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Posthumous Sidewalk Star Dedicated to Zany Ritz Brothers

November 18, 1987 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A posthumous sidewalk star embedded in concrete along the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been dedicated to the Ritz Brothers, the zany comedians who entertained audiences for a half century.

Comics Jan Murray and Red Buttons participated in the unveiling Tuesday before about 150 tourists and fans.

The star, honoring the memory of Al, Jimmy and Harry Ritz, is the 1,860th dedicated along the Walk of Fame down Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

Comedians Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, Murray and Buttons led a petition drive requesting the Ritz Brothers star, which was sponsored by the Hollywood Friar’s Club, said Anna Martinez of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Ritz star, on Hollywood Boulevard across the street from the Hollywood Wax Museum, is between ones honoring Fred Astaire and Bob Hope.

After vaudeville, the brothers appeared in a series of wacky comedies that included ″One in a Million″ in 1936, ″The Goldwyn Follies″ in 1938, ″The Gorilla″ in 1939 and ″Behind the Eight Ball″ in 1942.

The first big break for the Ritz Brothers, born in Newark, N.J., with the surname Joachim, came in 1936 when they were spotted by moviemaker Daryl F. Zanuck in a Hollywood nightclub. Zanuck signed them to appear in his film ″Sing, Baby, Sing″ starring Alice Faye and Adolphe Menjou.

Al died in December 1965. Jimmy died in 1985 and Harry died the following year.