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What Do the Stars in the Paramount Logo Mean?

Paramount Pictures Corporation was founded in 1912 and was initially known as the Famous Players Film Company up until 1916. But did you know that the stars on their iconic logo had a fascinating story behind them?

The stars in the Paramount logo represent the 22 actors and actresses that signed with the production company. Film producer Adolph Zukor founded Paramount Pictures in 1916

How Did Paramount Pictures Corporation Start?

Paramount Pictures is the fifth oldest film studio in the world at 109 years. It is also the last major film studio that is based in Hollywood. The studio was founded in 1912. Back then, it was called Famous Players Film Company. Adolph Zukor, a Hungarian-born producer, noticed that working-class immigrants had a different appreciation for movies. He partnered with Daniel and Charles Frohman, and they decided to plan feature-length films that would attract the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical celebrities at the time.

In 1914, W. W. Hodkinson, the owner of a Utah theater, founded Progressive Pictures. He also merged five smaller firms into his company. A few days later, he signed a contract with Famous Film Company, the Lasky Company, and Bosworth Inc. to distribute their movies. The new company used the name Paramount. The company rose to fame almost instantly. They signed big names in the industry like Mary Pickford, Fatty Arbuckle, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, and Rudolph Valentino. (Source: Britannica)

Paramount Pictures’ Logos Throughout the Years

In 2012 Paramount Pictures unveiled their newest logo. It featured a lush and more realistic version of the iconic mountain peak. The first logo was made in 1916 after the merger, and the basics were laid down; a mountain peak, the word Paramount in a script typeface, and everything framed in a semi-circle of stars. The very first logo featured 23 stars, but the current version of the logo features 22.

By the 1950s, they updated the logo to full color. The mountain vista was filled out with smaller peaks and featured some trees. The typeface was maintained, but the number of stars also changed to 24.

According to a representative from Paramount, the stars represent the first 22 actors and actresses who first signed with the studio when they started. However, the change in number from 23 to 24 still remains a mystery. (Source: Entertainment Weekly)

Who Were the Original Paramount Stars?

As mentioned, the stars on the logo of Paramount Pictures symbolized the first 22 actors and actresses the company signed when they started out, namely:

  • Gloria Swanson
  • Wallace Reid
  • Rudolph Valentino
  • Florence Victor
  • Thomas Meighan
  • Pola Negri
  • Bebe Daniels
  • Antonio Moreno
  • Richard Dix
  • Esther Ralston
  • Emil Jannings
  • George Bancroft
  • Betty Compson
  • Clara Bow
  • Adolphe Menjou
  • Charles Buddy Rodger
  • Richard Arlen
  • Nancy Caroll
  • Maurice Chevalier
  • Gary Cooper
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Charles Ruggles

(Source: Film Site)

How Many Films Did Paramount Pictures Corporation Make in the Past 100 Years?

As of 2020, Paramount Pictures has produced 1,200 self-produced titles and about 2,900 films that they have acquired rights to. As of today, Paramount Pictures is one of the leading movie studios in the United States and is currently owned by ViacomCBS. (Source: Statista)

1 thought on “What Do the Stars in the Paramount Logo Mean?”

  1. STEVE P

    I can’t see why the changing of the stars numbers on this logo have had such a hidden controversy?!.. 23, 22, then 24.. now back to 22.. so why are Paramount (or Viacom) hiding this explanation, like it’s the map to the Holy Grail?. it just baffles me, and seems so childish.
    Did the ‘stars’ at the time, bring the studio into disrepute?… did they argue against the hierarchy?… it’s a shame that Paramount will not own up to what actually happened with these stars, and whose stars were removed, as it seems so namby-pamby about their approach to this!
    Steve. London UK.

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