Madrid gets own version of Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Penelope Cruz, Pedro Almodovar and Antonio Banderas were among 25 Spanish film stars honoured with a sidewalk plaque on Madrid's new Walk of Fame, which was inaugurated Monday.

The granite, marble and steel plaques feature a large star and the celebrity's name, like the ones on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which has become one of Los Angeles' top tourist draws since it opened in 1960.

Spain's film academy at first honoured 25 personalities -- 16 actors and nine directors -- to mark its 25th anniversary but plans to add one or two plaques each year to the central Madrid street that is home to several cinemas.

"I am very grateful and honoured to receive this star," Banderas said in a message sent to the film academy.

Cruz's husband Javier Bardem, whose films include "No Country for Old Men", and "Agora" director Alejandro Amenabar were among the other Spanish film stars honoured.

In April Cruz received the 2,436th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming the first Spanish actress to receive the honour.

The actress joined other Spanish personalities, including Banderas, singer Julio Iglesias and tenor Placido Domingo, to be honoured with a star on what is often billed as the world's most famous sidewalk.

Spain's film industry is amongst the 10 largest in the world in terms of production levels.

Spanish films earned 170.3 million euros from ticket sales last year, just over half of the amount, 53 percent, outside of Spain, according to the country's main film producers' association, Fapae.

© 2011 AFP

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