"He's up against really big celebrities," Ana Martinez-Holler, a spokeswoman for the Chamber of Commerce said.

This year, Cheeta will be considered along with some 200 entertainers. The chamber usually chooses about 24 a year.

Martinez-Holler said chamber members will announce their selections near the end of the month. She wouldn't speculate whether the seventh time will be a charm for Cheeta.

The Guinness World Records has called the 76-year-old chimp the oldest living, non-human primate. Cheeta is retired and lives in Palm Springs.

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