Hollywood picks a Winnie

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It's official: Winnie the Pooh is a great big star. The honey-loving cuddly bear got his own star today on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Winnie the Pooh got the star as part of his 80th birthday celebration. In a ceremony attended by throngs of young fans, the hirsute mammal received an honor bestowed upon only the top echelon of Hollywood legends, and Tony Danza.

An actor, dressed in a Pooh costume, knelt down and placed his paw into the well-known Walk of Fame cement as his pals Tigger, Eyore, and Rabbit looked on. Pooh's star is situated near the stars of Tim Allen and Rod Serling.

Only a handful of animated characters have stars on the Walk, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Snow White.

"They're an important part of the industry now," Hollywood's honorary mayor Johnny Grant said of cartoon characters like Pooh. "Some of the movies [the studios] are putting out don't do so well, but animated characters are doing great business."

The star requires a $15,000 "sponsorship," but Disney coughed up the dough as part of an 18-month PR tour for the character. Pooh is the second-biggest cash cow for Walt Disney Co., generating more than $6 billion last year alone. First place is held by Mickey Mouse.

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