Hollywood Blvd in fabulous Hollywood! A celluloid Babylon, glorious, glamorous and a city delirious, frivolous, serious, bold, vicious and ambitious. Drama - a city full, tragic and pitiful…. bunk, junk and genius, amazingly blended… tawdry, tremendous, absurd and stupendous; Shoddy and cheap, and astonishingly splendid… That’s our Hollywood!
(Click on thumbnails to view larger photos)
What more can you say about this iconic beauty, other then the fascination of her mysterious death. In Westwood Cemetery, former husband & baseball great, Joe DiMaggio had red roses delivered every week until his own death. She was the first centerfold in Playboy, and Hugh Hefner has purchased the adjacent tomb.
This silent screen greats’ grave in Hollywood Forever Cemetery was famous for the visits of the mysterious “woman in black” who brought red roses and quietly sobbed, each year on the anniversary of his death then disappeared. Actress Pola Negri claimed that Valentino had asked her to marry him. At his wake she leaned over the corpse and kissed him square on the lips and then fainted dead away, claiming the dead Valentino whispered “I’ll always love you” in her ear making world headlines during the frenzy surrounding his death and funeral, the cartage to the then Hollywood Park Cemetery being miles long and viewed by over 100,000 people from the sidewalks of Hollywood.
Rudolph Valentino's faithful dog, a Doberman, buried in the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery in Calabasas.
Actress born into a comfortable Russian lifestyle until her father was arrested by the Czarist Secret Police and sent to a Siberian prison camp. Fleeing to Warsaw, Poland in 1902, she spent her formative years in poverty but as a teenager auditioned for the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet and was accepted, later attending the Warsaw Imperial Academy of Dramatic Arts. Pola was a stage star in Poland by the age of 17 and later became a sensation in Europe. She was so well received that she was given a contract to make films in Hollywood and her vamp roles were highly popular and she was a direct rival of Theda Bara. But her popularity was short-lived. Pola made a dramatic scene at the funeral of fellow actor Rudolph Valentino. The fans turned against her and her popularity went into a downward spiral. Her final film was “The Moon Spinners” in 1964. She lived the remainder of her life in San Antonio, Texas where she died in 1987 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.
After working as an usher in a movie house, he decided he liked movies and would give acting a try. He made his film debut in 1918 in “The Little American”, starring America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford. He continued to get work as an extra appearing in many films until he was cast in “The Prisoner of Zenda”. It was during this time that Rudolph Valentino's popularity as “The Sheik” took off and Hollywood became wild over the Latin Lover type of hero. Ramon's career took off after this with such films, but he got the role of a lifetime when he was chosen for the lead role in the original silent DeMille classic “Ben Hur”. Novarro was one of the lucky few who survived the revolution of talking pictures, thanks to his fine singing voice, and continued as he made many films throughout the 1930's with leading ladies such as Greta Garbo and Myrna Loy, but by 1938 he was reduced to appearing in low budget features. Sadly, Novarro's reputation as a screen idol was marred by his gruesome death. On Halloween, 1968, Novarro's life ended when he was murdered by two brothers whom he had paid to come to his Laurel Canyon home for sex. The two young men believed that a large sum of money was hidden in Novarro's house and evidently tortured him for hours to force him to reveal where the nonexistent money was hidden. They left with twenty dollars they took from his bathrobe pocket. Novarro died as a result of asphyxiation, choking to death on his own blood after being brutally beaten. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.
DeMille was a brilliant Paramount director famous for great movie spectacles like “King of Kings” and the “Ten Commandments.” DeMille was once discussing a film he wanted to make where the climax would be yet another huge battle sequence, requiring thousands of extras. When the other studio executive complained that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay all the extras needed for the battle, DeMille smiled wickedly and said, "I've got that covered, we'll use real bullets." Buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Blonde bombshell and movie star who died tragically in an auto accident with her children in the car (including daughter - now actress - Mariska Hargitay), was listed as the #2 Playboy Playmate of all time and was offered, but turned down, the part of “Ginger” in Gilligan’s Island. Her cenotaph is placed in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Did all the voices of all the great Warner Bros cartoons including Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck and of course Porky Pig’s famous “That’s all Folks”, which is inscribed on the headstone – because it was. Buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Cartoon animator, best known for his work on the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” for the Warner Brothers Animation Department, where he worked for thirty years. He introduced and/or developed several of the studio's biggest stars, including Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Speedy Gonzales, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, and Yosemite Sam (to whom he was said to bear more than a passing resemblance). He won five Academy Awards for his animated work that also included “The Pink Panther,” after Warner closed their animation department in 1963. He is interred in a crypt in Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, with twin tablets shown above.
She is best remembered for her role of “Ann Darrow,” the female lead in the original 1933 movie "King Kong." She was also one of the first of Hollywood's "Scream Queens" and more recently for the sing-a-long line in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Whatever happened to Fay Wray”. She died. She is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.Cemetery.
In 1913 he, his brother-in-law Samuel Goldwyn, and Cecil B. DeMille became partners and founded the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, which would later be known as Lasky-Famous Players Studio and finally by the name it is known today as, Paramount. This new studio rented a barn and shot what many consider to be Hollywood's first feature-length film, “'The Squaw Man.” The barn where that movie was shot is today called the Lasky-DeMille Barn and houses the Hollywood Heritage Museum. In 1927, he was one of the thirty-six founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His crypt is in Hollywood Forever Cemetery just behind the Paramount Studios lot.
His epitaph reads “He Leadeth Me” and was hailed as one of Hollywood's greatest filmmakers. He is the credited director of both "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind," winning a Best Director Academy Award for the latter. In the silent era, he was briefly engaged to Clara Bow and romantically linked with Norma Shearer, Lupe Velez, and Alice White, among others. In 1934 Fleming impregnated his best friend's wife and reluctantly married her, transforming the confirmed bachelor to a devoted family man. This domestic tranquility lasted until 1948, when the 65 year-old Fleming had a final fling with his 29 year-old "Joan of Arc" star, Ingrid Bergman, dying just two weeks after that film's premiere of a heart attack. Interred in a crypt in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Considered the most handsome leading man of all time, Gable enjoyed a career spanning three decades with appearances in 92 movies including "Gone With the Wind.” Gable won an Academy Award in 1934 for his role in "It Happened One Night." His third marriage to actress Carole Lombard ended with her tragic death at 33 in a plane crash in 1942 while participating in a bond drive. Distraught, he withdrew from his career and though well over the draft age, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps becoming an aerial gunner during World War II, flying in five bombing missions over Germany and received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. Discharged with the rank of Major, he returned to Hollywood and resumed filmmaking. Two weeks after completing his last movie, "The Misfits" he suffered a heart attack and died soon afterward. “The Misfits,” directed by John Huston co-starred Marilyn Monroe, also in her last film. She idolized Gable, but his frustration with her being late to the set and not ready to film, combined with the desert heat, was always thought to be a contributing factor to the heart attack that killed him. Monroe was widely blamed, and her feeling of guilt started her battle with prescription drugs that ultimately ended in her death a short time later. Clark Gable was buried in a closed casket. An Episcopal service was led by an Air Force chaplain, accompanied by an honor guard at the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA. His fifth wife Kay had arranged for him to be interred next to his third wife, Carole Lombard. A few weeks later she delivered his only son at the same hospital where he died.
Comedic actress, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her career spanned from the silent era to "talkies." She received her only Oscar nomination for Best Actress in "My Man Godfrey". "No Man Of Her Own" put her opposite Clark Gable for the first and only time but their marriage was still seven years away when they became the ideal Hollywood couple known for their success in the film industry. Clark Gable journeyed to Nevada to join a search party seeking the wreckage of a TWA twin engine DC-3 airliner flying from Indianapolis to Los Angeles. Aboard were 22 passengers including Carole Lombard Gable and her mother on their way home after appearing at a war bond drive just before boarding. There were no survivors. Clark Gable rode on the train that carried the bodies of his wife and mother-in-law back to Los Angeles. Gable purchased three crypts at Forest Lawn Cemetery, one for Carole, her mother and a reserve for himself. A World War II Liberty Ship was christened in her honor. She is interred next to Gable and to her mother who also perished in the crash. A distraught Gable enlisted in the Army Air Corp and flew missions over Germany, some thought he had a death wish. He never fully recovered from the tragedy, and despite future marriages it is thought she was the only wife he ever truly loved. Another tragic end for a beautiful Hollywood blonde, dead at age 33.
He enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and began his career on the stage with many lean years performing in vaudeville and stock companies, then appearing in silent films: “Sherlock Holmes,” “Romola” and “Beau Geste.” Finally on to great success in sound films: “The Great Ziegfield,” “My Man Godfrey” (Academy nomination), “Life With Father” (Academy nomination), “How to Marry a Millionaire” and his final movie before complete retirement in 1955, “Mister Roberts.” Teamed with Myrna Loy, they combined in a series of five films called the “Thin Man Series.” The first “Thin Man” movie earned him an Academy nomination. Over a 14 year period, William and Myrna were a screen team appearing together in a total of 14 movies. Powell had a track record of marriages to leading actresses from the movies in which he appeared. His second wife, Carole Lombard, who when parting company commented, "That S.O.B. is always acting, even when he takes off his pajamas." A near miss of marriage to Jean Harlow was nullified because of her untimely death but he was corralled into paying the burial bill. A crypt was reserved for him in the Harlow burial room at Forest Lawn but it remains empty. He met his match in Diana Lewis an MGM starlet, a union that lasted 44 years until his death. In 1938 he survived a bout with cancer and still went on to complete an amazing fifty year career in show business starting from the stage, to silent movies and finally “the talkies.” He knew when to retire, when his sophisticated debonair appearance started declining, William Powell called it quits at age 63 settling in Palm Springs where he enjoyed more then 25 years of blissful life. He resisted offers of "comeback" roles, even though tempted, Powell declined them all. He was cremated and his ashes buried, without fanfare, beside his only son who had tragically committed suicide years before in Desert Memorial Park near his home in Palm Springs.
Son of actor William Powell, he was an acclaimed television writer whose credits include "Bonanza," "Death Valley," "77 Sunset Strip" and "Rawhide." David also worked as an associate producer at Warner Bros. and Universal Studios, and held an executive position at NBC. He stabbed himself repeatedly in the upper body while standing in his shower; had suffered depression, hepatitis and chronic kidney problems. Dead at age 43 and buried in Desert Memorial Park outside of Palm Springs.
