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In an intro film class, I was asked about the origin of the term "star."
I puffed up & pontificated, with a little studio history & a little
Dyer (whose book I can't find here), but my student's question was
more obvious and more difficult.  Why was "star," the astronomical
term, selected to label charismatic and marketable actors?  Was
this a theater term first?  Did Americans fix the term, or take
it from Europe?  Do we know who (or what studio, newspaper etc.)
first used the term "star"?  Again in the few books I have readily
available to me, I can't find much help.  I'd welcome help,
on or off list.  Thanks, Grady Ballenger
 
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