Freelance journalist Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor.
At the risk of sounding ghoulish, here’s the first thing many people will want to know: The 88-year-old owner of Viacom and CBS seemed relatively alert and steady in his appearance today to celebrate his becoming the 2,467th person to have a star on the walk. Sumner Redstone‘s health is an ongoing concern in business circles, and he raised new questions this month when he said that he wouldn’t show at Viacom’s shareholders’ meeting. (He changed his mind but used a curtain to prevent attendees from seeing him enter or leave the stage.) Today, though, all appeared well in front of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as Redstone talked about his journey to becoming a billionaire mogul. It was “torturous, long, hard and sometimes difficult, but it was always exciting and always rewarding,” he said. His most devoted acolyte, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman (pictured at right with his boss), said that “Sumner, the King of content, is an elemental force of nature” as well as “brilliant and brash.” The ceremony attracted several media business dignitaries including CBS chief Les Moonves and his wife, TV anchor Julie Chen; Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey; Barbara Davis, the widow of one-time 20th Century Fox owner Marvin Davis; and producers Brian Grazer, Arnold Kopelson, and Robert Evans.