Harlow, platinum blonde predecessor to Marilyn Monroe, she appeared in forty-one movies, was voted to the American Film Institute's list of the greatest actresses of the Golden Age and became the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life Magazine. Her first feature film "Hell's Angels" drew an estimated crowd of 50,000 people at Grauman's Chinese Theatre during its Premier. Her personal life was the substance that the tabloid media thrived upon: The suicide of her second husband, Paul Bern, her relationships with gangsters, nude photos at the age of 17, problems with a greedy stepfather and a supposed abortion. Jean was the product of an overbearing, divorced, failed actress mother who prodded, trained with encouragement toward show business. She was paired with Hollywood's leading men, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and William Powell thus becoming the cinema's chief female money maker. She suffered from scarlet fever at 15, which probably led to the kidney disease that tragically took her life in 1937 at the young age of 26. Jean Harlow was married three times with a fourth on the horizon with William Powell. Her funeral was an extravaganza staged at Forest Lawn, Glendale with her co-star of five movies, Clark Gable, acted as a pallbearer with Jeanette McDonald & Nelson Eddy singing at the ceremony, followed by a huge banquet. She was entombed in a private chamber of the Great Mausoleum in Forest Lawn Glendale where her individual crypt is simply marked “Our Baby”.
In the mid-1920s, he became a production assistant and story consultant to Irving Thalberg at MGM, whom he succeeded after his early death, becoming one of the most important and powerful film producers of the era.
He became the stuff of tabloid legend when, at age 42 the tubby, balding executive suddenly married sex goddess Jean Harlow, his junior by 22 years. Just two months after their marriage, Harlow left Bern alone at their home to visit her mother, but when Bern did not join her as planned an investigation found him dead. He was sprawled naked in front of a full-length mirror in their bathroom, drenched in her favorite perfume, shot through the head with the revolver nearby. He left an apparent suicide note, which read "Dearest dear, unfortunately this is the only way to make good the frightful wrong I have done you and wipe out my abject humiliation. I love you. Paul. You understand last night was only a comedy." It was also revealed that prior to his marriage to Harlow, Bern apparently had a common-law wife, Dorothy Milette, who was reportedly mentally unbalanced. Witnesses reported a woman answering Milette’s description visited Bern the night of his death. Milette was last seen boarding the "Delta Queen" in Sacramento, days later her body was found in the Sacramento River. Rumors that Paul was either gay or impotent also swirled after his death. Although the official cause of Bern’s death was found to be suicide, rumors circulated that he may have been murdered. The potentially scandalous circumstances surrounding the death were concealed for years by MGM. Harlow would not speak of Bern's death for the remainder of her short life. Entombed at Inglewood Park Cemetery in LA.
She made Hollywood history as the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in "Gone With the Wind.” As Mammy she was a genius of common sense, providing the film with its voice of reason. "She's one person whose respect I'd like to have," muses Clark Gable's Rhett Butler. In 1945 she helped organize a class-action lawsuit against housing discrimination in her Los Angeles neighborhood; the case went to the U. S. Supreme Court, and race-based restrictions on owning property were ruled unconstitutional. She was the first black woman to sing on American radio, and the first to star in her own radio and television series, "Beulah." Racism literally dogged her to the grave. McDaniel's dying wish, to be buried at Hollywood Memorial Park (later named Hollywood Forever Cemetery), was denied because at the time that cemetery did not permit burials of Black Americans. In 1999, this memorial cenotaph was finally placed there by McDaniel's relatives.
At the time of her death, Virginia was best known as the face on the sheet music cover of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," a popular song of that time. Virginia won an award as "Best Dressed Girl in Pictures" but unfortunately she was better known within the Hollywood community for something else. She came to know comedic great Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle who had worked at Keystone Studios with her then fiancée. She went to a hotel party with Arbuckle to celebrate his multi-million dollar contract with Paramount but was soon screaming in his bedroom and rushed nearly naked to the hospital where she died. Arbuckle was charged with her murder. The first two trials ended in hung juries, Arbuckle was finally acquitted in the third trial with an unprecedented apology from the jury although his career was permanently ruined. Imagine the OJ Simpson Trial times three and that’s what a media sensation it was, Hollywood’s first but certainly not the last. No one ever really knew what happened that day in 1921. All that is for sure is that Virginia died in a hospital on the Friday after, of the injuries sustained at that party, allegedly from having sex with Arbuckle and a wine bottle. She is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Silent screen actress known as "The Biograph Girl," and the first “movie star." Lawrence persuaded famed Director D.W. Griffith to hire her for Biograph Pictures, where she became "The Biograph Girl" because actors were not originally credited in films for fear they would become famous and demand more money. In 1915, she was seriously injured while shooting a stunt on a burning staircase, affecting her physically, mentally and leaving her with back problems, facial scarring and temporary paralysis. She made many attempts at a comeback, resorting to plastic surgery in the 1920s to try to improve her appearance. In 1936, she was hired by MGM, which was attempting to revive past stars, though mostly in bit parts paying her just $75 a week. She died poor without ever regaining her former fame, committing suicide by ingesting a lethal mixture of cough syrup and ant paste. Her grave remained unmarked in a lonely corner of Hollywood Forever Cemetery for many years, until actor Roddy McDowell purchased a headstone when he found out about the tragic situation.
LaMarr is most famous as one of the first drug-related deaths in Hollywood. She was going strong & fast, already working to shed her fourth husband when she was dubbed "The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful." Hordes of fans flocked to theaters to see this beautiful actress in movies. The public adored her; she was already on her fifth marriage and was a familiar face on the Hollywood party scene. After an affair with John Gilbert, her career went into a decline, and her contract with Metro was terminated the year she died. Her constant late night partying no doubt, brought about her demise. She kept a golden box of cocaine on her piano and was a known heroin user, although the studio blamed her death on too-rigorous dieting. An estimated 40,000 mourners attended her funeral after which she was entombed in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Never had more then two hours of sleep a day, because she felt that life was too short to waste it by sleeping, but she is catching up on her rest now.
Tanner deserted his wife and a young daughter in New York for Hollywood and took the name William Desmond Taylor. He was one of the foremost directors of his era making more than forty films over seven years and serving as president of the Motion Picture Director’s Association. Approximately 7:30 a.m. on February 2, 1922, valet Henry Peavey arrived to discover Taylor's body on the living room floor, dead of a gunshot wound at age 50. Several people came to the home, to tamper with, and/or remove evidence before the police were called. They didn't want another scandal in Hollywood, as Taylor's murder occurred while “Fatty” Arbuckle was then on trial for the murder of Virginia Rappe. The police investigation focused on some of Hollywood's biggest stars at the time, including silent screen actress Mabel Normand because she ransacked the house to burn love letters after the murder. It seems Taylor was also having affairs with actress Mary Miles Minter and her mother at the same time and all three had visited his house on the night of his death, which has never been solved. He is entombed in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, not far from screen great Valentino.
Actress who was cast in comedy roles from early on because of her sense of humor and comic timing. It was while she was working for Biograph that she met Mack Sennett under whose direction she would become famous. D. W. Griffith bought the Biograph studios and moved it to Los Angeles. Sennett left Biograph and formed the Keystone Studios (famous for the Keystone Cops movies), taking Mabel with him. Mabel appeared in 50 films that year; moviegoers flocked to see her. She also started making films with "Fatty" Arbuckle and each of the films was a success. She later signed with Samuel Goldwyn at the rate of $3,500 a week, but unfortunately this was the beginning of the end of her career. She was known for her wild parties and addiction to cocaine. When the public learned of her connection to the William Desmond Taylor murder case, she fell out of public favor. By the time the 1920s were coming to a close, Mabel contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 35. The world lost a great comedienne, a true cinema pioneer, another Hollywood legend and maybe even a murderess at a very young age. Buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Born Juliet Rielly, one of her early roles was as the abandoned child in the 1909 stage production of "A Fool There Was," the story that a few years later was adapted as a movie and launched Theda Bara to stardom. By 1911 she was Broadway's most prolific child actress. It was around 1912 that she attracted unwanted attention from the Gerry Society, which policed child performers under the age of 16. Mary hand-wrote her last will and testament on August 9, 1983. In this will she stated her wishes to be cremated, with her ashes to be scattered alongside Santa Monica Pier, near her home.
He was the first Tarzan. A former Arkansas peace officer, Elmo Linkenhelt worked in D.W. Griffith's "The Battle of Elderbush Gulch" when in a fight scene his shirt was partially torn off, displaying his powerful chest. Griffith noticed, called him over, and told him "That's quite a chest you have there". Griffith changed the name to Elmo Lincoln. He got the role in "Tarzan of the Apes" when, a few days after production began, World War I broke out an the man originally contracted to play Tarzan walked off the set and enlisted. The film was a box office smash, one of the first to earn over a million dollars. His final silent performance was in a cheap serial "King of the Jungle" (1927) after which he moved to Mexico and invested in mining. He came back to play a number of bit parts and appeared briefly in a Circus as "The Original Tarzan - in Person". Cremated with remains entombed in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Prolific, award-winning American motion picture and television actor of the 1910s through 1960s, he was nicknamed the "Handsomest Man in Movies" during the silent age. He appeared in many landmark films, including Cecil B. DeMille’s 1925 silent epic "Ben Hur." A major Hollywood star, the epitaph on his crypt at Forest Lawn in Glendale reads “King of the Movies”, but his early home, one of Hollywood’s first mansions, was on Hollywood Blvd at the site of what became the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend He was one of the "greats" of Hollywood's golden age. He was one of Bogart’s best friends and directed him in such film classics such as "The Maltese Falcon", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", “Key Largo” and "The African Queen". Huston also directed “The Misfits”, which co-starred Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in their last film. Also acting in Chinatown” opposite Jack Nicholson in his Oscar Winning performance. He and his father Walter Huston are the first father-son couple to be Oscar-nominated the same year (1941) and the first to win the same year (1949). He also directed his daughter, Angelica Huston, to Oscar glory in the mob tale Prizzi's Honor. (Angelica met Jack Nicholson while on set with her father during the Chinatown shoot, lived with Nicholson for a decade and co-starred with him in “Prizzi’s Honor” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice”.) They are the first family to have three generations of Oscar winners, the second family is the Coppolas: Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Cage and Carmine Coppola. Huston was a licensed pilot...and a prankster. He once flew over a golf course and dropped 5,000 ping-pong balls while a celebrity golf tournament was in progress. Huston wrote a somewhat sanitized autobiography in 1980 (friends who read it said, "Good book, John - who's it about?"). At one time he kept a pet monkey. His wife of the time, Evelyn Keyes, became fed up with the noise and the mess and told Huston that either she or the monkey would have to leave. "Honey," replied Huston, "it's you!" He was once called "the eccentric's eccentric" by Paul Newman. Huston was married five times and is buried with his Mother at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. He is also the former father-in-law of Chicago’s own Oscar-winning actress Virginia Madsen.
