Matt Groening, whose crudely drawn cartoon strip for an alternative newspaper led to the creation of The Simpsons, received the 2,461st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Tuesday.
Hank Azaria, who supplies the voices of Springfield Police Chief Clancy Wiggum, bartender Moe Szyslak and several other Simpsons characters, Yeardley Smith, who supplies the voice of Maggie Simpson, and Nancy Cartwright, who provides the voice of Bart Simpson, were among those joining Groening at the ceremony at 7021 Hollywood Blvd., near the star for The Simpsons.
Groening's star is also near the Walk of Fame stars of Walt Disney and Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.
The ceremony came five days before The Simpsons 500th episode airs on Fox. The animated series about a dysfunctional family is the longest-running scripted series in prime-time television history.
Born Feb. 15, 1954, in Portland, Ore., Groening graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., in 1977, then moved to Los Angeles, seeking to become a writer, but instead ended up working at a record shop.
Increasingly frustrated by the traffic, smog and his landlord, Groening vented his angst to his friends by sending them cartoons starring a bug-eyed rabbit named Binky. He would go on to sell the cartoons at the record shop.
Groening was hired by the now-defunct alternative newspaper Los Angeles Reader, which he helped deliver, typeset and edit. The newspaper began publishing the comic strip featuring Binky, Life in Hell, beginning in April 1980.
Movie and television producer James L. Brooks eventually approached Groening about creating animated shorts to fit between the sketches of The Tracey Ullman Show. Instead of using characters from Life in Hell, he created the Simpsons, which bear the names of his family members — his father Homer, mother Marge and sisters Lisa and Maggie.
Instead of naming a character after himself, he chose Bart, an anagram for brat.
The Simpsons premiered as a series on Jan. 14, 1990, eventually spawning a merchandising empire, along with a theme park ride and series of U.S. postage stamps Groening designed.
Groening was also a producer and writer on The Simpsons Movie, which was released in 2007.
He created the animated series Futurama, which aired on Fox from 1999-2003, then was revived by Comedy Central, which has aired original episodes since 2008.
Groening has won 10 Emmys as a producer of The Simpsons and two for Futurama.