After nearly 60 years in the entertainment industry, the Chevrolet Suburban is now gaining a level of respect that puts it up there with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and Mickey Mouse.
The Suburban now has its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one of Tinseltown’s most popular attractions. The honor was presented on Thursday by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The big SUV, which has appeared in more than 1,750 films and TV shows since 1952, becomes the first automobile to get its own star.
"When a convoy of black Suburbans appears on screen, you know that’s not the time to leave your seat to buy popcorn.”
“For six decades, the Chevrolet Suburban has been Hollywood’s longest-working actor,” said Rana Ghadban, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which chooses whom to honor with a Walk star. The vehicle is “a well-established industry mainstay (that now will) join an illustrious group of actors and characters that are forever known as Hollywood legends.”
The Suburban has had the sort of career only a handful of character actors, and even fewer leads, could point to. That includes at least one film every year since 1960 — including 30 nominated for an Oscar — and at least one TV show annually since 1956.
The list is heavy on the action and adventure categories, but includes works as diverse as “The Brave One,” and “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon.” The Suburban has even come to life in animated form in Pixar’s “Cars” series.
There are several reason for the big SUV’s popularity in Hollywood, according to Dennis McCarthy, a well-respected Hollywood car coordinator. “First, it’s one of the most versatile vehicles in the business, able to fit with any type of character. Second, it can help instantly give a scene added importance. When a convoy of black Suburbans appears on screen, you know that’s not the time to leave your seat to buy popcorn.”
If you’re wondering how the Suburban got its star — anyone can make a nomination, as long as the “celebrity or his/her management is in agreement with the nomination. If there is no letter of agreement included from the celebrity or his/her representative, the committee will not accept the application,” the Walk of Fame’s official website explains.
That may sound easy but, among the 300 applications typically submitted each year, only 34 have so far been selected in 2019. Of course, there is one more catch. The celebrity, their family or other representatives have to come up with $50,000 to cover expenses. That apparently wasn’t much of a problem for Chevrolet, considering the base price for one of the SUVs is $45,290.
The current version of the Suburban has been around since 2015, though the original model dates back to late 1934. A twelfth-generation model debuts later this month and, “This is a great example of how life and art influence each other,” said GM designer Tim Kozub.
“The popularity of Suburban and Tahoe (a smaller Chevy SUV) in film was first inspired by the real-life roles they played in the military, in law enforcement and family trips around the world. Today, their role in Hollywood inspired the design of the all-new models.”