Named by AFI as the best actor of the century, what more can you say about him. Bogart starred in a number of all-time film classics such as "The Maltese Falcon" (1941), "Casablanca" (1942), and "To Have and Have Not" (1944). He won an Oscar as Best Actor for his role of "Charlie Allnut" in the 1951 John Huston classic "The African Queen," co-starring Katharine Hepburn. He met, and later married, actress Lauren Bacall on the set of "To Have and Have Not," the first of four films in which they starred together. He died of lung cancer, likely due to his heavy smoking habit. Bogart founded the gang of friends that later became known as “The Rat Pak”. Cremated and interred behind a locked garden gate in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Just had to include Lauren (wife of screen great Humphrey Bogart) Bacall’s beloved Beagle, killed in a tragic car incident in Hollywood when he jumped out of the parked car just a little too quick and into oncoming traffic. He is in the L.A. Pet Cemetery in Calabasas. Dog owners should always look both ways.
Beloved character actor, whose style and accent made him popular with his fans. He was a virtual unknown for years playing bit parts in numerous films in Europe when German director Fritz Lang cast him as a psychopathic child killer in "M" (1931). After several more German films, the Nazis came to power, and in 1933, he left for Paris, then Hollywood where he became icon after roles in "The Maltese Falcon" and "Casablanca" where he became a great friend of Bogart. His daughter Catharine was almost abducted by the Hillside Stranglers, Bianchi & Buono, who let her go when they found out she was Peter Lorre's daughter. His voice style was often imitated in films and cartoons, most recently as the worm in Tim Buton’s “The Corpse Bride.” He was easily one of the most mimicked and caricatured of all Hollywood stars. Once, while he and Vincent Price went to view Bela Lugosi at Bela's funeral, and upon seeing Bela dressed in his famous Dracula cape, quipped "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?" Cremated and entombed in Hollywood Forever Cemetery not far from Rudolph Valentino.
Born in Quincy, Illinois, she appeared in more than 100 films but is best known for her role in "The Maltese Falcon" (1941), in which she co-starred alongside Humphrey Bogart. Mary's parents pushed her into various beauty contests where she came to the attention of Hollywood moguls who signed her at the age of 14. She later had a lively affair with John Barrymore (Drew Barrymore’s grandfather) however, the affair ended before she could star with him again in the classic “Don Juan” (1926). Mary was now the new cinematic darling with each film packing the theaters. By the end of the twenties, the sound revolution had taken a strong hold on the industry, and Mary was one of those lucky actresses who made the successful transition to "talkies" because of her voice and strong screen presence. In 1941, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Great Lie” after which she appeared in “The Maltese Falcon,” but her star soon began to fall. Because of her three divorces, the death of her first husband (Kenneth Hawks who died in a plane crash), alcoholism, a suicide attempt, and a persistent heart condition, Mary got smaller roles in movies. Her second divorce was initiated when her husband found a lurid diary about an affair with another man, writer George S. Kaufman; the diary was so explicit that the Judge would not allow it to be entered as evidence. Buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.
The true original "King of Comedy." In 1912, while as an actor-director in D.W. Griffith's Biograph Studio in New York, Mack Sennett lost a $100 bet to ex-bookies and now movie exchange operators Adam Kessel and Charles Baumann, in the 1912 Preakness horse race. As payment, he proposed to them that he set up a comedy company in Glendale, California that would make them all rich. To his amazement, they accepted and Keystone Studio was born. He brought the beautiful Mabel Normand (his girlfriend) to California. She, Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Ben Turpin, and many others got their start with Mack. In 1913, the first custard pie ever thrown in a movie was thrown by Mabel Normand into the face of Fatty Arbuckle. Sennett discovered and hired Charlie Chaplin, whom he saw in a traveling vaudeville show, and of course the “Keystone Cops” were his short comedy trademarks. Buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.
"Keystone Teddy" the Wonder Dog, arguably the first canine superstar of the American cinema, was a Great Dane that was featured in numerous short films at Mack Sennett's Keystone Film Co. The popularity of Teddy was such that he became one of Sennett's highest paid "actors," commanding the sterling salary of $350 a week. Teddy also provided stalwart support to "America's Sweetheart, Canadian-born Mary Pickford, in her sentimental 1918 pot-boiler “Stella Maris”, where America's Best Friend was billed as ‘The Sennett Dog’. Teddy's most frequent co-stars were ophthalmologically challenged Ben Turpin and Pepper the Cat. Appearing in almost 50 movies, his most famous picture was the 1917 short film “Teddy at the Throttle “, a classic of the canine genre. The film combined absurd chase scenes, including a race against time to save the heroine (Sennett bathing beauty Gloria Swanson) from being run over by a train, slapstick comedy, satire and animal comedy. The film also co-starred future Best Actor Academy Award-winner Wallace Beery as the heavy. In the movie, Teddy the Wonder Dog -- who was then relatively underpaid at $35 per week -- sang with Gloria, danced with her maid, and saved her by stopping a train, thus enabling her to be reunited with her true love. Interestingly, Swanson claimed that she did not recall making the film, in which she was upstaged by the famous pooch. Teddy retired from the Hollywood "dog eats dog" rat-race after filming “The Hollywood Kid” in 1924. Inexplicably, his headstone has impossibly wrong dates of birth and death.
Son of the famous Charlie Chaplin (could have been named Chaplin the third, because his grandfather was also Charlie); and the infamous Lita Grey, she was 12 years old when she started working for Chaplin, changing her name from McMurray to Grey because it was the color of a kitten Charlie gave her. Pushed on Chaplin by the girl’s mother, at the age of 15 she was pregnant by Chaplin and at 16 she married him. The mother’s brother, conveniently a lawyer, had pointed out the theory of statutory rape to Chaplin. In 1927, after three years of marriage they divorced, evidently part of a bigger and successful scheme by the Mother-in-Law to cash in on Chaplin. Sordid details came out about Lita and Charlie’s sex life during the divorce, and sensational headline claims that they would name five other prominent Hollywood actresses that Chaplin had slept with during the marriage forced Charlie to settle for big dollars to avoid the disclosure. Only in Hollywood, he is entombed next to the infamous Mother-in-law, and his grandmother, at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. His legendary father is buried in Switzerland, where his body was later kidnapped for ransom, but found abandoned not far from the cemetery.
Mother of legendary motion picture actor and pioneer, Charlie Chaplin, who was completely distraught at his loss, when she died of a heart ailment at the peak of his career. In the biopic of Chaplin, starring Robert Downey Jr., Hannah was played by Chaplin’s real life daughter, Geraldine Chaplin. Buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Infant son of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin married 16-year-old child film star, Mildred Harris, October 23, 1918. The couple had one son born July 7, 1919. The baby, originally named Charles Chaplin Jr. apparently suffered from birth defects and died after three days. Chaplin could not bear to have his name on a death certificate or headstone and had the stone inscribed “The Little Mouse.” Chaplin's classic 1921 comic film, “The Kid,” was supposed to have been inspired by this child. Buried in Inglewood Cemetery, just South of Hollywood near LAX.
Legendary silent screen actress, her film career began when she joined the Biograph company in New York under the direction of D.W. Griffith. Over the next 2 years she starred in over 79 films at Biograph, moving out to Hollywood in what became Paramount Pictures. Her fame and fortune grew and Mary was nicknamed “America's Sweetheart”, a mantle later picked up by Meg Ryan and then Jennifer Anniston. By 1917, she was so famous that she set off on a war bonds tour with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.. She began her affair with Fairbanks during the tour and after divorcing Owen Moore, they were married in 1920 and became even more popular as a couple. They were treated like Hollywood royalty and drew famous names to their home named “Pickfair”. Throughout the 20's Mary slowed down her film production to one quality picture per year, but by the end of the decade her screen persona was looking dated and Mary decided to change it. With a new shorter haircut and in her first talking picture, Coquette, in 1929, she won the Oscar for Best Actress. Her career suffered greatly with talking pictures and by 1936 her marriage to Fairbanks was over, remaining more or less a recluse at her Hollywood mansion. She was the co-founder of United Artists Pictures with then husband Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith, a studio now owned by Tom Cruise. The first lady of the silent screen is buried beneath a huge monument in a gated section of Forest Lawn Cemetery near Humphrey Bogart and Sammy Davis Jr.
Legendary swashbuckling romantic leading man. By the late teens, Doug was such a popular actor that he was able to form his own production company. In 1917, while on a War Bonds tour with Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin he fell madly in love with “America’s Sweetheart” Mary. As the both of them were married at the time, their romance was one of Hollywood's best kept secrets. In 1920, they divorced their partners, got married and became the ultimate power couple, America’s early equivalent to Aniston & Pitt and then some. He and Mary also made one picture together, "Taming of the Shrew" in 1929 and Fairbanks was the co-founder of United Artists Pictures with Mary, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith, a studio now owned by Tom Cruise. The couple divorced in 1936, he married his longtime mistress Lady Sylvia Ashley (who later married Clark Gable). His health had also began to fail him and he began to experience heart problems. He died in his sleep of a heart attack at the early age of 56 and is buried in a huge crypt with a reflecting pool in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, later joined by his son, actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Legendary stage, radio, motion picture, and television entertainer gained international fame with wife Gracie Allen while performing as the "Burns & Allen" comedy team. His TV series..."The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" which lasted eight years and 292 episodes, was one of the classic comedies of the 1950’s. Gracie in poor health retired afterward and finally passed away. George attempted to continue alone but became relatively dormant for a decade, however, at age 79 he became resurgent with films such as “Oh, God” (he played God) and his one man shows in Las Vegas. At the age of 80, he received an Academy Award for the role in “The Sunshine Boys,” making him the oldest Oscar recipient. Still going strong, he was booked at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas for his 100th Birthday and was scheduled to play at London’s Palladium on New Years Eve 1999; always mentioning in interviews that he could not die until after his Hundredth Birthday because he was booked. Fate intervened with an accidental fall in 1994 which was his swan song. His health gradually diminished, with death coming at his Beverly Hills residence forty three days after his 100th birthday. He joined Gracie in their companion crypt located in the Freedom Mausoleum of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. The epitaph on their tomb reads: "Gracie Allen. George Burns. Together Again." He had three stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, the most until upstaged by Bob Hope with four.
