Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival | Veluzat Brothers, Bo Hopkins are Newest Stars on Western Walk
2017 Walk of Western Stars Induction & Reception
Filmed on Sunday, April 23 at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall
Hosted by Ed Masterson with performances by the Messick Family Singers
Walk of Western Stars background information courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.
Since 1981, The Walk of Western Stars has honored the legends of Western film, television and radio who have contributed to America’s heritage. Inductees are honored with bronze stars and terrazzo tiles stamped into Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
The cinematic appeal of the Old West is undeniable. Few things captivate audiences like a striking cowboy beneath a golden sunset or the simple beauty of the untouched American landscape. Since the debut of the Western genre in the early 20th century, audiences world-wide have tuned in to the classic Old West tale of good overcoming evil.
Today, the mystique of the Old West lives on in Santa Clarita, one of the most filmed areas in the Los Angeles area. For nearly a century, the film industry and screen legends like John Ford, William S. Hart and Gene Autry have flocked to the Santa Clarita Valley to capture its versatility and authentic Western heritage.
Similar in style to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Walk of Western Stars honors actors, directors and film professionals for their contributions to Western heritage in America. Previous honorees have included Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, John Wayne, Sam Elliott, Richard Farnsworth and Bruce Dern, among others.
Each April, the City of Santa Clarita inducts a new honoree, or two, into The Walk of Western Stars. The ceremony is held in conjunction with the City’s acclaimed Cowboy Festival, which celebrates the sights, sounds and style of the Old West. For more information about the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, visit www.CowboyFestival.org.
Bo’s acting background started at the infamous Desilu Playhouse under the guidance of Uta Hagen. Although he began his career playing heavies — often trigger-happy cowboys or sadistic rednecks— he graduated into more “law-abiding” roles as he got older, and in the 1980s and 1990s was often cast as a small-town sheriff.
His first major film acting role was in the western classic, The Wild Bunch, with acclaimed director Sam Peckinpah playing opposite the likes of a few other Hollywood notables – Ernest Borgnine, William Holden and Edmond O’Brien. From there his career was on the fast track to stardom. He gave a memorable performance in the Universal Pictures film American Graffiti playing the role as the intimidating leader of the Pharaohs.
With over one hundred acting credits to his name, 34 of them westerns, Bo Hopkins continues to draw in the crowds when he finds time in his active schedule to make it to a select few car shows around the country. Always one to grant a photo op or sign an autograph for admirers of his work; he remains humble in his success. To learn more about Bo, visit www.bohopkins.net.
Andre and Renaud Veluzat
As Newhall teenagers enchanted by the world of make-believe, Renaud and Andre Veluzat spent hours peeking through the fence at Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch to spot their Wild West idols — James Arness, Roy Rogers and John Wayne — making movies and TV shows. Little did they know that one day they would be the owners of Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio.
Following a devastating 1962 fire that burned down most of the buildings at Melody Ranch, Gene Autry began selling off pieces of the 110-acre property in Placerita Canyon. The last 10 acres, where the buildings had stood, went on the market in November 1990. Paul, Renaud and Andre Veluzat, who owned a large movie ranch in Haskell Canyon and a motion picture vehicle rental business, bought the property and rebuilt Melody Ranch to its former glory. Today the ranch is alive with feature, television, commercial and video filming, like Deadwood and Westworld, and was the home for the City of Santa Clarita’s annual Cowboy Festival for 21 years.(c)2017 SCVTV