Keiko Deserves a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

We have submitted an application to the Walk of Fame Committee at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce  to obtain a Star on the Walk of Fame for Keiko, because we think he deserves one.

Pledge to our Kickstarter Campaign here:

In order to bring attention to our efforts, we have created a Kickstarter campaign to bring the new HD version of his life story to the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood this summer, and that funding effort ends on the morning of March 27th, 2013 at 10am PST.

If we’re successful, we think this event may help the chances for Keiko being selected for a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, especially since our premiere is set to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the blockbuster film in which he starred (Free Willy – 1993) and we will have support from Free Willy producers and cast members!


According to the official Walk of Fame Website, the criteria for receiving a star consists of the following:

  • professional achievement
  • longevity of five years or more
  • contributions to the community
  • the guarantee that the celebrity will attend the ceremony, unless deceased.
  • Posthumous awards require a five-year waiting period from the date of their death.


Keiko meets all of this criteria, and we believe he should have his day in the sun.

Stars for Non-Humans?

There are many animal stars both real and fictional, that have been awarded a Star on Hollywood Boulevard, including Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Trigger, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Big Bird, Kermit the Frog, Woody Woodpecker, and even Godzilla.

Keiko’s performances have cultural, political, and media impacts that have proven significant even to this day. He deserves to be in the company of these stars attracting visitors to his very own Star.

Why Does Keiko Deserve a Star?

We think Keiko deserves a star on Hollyood Boulevard because –

  • He performed for many years for live audiences in Mexico City and was loved by children and adults.
  •  His movie performance, and the character based on his work, are enduringly popular, and continue to inspire production of sequels even after his death.
  •  He motivated children worldwide to contribute $100,000 with their spare change to advocate for his release.
  • That support & publicity, along with international media coverage, prompted the movie studio, the park, and animal protection advocates to attempt to release Keiko back to the wild.
  • During his rehabilitation process, Keiko became the most well-traveled orca in the world.
  • Keiko became the largest package the UPS ever delivered.
  • Keiko gained over 3000 lbs. during his rehabilitation at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
  • Keiko was airlifted back home to Iceland by an Air Force Cargo Plane.
  • Keiko was noted at the time of his death as the second longest lived captive male orca in history.
  • Keiko became the only captive orca ever to be successfully rehabilitated and released back to his home waters in the North Atlantic, where he thrived for 5 years prior to his death.
  • Keikos ordeal was the catalyst to Iceland permanently banning all orca captures, and the ban continues to this day.
  • Keiko inspired millions of children to get involved in following his amazing odyssey and helping other whales.
  • Keiko’s journey inspired a massive educational effort around the world and formed the basis for several scientific studies.
  • New generations of children continue to watch Keiko’s movie Free Willy and become inspired by the whale who played the star orca character “Willy”.
  • Keiko’s life story is being taught in schools around the world.
  • Tourists continue to travel to Norway every year to see Keiko’s final resting place, honoring his legacy as the most famous whale in the world and an ambassador of captive whales worldwide.

What Are We Trying to Do?

In the long term, we want to see Keiko get a Star, but that’s not the only thing this post is about.

We are, right now immediately trying to raise awareness about Keiko by holding the world premiere of the HD version of “Keiko, The Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy” at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in the summer of 2013!

We have already submitted an application to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Walk of Fame committee, and they will be making their decision by June of this year.

If Keiko is not chosen to receive a Star this year, the application may be considered next year, but we’re really hoping it can be this year, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the film, “Free Willy”.

Having a premiere on Hollywood Boulevard, with hundreds of contributions towards the effort, along with thousands of you helping us spread the word about the premiere and the 20th Anniversary of Free Willy’s blockbuster release on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, we think it may help sway the committee towards awarding Keiko a Star on the Walk of Fame in 2013

Please Don’t:

We do *not* want you to call the chamber or even to email the committee, as this could actually hurt our chances. Please do not bother them in any way. Don’t comment at their their site, their blog, their Facebook page, or anywhere else of theirs. You can show your support for this great orca at our sites!

Please Do:

You can support the effort to show Hollywood that you too think Keiko is an important and lasting star by sharing this with your friends by email, on Facebook, and on Twitter, but most importantly—before you do anything else! please show your support by making a pledge to our kickstarter campaign today – right now – before its time runs out.

The funding period for this project ends on Wednesday March 27th at 10am!! We need your help now!

Pledge to our Kickstarter Campaign here:

and please post or forward this Kickstarter project link, and tell your friends about this awesome way to honor Keiko’s life and, through the premiere screening, bring Keiko back to Hollywood!

Please LIKE this page on Facebook too to tell your friends!

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Nowhere in recent history has a captive mammal garnered so much attention as Keiko, the orca star of the 1993 hit film, “Free Willy.” The film’s success, partnered with growing public interest in animals held in captivity, launched a children’s crusade that called for Keiko’s release into the wild. The result: a multimillion-dollar project that spanned four countries, weathered endless controversy and lasted nearly a decade. Through first-hand accounts by the marine mammal experts charged with his care, “Keiko The Untold Story” follows Keiko, his life, his legacy of hope, and the untold story of his extraordinary years in Iceland and Norway.