Bob Hope was one of the most beloved performers in history. He has earned over 2,000 awards and honors, including, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2 honorary Oscars, 2 Emmys, the National Medal of Arts and 58 honorary degrees. He has four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was famous for his USO Shows, where he entertained United States troops in every major conflict from World War II to the 1991 Gulf War. For his long career and efforts, he hosted the Academy Awards more than anyone else and has been awarded a total of 5 special Academy Awards but never one for acting, which he always coveted. He is the holder of two Guinness Book of Records: Most Honored Entertainer, and Entertainer with the longest running contract with a single network (NBC - 61 years). His signature song "Thanks for the Memories" was first sung in the film "The Big Broadcast of 1938" (1938). Born Leslie Townes Hope in England he immigrated with his parents to Cleveland, Ohio in 1908. He reportedly changed his name to Bob when his early classmates teased him over his first name. He became a United States citizen in 1920. He continued making films all through his career, but some became notable in the public's memory, including a series of "Road" films, starting with the "Road to Singapore" (1940) with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, which became a hit. Several additional "Road" films were made, including "Road to Zanzibar," "Road to Morocco," "Road to Utopia," "Road to Rio," "Road to Bali," and "Road to Hong Kong." Beginning in May 1941, Hope became involved with the United Services Organization (USO), and organized entertainment to the troops during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War, giving it up only in 2001. He even organized entertainment for the troops between the wars, and served as the USO Entertainment Coordinator from 1941 until 2001, finally relinquishing his position to Wayne Newton. Because of his overwhelming patriotic stance, he was made an honorary veteran by an Act of Congress in 1997, and was given an honorary knighthood (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976. Queen Elizabeth also made him an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in 1998, in recognition of his contribution to film, song, and to the entertainment of troops. Due to savvy California real estate investing in the San Fernando Valley with his pal and fellow golf enthusiast, Bing Crosby, he died one of the wealthiest show biz stars ever, worth over $1 billion dollars. Bob Hope died just 60 days past his 100th Birthday, beating out his good friend by just 17 days. He is buried in a huge mausoleum, in a private cemetery built exclusively for him and his family, just behind Mission San Fernando Rey de España in Mission Hills California.
Actor and singer, maybe remembered best for his many "Road" movies with costar Bob Hope, as well as for such classic movies as “Bells of St. Mary", and “White Christmas." When one of his songs became successful on the radio in 1931, it brought him to the attention of Hollywood where Paramount Pictures included him in the movie, "The Big Broadcast of 1932" (1932), and his relaxed, low key style hit just the right note with the audience, making him a star. More films followed with varying acclaim, but in 1940, he was teamed with his friend, Bob Hope along with Dorothy Lamour in "The Road to Singapore" and the combination of jokes, songs, romance, burlesque and exotic locations lead to additional "Road" movies including "Road to Zanzibar", "Morocco", "Utopia", "Rio", "Bali", and "Hong Kong." In 1944, he played "Father O'Malley" in the sentimental comedy-drama "Going My Way" (1944) and won an Oscar for Best Actor, later receiving two other nominations in his long career. In the film "Holiday Inn" (1942), he sang Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and it went on to become the world’s biggest selling record for the next 50 years. An avid golfer with long time pal Bob Hope, he died of a heart attack on a golf course in Madrid, Spain, after completing a tour of England that had included a sold-out engagement at the London Palladium. His last words were reportedly, "That was a great game of golf, fellers." He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles, not far from Bela Lugosi, Sharon Tate and Bert Lahr.
One of the great beauties of motion pictures and television, she started her career by winning the Miss New Orleans beauty contest in 1931. With no singing lessons, in 1935 she got a contract with Paramount and started her own musical program on NBC Radio. In 1936 she moved to Hollywood and began appearing in movies: “Jungle Princess,” “The Hurricane” and “The Greatest Show on Earth,” but she is probably best remembered for her exotic sex appeal when teaming up with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby for their many road movies including “Road to Morocco”, “Road to Bali," etc. Her autobiography was even called “My Side of the Road.” Buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
Comic actor whose career spanned show business from vaudeville, silent films, radio, television, to Broadway and Las Vegas. Milton's career began at the age of 5 on the streets of upper Manhattan, where he did Charlie Chaplin imitations to entertain other kids. An agent saw him and found work for him as the Buster Brown Boy, selling shoes. Chaplin heard about him and sent for him, and he appeared in several silent films with the great Charlie Chaplin. His first credited film was "The Perils of Pauline" in 1948 but he was in over 70 films over the course of his lifetime. He successfully made the transition to television with “The Milton Berle Show,” which ran for nearly ten years. Known as both Uncle Milty and Mr. Television, as the New York Times once observed, "Television didn't make Milton Berle, Milton Berle made television." His epitaph reads “Loving Husband, adored father, beloved Grandpa Milton, you filled our lives with love and laughter”. Uncle Milty lies in a crypt in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, not far from pal Jack Benny.
Comedian best remembered for his comically inept violin playing (he was actually a very good violin player), his carefully constructed image as a penny-pincher, and for never being older than 39. His most famous joke was as a man confronted by a robber who demands "Your money or your life!" to which Jack pauses for an extremely long silence, then replies "I'm thinking it over!" Born here in Chicago he was raised in Waukegan, Illinois (the Jack Benny Middle School's football team is called the 39er's in his honor). He began in Vaudeville as a violin player and appeared in a number of movie shorts, getting his movie breakthrough in MGM's "The Hollywood Revue." Although he continued to appear in a number of movies during the 1930s and 1940s, he made his name known on radio, where he established himself as a comedian, portraying himself as a wisecracking, penny-pinching, tightwad. His self-depreciating humor style quickly found a wide audience. From 1950 to 1965 he had his own television show "The Jack Benny Show," which was a hit throughout its run. In 1962, Jack appeared on the game show "The $64,000 Question," when after answering the first question (worth $64), he quit and took home the money, rather than risk losing it on a second question (his category was violins). He died the day after Christmas 1974, at his home in Los Angeles, California, of pancreatic cancer. His long term real life wife, Sadye Marks worked with him under the stage name of Mary Livingstone. He wrote in the cement during his footprint ceremony in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater – “My feet belong to Grauman but my heart belongs to Mary.” He and Mary are both in a huge, elegant black marble sarcophagus belying his miserly persona, but you can’t take it with you. His epitaph reads “A beloved husband, father and grandfather” and “A gentleman” in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angles.
Famed impresario of movie theaters, he was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His middle name was Patrick, for being born on St. Patrick's Day. He built Grauman's Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd, later adding his world-renown Chinese Theatre just down the street at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard. Opened on May 18th, 1927 it is now one of the most-visited places in Southern California, famous for the hand & foot print ceremony’s in its forecourt which was his idea and over which he ceremonies he presided his entire life. The theater set the standard for all movie palaces to come and has been home to the premiers of some of the most important films ever made, starting with it’s first, Cecil B. DeMille’s “King of Kings.” Sid is entombed next to Irving Thalberg, Red Skelton and Jean Harlow in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale, California.
The daughter of legendary Hollywood mother Peg Talmadge. Her father, an alcoholic and unemployed, left the family when Norma was a child. Peg saw an opportunity to get Norma into motion pictures. Traveling to Vitagraph Studios she managed to get past the studio gates and see a casting director, who threw them out. Peg and Norma continued to haunt Vitagraph with telephone calls, and in 1910 Norma got some small parts in films. In 1913, she was voted Vitagraph's most promising young player and was ranked 42nd in Photoplay Magazine's popularity poll. In the 5 years she had been with Vitagraph, she had played in over 250 films. At a party Norma met Joseph Schenck (who was founder of 20th Century Fox with Darryl Zanuck), and in October 1916 they were married. In 1920 Norma moved her production company to Hollywood and throughout the 1920's she continued to triumph in films. During the filming of Camille, she had fallen in love with co star Gilbert Roland and began divorce proceedings to marry him. She never married Roland, but Schenck never tried to stop the divorce proceedings. Her career began to decline and when the "talkies" arrived, her career was pretty much over. In 1934, she finally divorced Schenck, from whom she had been separated for seven years, and nine days later married actor George Jessel. She divorced Jessel in 1939, falling into drug addiction of which her crippling arthritis was one manifestation. In 1946 Norma married Dr. Carvel James who made her last years as comfortable as possible. She died on December 24, 1957. She was the first to have her footprints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, when she accidentally stepped in the fresh stuff in 1927 in front of theater impresario Sid Grauman. The light bulb went on and the rest is history. She is in a crypt in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Legendary motion picture comic actor, writer, producer, and director from the silent age thru the 1960s. A chance meeting with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle changed his life forever. Arbuckle had been making movie shorts with Mack Sennett . He asked Buster to do a scene with him in "The Butcher Boy," Buster agreed and a lifelong friendship began. His deadpan expression and innovative film making at his own studio got huge laughs. In 1921, he married his first wife, Natalie Talmadge, sister to the famous Norma and Constance Talmadge. Natalie spent the money as soon as Buster would earn it. She demanded new houses and new clothes and everything. By 1928, Buster had signed with MGM, but lost control over his filmmaking and went into a downward spiral with alcohol. By 1933, Buster was on his way out. Natalie had divorced him. Buster had a complete breakdown and various stays in the hospital. It was there he met a nurse named Mae Scribbins, and in 1935, he married her. This marriage didn't last and by the end of the decade, he was divorced again. In 1940, however, luck began to change for Buster. He met a 21-year-old MGM dancer by the name of Eleanor and married her that year. Buster was 45 years old, but it was the turning point in Buster's life. Eleanor encouraged him to stop drinking and get his life back in order. By the 1950's, Buster had made an appearance in a Chaplin film, "Limelight," and been on numerous TV shows and had his own show. Buster continued working up until his death in 1966. He was a true comedy genius and film pioneer, but another one of those great stars with a difficult and often tragic personal life. His grave is at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
Top dog of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from its inception until 1951, he was the mightiest of Hollywood moguls and at one point the highest paid executive in America. In 1924, exhibitor Marcus Loew, owner of Metro Pictures and Loews Theaters bought controlling interests in the Goldwyn and Mayer companies and merged them into the vast Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with Mayer in charge of West Coast operations and Thalberg as production head. Under Mayer's leadership MGM became the most opulent of Hollywood studios, with "More stars than there are in heaven" and the finest craftsman and technician's money could buy. His ruthlessness made him many enemies but even his detractors acknowledged his organizational skills and knack for hiring and developing talent. Mayer's greatest adversary, oddly enough, was his own boss, Nicholas Schenck, President (since 1927) of MGM's parent company, Loews Inc. Their enmity dated from 1929 when Schenck secretly negotiated to sell Loews Theaters to rival producer William Fox; Mayer, who stood to lose his job, used his friends in the Hoover Administration to help kill the deal under anti-trust laws. The two men never forgave each other. Schenck depended on Mayer to run the production end but was wary of his popularity with the company's shareholders, which he viewed as a threat to his own power. The death of Thalberg (a Schenck favorite) in 1936 only strengthened Mayer's hold on the studio, and as long as MGM operated in the black - which it did for many years, even during the Depression - his position was unassailable. That position began to slip in the 1940s and he was eventually forced out. He died of leukemia at 72, an unhappy multimillionaire. Mayer was instrumental in founding the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927; and the library of the American Film Institute was named for him. His daughter, Irene Mayer, married producer David O. Selznick. He is buried at Home of Peace Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Louis B. Mayer hired a film genius, Thalberg away from Universal as the head of production for the newly formed studio of MGM. It wasn't long before MGM was the most powerful and productive studio in the United States, and every single movie made at MGM between 1924 and 1932 was made under Thalberg’s guidance. He also grabbed up the Marx Brothers when they were dropped by Paramount, after the now classic “Duck Soup” was a box office disaster, and brought them back to the top. He tracked down Norma Shearer after seeing her in a 1920 film and signed her to a screen contract at MGM and married her in 1927. She was a very popular leading lady at MGM and one of the studio's biggest stars while they became one of Hollywood's power couples. She won an Academy award for her performance in the 1930 film "The Divorcee". He was also one of the thirty-six founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On Christmas 1932, Thalberg suffered a heart attack. While he and Norma were away in Europe, hoping this break from work might improve his health, Mayer brought his son-in-law David O. Selznick to the studio as an independent producer and sent Thalberg a telegram informing him that his position, Head of Production, no longer existed. On Labor Day weekend in 1936, Thalberg caught a cold, which swiftly turned into pneumonia and then a coma and he died at the age of thirty-seven and all of Hollywood shut down for five minutes of silence on the day of his funeral. His weak heart had finally permanently given out. Norma retired from films in the early 1940's and later married a ski instructor named Martin Arrouge who was twenty years younger. She was buried with Thalberg when she died 47 years later interred in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale, California. The Academy gives out the “Irving Thalberg” award at every Oscar ceremony for "Creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production."
