Celebrity Path

Across from the Shakespeare Garden is the start of Celebrity Path, where stepping-stones are inscribed with names of famous Brooklynites past and present.

The path meanders through Austrian pines, rhododendrons, and daffodils, just south of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. At irregular intervals along the way, approximately 100 artists, poets, performers, and athletes who were born or have lived in Brooklyn are honored, from Walt Whitman to Barbra Streisand.

People

Here is a list of the Brooklynites honored in Celebrity Path:

  • F. Murray Abraham
  • Carl Abrams
  • Joey Adams
  • Woody Allen
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Paul Auster
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Joseph Barbera
  • Dave Barry
  • Gene Barry
  • Daniel Benzali
  • Jay Black
  • Eubie Blake
  • Joe Bologna
  • Clara Bow
  • Mel Brooks
  • Julie Budd
  • Irving Burgie
  • Steve Buscemi
  • Eddie Cantor
  • Betty Carter
  • Jack Carter
  • Robert B. Catell
  • Harry Chapin
  • Dane Clark
  • Kim Coles
  • Betty Comden
  • Didi Conn
  • Pat Cooper
  • Aaron Copland
  • John Corigliano
  • Howard Cossell
  • Vic Damone
  • Tony Danza
  • Elaine deKooning
  • Dom De Luise
  • Alan M. Dershowitz
  • Neil Diamond
  • Richard Dreyfuss
  • Eliot Feld
  • Harvey Fierstein
  • Fyvush Finkel
  • Phil Foster
  • William M. Gaines
  • Vincent Gardenia
  • Charles A. Gargano
  • George Gershwin
  • Jack Gilford
  • Jackie Gleason
  • Marty Glickman
  • Louis Gossett Jr.
  • Elliott Gould
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Marty Gunty
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Buddy Hackett
  • Moss Hart
  • Connie Hawkins
  • Susan Hayward
  • Gil Hayward
  • Rita Hayworth
  • Gregory Hines
  • Gil Hodges
  • Celeste Holm
  • Lena Horne
  • Edward Everett Horton
  • Harry Houdini
  • The Howard Brothers: Moe, Curly, and Shemp (a.k.a. the Three Stooges)
  • Anne Jackson
  • Lainie Kazan
  • Danny Kaye
  • Ezra Jack Keats
  • Harvey Keitel
  • Alan King
  • Carole King
  • Larry King
  • Bernie Kopell
  • Sandy Koufax
  • Lee Krasner
  • Martin Landau
  • Julius La Rosa
  • Jacob Lawrence
  • Steve Lawrence
  • Harvey Lichtenstein
  • Tony Lo Bianco
  • Vince Lombardi
  • Leonard Lopate
  • Phillip Lopate
  • Norman Mailer
  • Barry Manilow
  • Paule Marshall
  • Peter Max
  • Frank McCourt
  • Anne Meara
  • Robert Merrill
  • Arthur Miller
  • Stephanie Mills
  • Marianne Moore
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • Esai Morales
  • Cousin Brucie Morrow
  • Arnold Moss
  • Zero Mostel
  • Joseph Papirofsky
  • Joseph Papp
  • Floyd Patterson
  • Beverly Pepper
  • S. J. Perelman
  • Rosie Perez
  • The Persuasions
  • Noel W. Pointer Sr.
  • Martha Raye
  • Sal Richards
  • The Ritz Brothers
  • Joan Rivers
  • Max Roach
  • Lucille Roberts
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Mickey Rooney
  • Stanley Ralph Ross
  • Howard J. Rubenstein
  • Carl Sagan
  • John Saxon
  • Jack Scalia
  • Neil Sedaka
  • Maurice Sendak
  • Roger Sessions
  • Ben Shahn
  • Judge Judy Sheindlin
  • Beverly Sills
  • Phil Silvers
  • Neil Simon
  • Betty Smith
  • Jimmy Smits
  • Paul Sorvino
  • Barbara Stanwyck
  • John Steptoe
  • Connie Stevens
  • Jerry Stiller
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Irving Thalberg
  • Gene Tierney
  • Marisa Tomei
  • George Tooker
  • Joe Torre
  • Richard Tucker
  • John Turturro
  • Brenda Vaccaro
  • Ben Vereen
  • Abe Vigoda
  • Joe Viterelli
  • Eli Wallach
  • Harry Warren
  • Wendy Wasserstein
  • Randy Weston
  • Mae West
  • Walt Whitman
  • Lenny Wilkens
  • Shelley Winters
  • Lillias White
  • Henny Youngman
  • Judith Zuk

History

The walkway was donated by the Brooklyn Union Gas Company in 1985. Its pavers were designed by the Brooklyn artist April Kinser. Each celebrity honored has his or her name embedded in a colored paver decorated with a stylized leaf outline in bronze.

The leaves—scarlet oak, Chinese parasol tree, red-vein maple, and water-lily—were selected by BBG's former director of Horticulture Edmond O. Moulin because of their special relationships with the Garden. Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) is a native tree that was planted in 1916 in the Plant Family Collection as a gift from Harriet White, the sister of Alfred T. White, BBG's first major contributor. The Chinese parasol tree (Firmiana simplex), also called the phoenix tree, is a native of eastern Asia that was given to the Garden in 1925 by the Yokohama Nursery Company in Japan and planted south of the Rock Garden. The red-vein maple (Acer rufinerve) is a rare Japanese native known for its magnificent red and yellow fall foliage. The vibrantly colored water-lilies (Nymphaea species) in the pools of Lily Pool Terrace are both hardy and tropical.

Each paver also contains a bronze medallion of the Brooklyn Bridge, encircled by the phrase "The Greatness of Brooklyn Is Its People." New names are periodically added to Celebrity Path.

Celebrity Path. Photo By Rebecca Bullene.
Ribbon-cutting for the first "Celebrity Path" which was on the Lily Pool Terrace. Two celebrities are in the photo, comedian Phil Foster and actor Vincent Gardenia.
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