Legendary motion picture producer, in 1936, he established his own studio, Selznick International Pictures, making such classic films as “The Prisoner of Zenda,” “A Star is Born,” “Intermezzo,” and “Gone With the Wind” for which he won his first Oscar and for which is best known. Selznick brought British director Alfred Hitchcock over to Hollywood from England in 1939, and his next Oscar win, “Rebecca” (1940) was also Hitchcock’s only film to win Best Picture. In 1941, Selznick sold off his interest in “GWTW” for $200,000 to John Hay Whitney, which has to rank as one of his worst decisions, since the film has continued to make money in re-releases over the next 50 years. In 1930, he married Irene Mayer, daughter of MGM cofounder, Louis B. Mayer. They would have children but would divorce in 1948. In the 1950s he spent an enormous amount of time and money developing the career of his second wife, actress Jennifer Jones. His last film, “A Farewell to Arms” (1957) with Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones, was not well received, and barely broke even financially. Following several heart attacks, he finally retired to his home, where he died of yet another heart attack on June 22, 1965. He once summed up his role of producer, stating, “The way I see it, my function is to be responsible for everything.”
Entombed in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale with his wife, in the same private corridor with Grauman, Thalberg, Harlow, and Red Skelton.
Born Marion Michael Morrison, later changing his name when he became an actor, but always known as “Duke” to his friends, taken from his pet dog also named "Duke." Wayne missed getting an appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, went to the University of Southern California (USC) on a football scholarship. Actor Cowboy Tom Mix got him a summer job as a prop man, in exchange for USC football tickets. On the set, he became lifelong friends with Director John Ford, for whom he began doing bit parts and the rest, as they say, is history. When Republic Pictures refused to make "The Alamo," Wayne started his own studio, Batjac, and made the film (1960). He won his only Oscar for his role as a boozy, one-eyed, over-the-hill lawman in "True Grit". His acting abilities were too often underrated by the critics because he did so many westerns, yet he was always a truly professional actor who knew his lines, his mark, and was on time for shooting, being one of the most prolific, popular and bankable stars of the century. He died of lung cancer (he was a prolific smoker, but also filmed in the Las Vegas desert in a fallout area from nuclear bomb testing, many of the cast later contracting cancer). Knowing death was near, his last film “The Shootist” was his goodbye, the story of an aging gunfighter with terminal cancer who plans his own funeral and demise in one last, but righteous, gunfight.
With a view to the sea, he was an avid sailor, the inscription on his headstone at Pacific View Cemetery outside Los Angeles reads, “Tomorrow is the most Important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.”
Considered America's first "Sex Symbol" and the definitive “Flapper” of the era. She was "discovered" while working at a Coney Island Hot Dog stand run by Nathan Handwerker (who would later find fame as the founder of Nathan's hot dogs). The silent movie, "It" made her a household name. "It" refers to "sex appeal" and she had “It”; forever after known as the “It Girl,” even having it inscribed on her grave marker. She made 58 films between 1922 and 1933. Unlike many Hollywood stars, she did not flaunt her wealth, but lived on par with the middle class, living in a small seven room house in Beverly Hills. Her sexual liaisons and extremely public private life were legendary, and in 1928 she had a torrid affair with director Victor Fleming that made headlines continuously.
Credible rumor had it that she was involved in an orgy with the entire UCLA football team. In 1927, she had the female lead role in "Wings," the first Oscar winning "Best Picture." With the coming of sound movies in 1929, her thick Brooklyn accent lost her many fans, and her career waned. Adding to her problems were gambling debts, unpaid IRS taxes, embezzlement by her secretary, and several sensational public court battles involving divorce and alienation of affection between several husbands and wives. In 1931, she married film cowboy Rex Bell (who later became Lt. Governor of Nevada), and retired from making films in 1934. She became a doting mother of two boys, settling down and never making another movie. She died at age 60 of a heart attack, but conscious of her age the marker on her crypt gives her birth year as 1907, but she was really born in 1905. Entombed with her husband in the Great Mausoleum at Forrest Lawn in Glendale.
Considered one of the most successful and glamorous stars of the silent age, she appeared in 47 films but was unable to make the transition to “talkies.” She became an overnight sensation with her first film, and another one of the age to be given a nickname, “The Vamp." Her best roles seem to replay her role as an unrepentant sinful vamp, such as in "Sin," "Destruction," "The Vixen," and "The Rose of Blood." She also played great heroines of history and literature, such as Cleopatra, (Cecil B. DeMille’s silent classic, later remade with star Elizabeth Taylor) as well as Carmen, Juliet, Salome, and Madame DuBarry. While she lived much of her life in Hollywood, she preferred living in New York City, with its shops, theaters, museums, and bookstores. During World War I, she actively raised several hundred thousand dollars in War Bond sales. In 1921, she married director Charles Brabin, a marriage that lasted until her death. She is cremated and entombed in Forest Lawn in Glendale.
One of the most accomplished actresses of her time, she set a high on screen standard for the African-American female film stars who followed and continue to follow her. She rose to the top of her profession with her first starring role and became the first African-American woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, but, just as fast as her success was achieved, it begin to fade. One of Dandridge's most important later roles was in "Porgy and Bess" (1959). That same year, she won the Golden Globe Award for best actress in a musical film for her role in the film. Also in that year, Dandridge married the white nightclub owner Jack Denison, who is reported to have been abusive to Dandridge. Her life soon began a downward spiral, which in the end turned tragic. In 1962, the couple divorced and shortly thereafter Dandridge filed for bankruptcy. By 1965 her career was on the upswing again, but she also continued to drink heavily and would call various friends at night and talk for hours about everything that was going on in her life. During this time period, Dandridge was a very lonely woman and often sounded disoriented. She was given a prescription antidepressant drug which seemed to lift her spirits. On the morning of Sept. 8, 1965, she rescheduled an appointment she had for that morning to have a cast put on her foot for later that day. A friend of hers later went to Dandridge's Los Angeles apartment but could not get an answer, later returning around 2pm that afternoon and forcing his way into the apartment where he found Dandridge dead at age 43, lying on the bathroom floor in the nude with a blue scarf around her head. Her death was first attributed to a blood clot caused by the fracture in her foot but an autopsy revealed that she had died of an overdose of the antidepressant Tofranil. Cremated and entombed in Forest Lawn in Glendale with her mother.
One of the great comedians of all time, the vaudevillian, expert juggler with Ziegfield’s Follies and Broadway actor, began to appear in silent films though he didn't become a star in his own right until the sound era, many of which he wrote and some of which paired him with friend and comedic great Mae West. “My Little Chickadee,” “The Bank Dick,” “You Can't Cheat an Honest Man,” and “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break” were some of his classics. He was the first choice to play the title role in “The Wizard of Oz” but turned it down. Could juggle or balance practically anything he could lift or carry; Fields unnerved his despised mother-in-law by keeping a lit candle balanced atop his head at mealtimes, never seeming to notice its presence. Also known for his heavy binge drinking with good friend and fellow alcoholic John Barrymore; he once fell down a set of stairs while holding a martini, when he hit the bottom he proudly held up the glass and proclaimed “I didn’t spill a drop!” However, sadly looking back on his life he once said, "You know, I'd like to see how I would've made out without liquor."
When asked what he would like his epitaph to read he responded, "on the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia" (A line later repeated by his admirer President Ronald Reagan when he was wounded by an assassin's bullet and asked by his surgeon how he was doing.) Not buried in Philadelphia, or with an epitaph, he is interred in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn, Glendale.
Known for his quick wits and one-liners, legend has it that a stagehand was cleaning out Fields' dressing room and accidentally bumped into a table on which Fields had placed a bottle of whiskey. He caught the bottle before it hit the floor, but the cork had popped out and he couldn't find it. He placed the bottle back on the table and left. Later, Fields came back to the dressing room but stormed out moments later roaring, "Who took the cork out of my lunch?" Fields said that the Marx Brothers were the only act he couldn't follow on the live stage. According to friends, the biggest laugh he ever got as a stage performer was when a monologue he was giving on-stage was interrupted by a long, loud crash of objects backstage. After the crashing stopped, and the audience was silent, Fields gave a one-word comment in a stage whisper: "Mice!"
“Twas a woman who drove me to drink. I never had the courtesy to thank her."
"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast."
When asked why he never drank water, he replied: "I'm afraid it will become habit-forming."
(When asked whether he liked children) "Ah yes...boiled or fried."
(When "caught" reading a Bible) "Just looking for loopholes."
"Horse sense is what a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."
"What fiend put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice?"
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give up. No use being a damned fool about it."
"Always carry a flask of whiskey in case of snakebite, and furthermore always carry a small snake."
"Once during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."
"Children should neither be seen nor heard from...ever again."
"Start every day with a smile, and get it over with."
"Women are like elephants. They are interesting to look at, but I wouldn't like to own one."
“A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”
“Marriage is better than leprosy, because it's easier to get rid of.”
"I gargle with whiskey several times a day, and I haven't had a cold in years."
"The cost of living has gone up another dollar a quart."
The bawdy invitation she often extended, “Come up and see me sometime,” became synonymous with the buxom star and legendary entertainer, who made her theatrical debut at age seven at an Elks-sponsored amateur talent contest on the stage of a local vaudeville theater, winning a gold medal and launching her career. Later encouraged by her mother to create her own plays, she authored “Sex” in 1926 (for which she was actually arrested), “The Drag” and “The Wicked Age” in 1927, in 1928 “Diamond Lil” (the character ''Diamond Lil'' virtually became Mae West's alter-ego), then “Pleasure Man” in 1928, and “The Constant Sinner” in 1931, after which she journeyed to Hollywood to appear in “Night After Night” starring George Raft and Constance Cummings for Paramount. Her films were re-edited and single-handedly saved debt-ridden Paramount from bankruptcy in the early 1930s; “Night” was Mae West’s first in an even dozen Classic films that spanned 46 years. [“She Done Him Wrong” (based on a hugely popular play she had written, which earned her an Oscar nomination and made a star of newcomer Cary Grant) and “I’m No Angel” also with Cary Grant, “My Little Chickadee” with W.C. Fields, “Myra Breckenridge” with John Huston and her final motion picture, “Sextette” with Timothy Dalton (1978).] The controversy aroused by two of these films resulted in the studios establishing the Motion Picture Production Code, which regulated what content could be shown or said in pictures. As a result of these codes, Mae began to double-talk so that a person could take a word or phrase any way they wished, this was so she could get her material past the censors, and it worked. Some of her classic one liners…" When caught between two evils, I generally pick the one I have never tried before.""When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad, I'm better.""Marriage is a great institution. I'm not ready for an institution.”"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.""Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.""Sex is an emotion in motion.""I do all my writing in bed; everybody knows I do my best work there.""To err is human, but it feels divine.""Few men know how to kiss well. Fortunately, I've always had time to teach them.""I always save one boyfriend for a rainy day...and another in case it doesn't rain.""A hard man is good to find.""When women go wrong, men go right after them!""It's not the man in your life that counts. It's the life in your man.""Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?""I only like two kinds of men: domestic and foreign.""Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.""I wrote the story myself. It's all about a girl who lost her reputation but never missed it.""It ain't sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any."Additionally, she performed her stage play “Diamond Lil” for standing room only audiences across the country for nearly 5 years (including an 8 month tour of England in 1947). Record-breaking night club appearances ensued in Las Vegas, Reno, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Mae West was heard on radio shows (most notably Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy) and made select television appearances, including The Academy Awards Show with Rock Hudson. During World War II the British Royal Air Force immortalized her name in the dictionary by naming an inflatable life jacket after her two most famous attributes. Mae West starred in every facet of show business, in a career that spanned over 75 years, praised by the critics, slammed by the censors, and loved by audiences the world over. She was celebrated as the epitome of witty sexuality, employing clever double-entendres throughout the course of her career and maneuvering them past the eyes and ears of the censors, causing her public to adore her even more. She was often quoted as saying, "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." In her 1959 autobiography, “Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It,” Miss West advised: “Let go of the things that can’t possibly matter to you, and you’ll always have room for the better things that come along. I learned early that two and two are four, and five will get you ten if you know how to work it.” Describing herself she explained, “It isn’t what I do, but how I do it. It isn’t what I say, but how I say it and how I look when I do it and say it.” She appears on the sleeve of The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." West at first declined to be pictured on the cover ("What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?!"), but reconsidered when the Beatles sent her a handwritten personal request. Mae West passed away November 22, 1980 in her Hollywood apartment (the Ravenswood, scene of hundreds of sexual conquests) after a brief illness. Private services were attended by about 100 close friends and family and held in the Old North Church at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills. Her eulogy concluded with “Mae West always said that no one was ever to feel sorry for her, and she would not want anyone to start now….Mae West figured that in one way or another she would live forever. And she probably will.” After the Hollywood services, she was sent East to the family mausoleum at Cypress Hills Abbey in Brooklyn, New York. She was named the number 15 Best Actress on The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends.
The Little Rascal was born in Paris, Illinois and is best remembered for his role of "Alfalfa" in the "Our Gang" series of comedies. His trademark off-key singing and straightened stuck-up hair endeared him to a generation of viewers, and while he appeared in many other movies he was type cast for life, his character name even being on his grave marker. In the 1950s, he had numerous brushes with the law, and two marriages that broke up, followed by appearances in a series of forgettable movies and bit parts, often unaccredited. He had some success as a hunting guide and as a professional dog breeder (the dog on his grave marker refers to this profession), and some of the larger Hollywood stars were his clientele, including Jimmy Stewart and Roy Rogers. In 1959, he died at age 31 from a gunshot wound by an acquaintance during an argument over $50 owed to him. A judge later ruled his death as "justifiable homicide.” Buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Appearing in motion pictures from the 1930s to the 1950s, she is best remembered for her role of Alfalfa’s love interest "Darla" in the Hal Roach "Our Gang" series of comedies. Dying at the young age of 38 due to acute hepatitis contracted while in the hospital for a minor operation. She is buried not far from her "Our Gang" sweetheart in Hollywood Forever Cemetery; he also died at a very young age from a well-placed bullet to the head.
One of the most popular of " The Little Rascals," Thomas played Buckwheat in 93 "Our Gang" films, beginning in 1934. His garbled English was punctuated by his signature exclamation, "Otay!" He stayed with the series until its demise in 1944. After serving in the Army during the Korean War (and not World War II, as noted on his Inglewood Park Cemetery grave marker), he worked for many years as a lab technician at Technicolor and made few attempts to cash in on his fame. When he was given a standing ovation at an "Our Gang" reunion in August of 1980, Thomas was moved to tears. Two months later he died of a heart attack at the age of 49. His Buckwheat character was affectionately spoofed by Eddie Murphy during the comedian's stint on TV's "Saturday Night Live" in the early 1980s.
Staring as a vaudevillian, he was a member of the MGM pantheon of film stars and then a television pioneer, he parlayed his comedic genius and gentle, sometimes lonely, soul into a legendary career spanning seven decades, and had a talent for characterization, whether in film ("The Fuller Brush Man") or television (“San Fernando Red,” “Freddie the Freeloader,” “Clem Kadiddlehopper”). Born in 1913, two months after the death of his father, he was an icon on television for 20 years after debuting in 1951, placing in the ratings top 10 eight times. In later years, his artistic work (usually paintings of clowns) fetched millions. He was married three times, contributed greatly to worthy causes and died a year and a half after his genius and contributions were recognized at the 1996 Academy Awards ceremonies, where he was presented with the Governor's Award.
Entombed in the Great Mausoleum at Forrest Lawn in Glendale.
Legendary comedic actress, best known for the title role in the hit television sitcom of the 1950’s “I Love Lucy.” She was chosen to be the poster model for Chesterfield Cigarettes in 1933, which got her national exposure for the first time and caught the attention of Hollywood. She started at the bottom, with bit parts in low budget films, but her initial success would lead to bigger and better parts. Ball would appear in over 60 films by the late 1940s. After performing in the musical "Too Many Girls," in 1940 with popular Cuban band leader, Desi Arnaz, Ball fell in love with her co-star, and married him later that year. The rest is history, from 1951 through 1957, it was the most popular show on television, and Ball was at last firmly established as a megastar. Founding Desilu Studios with her husband, by the end of the 1950s, Desilu became a powerful, respected corporation, producing such hit TV shows as "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible." After 20 years of marriage, Ball and Arnaz divorced in 1960. While Arnaz turned to alcohol and was rarely seen in public again, Ball took out a loan for $3 million and bought her ex-husbands half of Desilu Studios. Desilu was then the world's largest television production facility, so Lucy's take-over made her the first woman in Hollywood history to hold such a powerful position. Desilu Productions continued to grow and prosper under her leadership, ultimately acquiring RKO Studios, where both Ball and Arnaz had formerly worked as contract players. Her last public appearance was at the 1989 Academy Awards. One week after undergoing open-heart surgery, on April 26, 1989, Lucille Ball suffered a ruptured aorta and died. She was 77 years old. Desi Arnaz died of cancer in 1986. Originally interred at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills (shown), ashes were later moved to her birthplace in New York.
Veteran character actor best known for his portrayal of Lucille Ball’s gruff landlord “Fred Mertz” on the groundbreaking 1950’s television sitcom “I Love Lucy.” By the time Frawley came to “I Love Lucy” he was a veteran of vaudeville, Broadway and over 100 Hollywood films. When Frawley approached Lucille Ball about a part in “I Love Lucy” in 1951, she was surprised to hear from a man she barely knew from the 1940’s. Lucy responded, "Bill Frawley, how are you?" and promised to discuss the matter with Desi Arnaz. Arnaz agreed that Frawley would be wonderful for the “Fred Mertz” role, but shared the network’s concern over his reputation for instability and drinking problems. Arnaz immediately leveled with Frawley about CBS's reservations. He denied it, but Desi warned him that if he was late to work, or unable to perform except because of legitimate illness more than once, he'd be written out of the show. So began the saga that continued until 1957 when "Lucy" went off of prime time after 179 episodes. On the evening of March 3, 1966 while strolling down Hollywood Blvd. after seeing a movie, Frawley suffered a heart attack and collapsed. He was rushed to nearby Hollywood Receiving Hospital where he was pronounced dead, a week after his seventy-ninth birthday. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery just outside Los Angeles.
Grandmother of award winning comedienne and actress Carol Burnett. Ms. Burnett always honored her grandmother's memory by tugging on her own earlobe at the end of each and every show. Her grandmother raised her in Hollywood, where Carol went to Hollywood High School. She is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, just down the street from the apartment they shared and where Carol was raised.
She began her career on Broadway and appeared in over 100 films. During her lifetime, she received many honors: The first women to receive the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award - The first woman to be president of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences - received two Oscars, 10 nominations and three Emmy awards. She opened the famous Hollywood Canteen, transforming an abandoned nightclub in Hollywood into a layover for servicemen during WWII using her own money and having her famous show biz friends entertain the troops. Davis was a difficult actress with a sharp tongue and many were on the receiving end. She was known for her witty and sometimes sarcastic sayings and none was more poignant then when diagnosed with cancer and then suffering a stroke nine days later said, "Growing old is not for sissies." Her demeanor was not without cost; she had four unhappy marriages, numerous affairs, estrangement from her children and a number of publicized feuds with other celebrities and movie studios. Later a public memorial service was held on a Hollywood sound stage. A few months prior to her death she said, "You know what they'll write on my tombstone, ‘she did it the hard way.’" This epitaph is emblazoned on her large marble sarcophagus at Forest Lawn.
Prolific American motion picture and television entertainer with hundreds of appearances from the 1920s through 2000 who began in show business at the age of 3. Along with our good friend and former Munchkin, Jerry Maren, he was the founder of the "Little People of America" organization in 1957. One of his most memorable roles was that of "High Aldwin" in the 1988 Ron Howard adventure fantasy "Willow." His epitaph reads “He always thought big,” something all his friends attest too.
Chicago native, entertainment magnate and film pioneer most remembered for creating Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and a host of other cartoon characters as well as Disneyland and Disneyworld. He has won 32 Oscars, more than any other person, for his extraordinary achievements in films. Moving to Los Angeles in 1923 to be with his more successful brother, Roy, Walt began drawing commercially. In 1927, his first really successful commercial cartoon, featuring Oswald the Rabbit, became a success, but Walt lost the rights to the character when sued by his distributor. From then on, Walt insisted on owning the distribution rights to his creations. In 1928, Walt created Mickey Mouse and his third Mickey Mouse film, "Steamboat Willie," was the first cartoon to use synchronized sound and became an overnight success. Walt was the voice of Mickey for the first ten years of the cartoon. In 1934, Disney pioneered the first full-length cartoon movie, "Snow White," and again, critics were overcome by the sheer popular response of the public to the movie. Shortly after Walt's death, the Disney Company executive board was shown a short film that Walt made just before his death, where he addressed each board member by name, telling him what he expected of him, and ending the film by saying "I'll be seeing you." Interred with family in a private garden area at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.
Nash made a name for himself in the late 1920s as an impressionist for a Los Angeles radio station, on their show, The Merrymakers. He later was employed by the Adohr Milk Company for publicity purposes. Dubbed "Whistling Clarence, the Adohr Bird Man," Nash rode the streets with a team of miniature horses and gave treats to the children. In 1932, Nash happened by the Disney Studio with his team of horses, and decided to leave a copy of his Adohr publicity sheet with the receptionist. As it turns out, his name was recognized from his radio show and Walt Disney himself had been impressed by Nash's vocal skills. He was asked to make an informal audition. Nash went through several of his voices, and Walt Disney happened by when Nash gave his impersonation of a family of ducks. Disney declared Nash perfect for the role of a talking duck in their upcoming animated short, “The Wise Little Hen.” The duck, of course, was Donald Duck, who Nash went on to voice for more than 50 years, in over 120 shorts and films. Donald Duck went on to become one of the most famous cartoon characters in the world, and a great part of this was due to Nash's distinctive voice. It may well be one of the most recognizable character voices in history. The voice is distinctive both for its duck like quality and the fact that it is often very difficult for anybody to understand, especially when Donald flew into a rage (which happened fairly often). To keep Donald's voice consistent throughout the world, Nash voiced Donald's voice in all foreign languages the Disney shorts were translated to (with the aid of the phonetic alphabet), meaning Donald retained his same level of incoherency all across the globe. The last film to feature Nash's famous voice was “Mickey's Christmas Carol,” released in 1983. In addition to Donald's voice, Nash also voiced Daisy Duck (in her earliest appearances, when she was little more than a female version of Donald), as well as Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. Nash also provided the meows of Figaro the kitten in a handful of shorts. Clarence Nash died in 1985 of leukemia and was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California. The tombstone of the grave he now shares with his wife Margaret Nash (who died in 1993) depicts a carving of Donald and Daisy Duck holding hands over a heart.
Actor best remembered for his numerous roles as a swashbuckling hero or a dashing romantic character. His good looks and natural athletic abilities brought him to the notice of Warner Brothers, and he was soon offered a job in Hollywood. After several bit parts, he won the role of “Dr. Peter Blood” in "Captain Blood" (1935), and his on screen chemistry with his leading lady, Olivia de Havilland, made him a star. Off screen, he was a man of passion equal to his on-screen persona, drinking, fighting, boating, and womanizing, sometimes so much so that his on-screen exploits would pale in comparison. He was once quoted as saying, "I like my whisky old and my women young." His love of women brought him a statutory rape trial and memorialized in the expression "In Like Flynn," yet the scandals only seemed to build his image with the public, and not destroy it as with other actors. He would marry three times, and had 3 daughters and a son. His final years were spent on his yacht, Zaca, in Port Antonio, Jamaica, where he worked on his posthumously published autobiography, "My Wicked Wicked Ways." His last words were reported to have been, "I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it." Now enjoying the peace of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale California.
Legendary, award-winning American stage and motion picture actor of the 1930s through the 1960s who was born in Milwaukee. He was nominated nine times for Academy Awards and was the first to receive two Oscars back to back, one for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the film "Captains Courageous" (1937), the other for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film "Boys Town" (1938). He had a brief romantic relationship with Loretta Young (as did Clark Gable) in the 1930s, and beginning in 1942, a lifelong relationship with Katharine Hepburn (who left an affair with Howard Hughes to be with Tracy). Because he was a Catholic he never divorced his wife of 44 years, Louise, though they lived apart when became involved with Hepburn. A few weeks after completion of “Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,” (his ninth film with four time Oscar winner and mistress Hepburn) he died of a heart attack. Buried in a corner garden of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale with only the last name “Tracy” carved in pink granite. Hepburn did not attend the ceremony in difference to Tracy’s real wife.
Actress and Hollywood legend was signed by RKO Pictures for her first film, "A Bill of Divorcement" in 1932. In 1934 she won her first Academy Award for best actress for her work in "Morning Glory." By 1938 she was unquestionably a star, but after a series of flops her career went into decline. This was exacerbated by her very outspoken anti-Hollywood attitudes and unwillingness to speak to the press, and she was labeled "box office poison." Kate returned to the stage in Philip Barry's "The Philadelphia Story," a play written specifically for her. After a successful Broadway run, MGM bought the rights, and the film, teaming Kate with Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, was one of biggest hits of 1940. Kate's career was revived seemingly overnight. She made her first appearance with actor Spencer Tracy in 1942's "Woman of the Year." They fell in love, despite the fact that Tracy was married, and they remained together until Tracy's death in 1967. They made nine films together. Kate made over 40 films and 16 plays, and received 12 Academy Award nominations, a record that stood until 2002. She won four times, more than any other actor or actress in the history of the award. Some of her best known roles were "Bringing Up Baby," "The Philadelphia Story," "The African Queen," and “On Golden Pond." She died at her home in Connecticut at the age of 96, surrounded by her family, 36 years after her love partner “Spence.” Buried in a family plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut.
An American Icon, when he won the Best Actor Oscar in 1940 for his role in "The Philadelphia Story," he sent it to his father saying, "It belongs to us both." His dad, who owned a hardware store, kept it on a shelf for 25 years where it could be viewed by the customers. James had great empathy for his hometown and years later they would erect and dedicate a statue to him in the town square with him in attendance. Our good friend, Karolyn Grimes who played Stewart’s daughter ZuZu in the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is on the board. He was the first movie star to enter the service in World War II becoming a Colonel. James flew 20 combat missions, earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross presented to him by Gen Jimmy Doolittle, The Croix de Guerre presented by France and seven battle stars. He was promoted to brigadier general while serving in the Air Force Reserve. He made four Hitchcock thrillers: "Rope," "Rear Window," "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and "Vertigo." He died at his home of a pulmonary blood clot at the age of eighty-nine. Jimmy Stewart's funeral service was held at The Presbyterian Church, which was the family church in Beverly Hills. The Stewart family sat in the same pew for forty years. Here he was married and where his wife's funeral was held a few years prior to his own. His legacy and many memorials remain: The James Stewart Museum is located in Indiana, Pennsylvania his hometown. He was presented a Life Achievement Award by The American Film Institute. His movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life," has become a classic and part of the American Christmas tradition with a showing by almost every TV station in the land on Christmas day. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom, "America's highest Civilian Honor." His stepson was killed at the age of twenty-four in Vietnam and is interred beside the couple.
Popular motion picture and television actress of the 1940s thru 1980s, starred with Jimmy Stewart in the classic holiday film "It's A Wonderful Life" and won Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for her work in "From Here To Eternity". Starred in her own TV series "The Donna Reed Show" in the 1950s and 60s and was nominated for an Emmy every year between 1959 and 1962. In the scene from “It's a Wonderful Life” where she and James Stewart throw rocks at the old Granville house, director Frank Capra had originally planned to use a double in Donna's place to throw the rock. Miss Reed, however, was an accomplished baseball player in high school and threw very well, as evidenced by her toss in the movie. "Forty pictures I was in, and all I remember is 'What kind of bra will you be wearing today, honey?' That was always the area of big decision - from the neck to the navel." Buried in Westwood Cemetery in Los Angeles.
He is best remembered for his 28 gold records, including "Sweet Lorraine," "Ramblin' Rose," and "Mona Lisa," but he also appeared in 28 films and television stories, usually playing himself. His family moved to Chicago when he was 5, where his father, Rev. Edward James Coles, was minister at the True Light Baptist Church. Nat learned to play the church organ at age 12. He later toured Europe and made a command performance before Queen Elizabeth II. He had a television show during the 1960s. He started smoking to generate revenue from television ads promoting tobacco, and this likely led to his lung cancer, the cause of his death. Daughter Natalie Cole has since become a famous singer. Entombed near Alan Ladd, Clara Bow, Jeanette McDonald, George Burns & Gracie Allen at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.
Actress and singer best remembered for her partnership with singer Nelson Eddy in a series of movies during the 1930s. In 1932, she was dropped from Paramount (another poor decision by the bosses; they claimed that musicals were dropping in public interest) and was immediately picked up by MGM. Strikingly beautiful, with red hair and large blue eyes, she attracted many men, including Louis B. Mayer and Maurice Chevalier. On June 17, 1937 she married actor Gene Raymond, in a marriage that lasted 28 years until her death in 1965. When MGM finally paired her with Nelson Eddy in "Naughty Marietta," they became a musical dream combination with a larger following than Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. She became lovers with Nelson in 1935, and the two remained secret on again/off again lovers over the next twenty years. Ambitious, determined to have an acting career, and fully aware that a scandal could quickly end that career, she and Nelson kept their love a deep secret from the rest of the world. Together they made eight movies, with memorable performances in "Rose Marie," "San Francisco," and "New Moon." In later years, when they were both married to other people, they would strongly deny any attachment other than a platonic friendship although they would continue to meet secretly over the years. In 1958, she and Nelson Eddy made a best selling record album of their favorite songs. Afterwards, she lived quietly with her husband, actor Gene Raymond, until her death from a heart attack in Houston, Texas. Entombed near Alan Ladd, Clara Bow, Nat King Cole, George Burns & Gracie Allen at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. Nelson Eddy is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery behind the Paramount
Actor, entertainer and legendary dancer working in both vaudeville and Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele, who is buried nearby. When Adele left show business to marry in 1932, he headed for Hollywood and signed to RKO. He was loaned to MGM and teamed with Ginger Rogers. Their dancing stole the show and over the next six years, Astaire and Rogers made eight more movies, all of them blending in astonishing choreography, brilliant songs by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Jerome Kern, beautiful sets, and vintage comedy plots from vaudeville days. Although he set the standard as a dancer, he also introduced more hit songs during this period than any other performer of his generation. After Rogers left the team to concentrate on her acting, he continued his career, dancing opposite Eleanor Powell in "Broadway Melody" Rita Hayworth in "You'll Never Get Rich," Bing Crosby in the Christmas classic "Holiday Inn," Gene Kelly "Ziegfeld Follies," and Judy Garland in "Easter Parade" among others. He won one Oscar and three Emmys for his television specials and a TV Movie. He was considered by his contemporaries to be the epitome of elegance and grace, and always a true gentleman. The famous Russian dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, once said of him "I have been invited to say something about how dancers feel about Fred Astaire. It's no secret that we hate him. He gives us complexes because he's too perfect. His perfection is an absurdity." Buried not far from Ginger Rogers in Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth California, his epitaph reads “Will always love you my darling, thank you.”
Actress, singer, and legendary dancer. She was given the name "Ginger" by her cousin, who could not pronounce "Virginia" correctly. Her first film "A Night in a Dormitory" (1929) was a bit part, but it was her start in Hollywood. In the film "Gold Diggers of 1933" (1933), she became noticed by the public for the first time when she sang the depression era classic "We're in the Money.” Her real stardom hit when she was paired with Fred Astaire in "Flying Down to Rio," in which she and Fred literally stole the show dancing. She and Fred then went on to make eight more movies, dancing in each, and the two quickly became a Hollywood Icon. In 1940, she starred in "Kitty Foyle," which won her an Oscar for Best Actress. Suffering from diabetes in her final years, she died of natural causes in 1995 at Rancho Mirage, California. She was married four times and is buried not far from dancing partner Fred Astaire at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, California.
Actor best remembered for his 1953 role of “Shane” in the western movie of the same name. He started as a grip for Warner Brothers Studio, and in 1936, he married Marjorie "Midge" Harrold. A few months later they moved into an apartment, where soon his destitute alcoholic mother joined them. A few months later, Ladd had to watch his mother die a slow agonizing death from suicide after she had swallowed ant poison. Eventually, he got a job doing shows on radio, and in 1939, talent scout Sue Carol discovered him. She got him a number of bit parts in films, and in 1941, he was given the role of a psychotic killer in "This Gun for Hire" (1942), which caught audience attention and made him a star. In 1941, he divorced Midge and a year later, married Sue Carol. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, his tough-guy roles in numerous westerns and war films gave him star billing, as the audiences liked his efforts. By the end of the 1950s, a string of mediocre movies, failure to get the scripts he wanted and alcohol all began to take their toll on him, and in November 1962, he attempted suicide by shooting himself. However, he recovered and appeared to most people to return to a normal life, but in January 1964, was found dead at his home in Palm Springs, California, due to cerebral edema from an apparent accidental overdose (some believe he committed suicide) of alcohol and sedatives. Ironically, in his last film, "The Carpetbaggers" (1964), he played an aging, washed up movie star. Entombed near Clara Bow, Jeanette MacDonald, Nat King Cole, George Burns & Gracie Allen at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.
Nice to be remembered, but which family, his or “The” family? Better known as Bugsy, this legendary gangster headed up Murder Incorporated in New York, which is credited with hundreds of mob assassinations, dozens of the hits he did himself. Most famously credited as founder of modern Las Vegas with the opening of the Flamingo Hotel, possibly named after his red haired girlfriend whose mansion in Beverly Hills he was assassinated at. Bugsy is buried in the Beth Olam Mausoleum, the Jewish section of Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Popular actor from the 1920s to 1980e was known as one of Hollywood’s sharpest dressed actors. Before acting, he started off as a prizefighter, and then moved on to dancing both on Broadway and then in Prohibition-era nightclubs. Signed by Warner Bros, he immediately slid into gangster portrayals and was type cast as the proverbial Hollywood gangster. He made bad decisions in choosing his roles turning down "High Sierra" reportedly because he didn't want to die on-screen, and nixed Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon" because it seemed to him a lowly B picture even though both films went on to star another Warner Bros featured player, Humphrey Bogart, to stardom. He achieved some success appearing in "Some Like It Hot" in 1959, again appearing as a gangster and continued to act until his death in 1980. At times when he was between pictures and down on his luck, the real Las Vegas gangsters hired him to be a celebrity greeter at their casinos, further enhancing his image and stereotype. In a crypt at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
From syndicate bodyguard to Los Angeles kingpin, he was Hollywood’s gangster, taking over Los Angeles for Bugsy Siegel upon his unfortunate demise. During Prohibition, Cohen moved to Chicago and became involved in organized crime working as an enforcer for the Chicago Outfit, where he briefly met Al Capone. During this period Cohen was arrested for his role in the deaths of several gangsters in a card game gone bad. After a brief time in prison, Cohen was released and began running card games and other illegal gambling operations. While working for Jake “Greasy Thumbs” Guzik, Cohen was forced to flee Chicago after an argument with a rival gambler.
Mickey Cohen was sent to Los Angeles by Meyer Lansky and Lou Rothkopf to watch Bugsy Siegel. During their association Mickey helped set up the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and ran its sports book operation. In 1947, the crime families ordered the murder of Siegel due to his mismanagement of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas; most likely because he or his girlfriend Virginia Hill was skimming money. According to one account which does not appear in newspapers, Cohen reacted violently to Siegel's murder. Entering the Hotel Roosevelt, where he believed the killers were staying, Cohen fired rounds from his two .45 calliber semi-automatic handguns into the lobby ceiling and demanded that the assassins meet him outside in ten minutes. However, no one appeared and Cohen was forced to flee when the cops arrived. After Siegel's death, Cohen was given control of the Las Vegas gambling operation. During this time, Cohen faced many attempts on his life, including a bombing of his home on posh Moreno Avenue in Brentwood and a shooting on the sidewalk of Ciro’s on the other Hollywood Blvd. Cohen soon converted his house into a fortress, installing floodlights, alarm systems, and a well-equipped arsenal kept, as he often joked, next to his 200 tailor-made suits. Cohen also briefly hired bodyguard Johnny Stompanato before his murder by actress Lana Turner's daughter. Cohen bought a cheap coffin for Stompanato's funeral and then sold Lana Turner's love letters to Stompanato to the press. Stompanato ran a sexual extortion ring as well as a jewelry store. He was one of the most popular playboys in Hollywood. One time, singer Frank Sinatra visited Cohen at his home and begged him to tell Stompanato to stop dating Sinatra's actress friend, Ava Gardner. In 1950, the US Senate Committee known as the Kefauver Commission investigated Mickey Cohen along with numerous other underworld figures. As a result of this investigation, Cohen was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to prison for four years. When he was released, he started up all over again, and became an international celebrity. He sold more newspapers than anyone else in the country, according to author Brad Lewis. His appearance on television with Mike Wallace in the late 50s rocked the media establishment. He ran floral shops, paint stores, nightclubs, casinos, gas stations, a men's haberdashery, and even an ice cream parlor on San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood. In 1961, Cohen was again convicted of tax evasion and sent to Alcatraz. During his time on "the Rock," another inmate attempted to kill Cohen with a lead pipe. As an elder statesman, he even appeared on The Merv Griffin Show. Cohen knew everyone in Hollywood, from the entire Rat Pack to Marilyn Monroe. Mickey Cohen died in his sleep in 1976 and is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Legendary comic actor who found his greatest success when paired with equally legendary Oliver Hardy. Once their potential was recognized, the pair worked together on hundreds of films, becoming lifelong friends. In 1918, Laurel met actress Mae Dahlberg, who became his common law wife, as she was still married in her native Australia. They would live together until 1925, when Mae decided to return to Australia. It was Mae who suggested he change his stage name to Stan Laurel. He would later marry five times, twice to actress Virginia Rogers, and he would divorce four times, but remain with his fifth wife, Ida Raphael, for 19 years until his death. In 1960, he was given a special Oscar for “his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy.” He died in Santa Monica, California in 1965 from a sudden heart attack and is buried in Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
Half of the legendary comic team of Laurel & Hardy, the pair would make film history. Starting out in silent films, his overweight size made him a natural foil in comedies and they easily made the transition to the “talkies.” He would make over 400 films! He was married three times, the first two marriages ending in divorce. He died from complications of dieting: following doctor’s orders to lose weight, he took off too much weight too quickly, going from 300 plus pounds to 150 pounds in a couple of weeks. This weakened him and is believed to have brought about his fatal cause of death, cerebral thrombosis. He is buried in Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood.
Legendary comic actor in many motion pictures of the 1910s through the 1950s. Born in Nebraska, Harold's career began at the age of 12. In 1913, he moved with his father to Los Angeles where the motion picture industry was still in its early stages. He then tried to break into the industry, taking any small part he could get. He soon made friends with Hal Roach, who was putting together his own production company. In 1917, Lloyd began work on an innovative character, one that was to remain his signature for his entire career. With round glasses, a straw hat, and an unkempt suit, this was something definitely different. He seemed to be the fool and the fox, able to outsmart the bad guy, but by just a little. However, in 1919, tragedy struck; while posing for a photographer, he grabbed what he thought was a fake bomb and lit it with his cigarette. The bomb exploded in his hand, costing him his thumb and forefinger. It was front-page news and was thought to end his career. Never the quitter, Harold bounced back and made dozens more films, among them the best and most highly acclaimed, “Safety Last,” “Girl Shy,” and “Speedy.” Even into the time of the talking pictures when other silent film stars threw in the towel Harold never gave up. His was the first big “movie star mansion” in southern California and set the standard for all those to follow. He died in Hollywood, a legend in silent comedy, entombed at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
Actor and comedian best remembered for his partnership with Bud Abbott. Currently, he and Bud Abbott are the only non-sports figures honored in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, for their famous "Who's on First" routine. He began work at MGM and Warner Brothers Studios as a carpenter, moving on to stuntman and later as a comic. In 1931, while working in a Brooklyn theater, his straight man became ill and the theater cashier, Bud Abbott, filled in for him. The chemistry between the two was instant, and they soon formed their famous comedy team, working burlesque, minstrel shows, movie houses, and anyplace that they could get a billing. In 1938, they got national exposure on the “Kate Smith Hour” radio show, and soon signed with Universal Pictures becoming one of the most popular comedy teams of the century. Their scene-stealing performances landed them their own picture “Buck Privates” in 1941. It was a runaway hit, grossing what was then a company record $10 million on a $180,000 budget. Born Louis Francis Cristillo as his crypt indicates, he is interred in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles with his young son who drowned in 1942 in the family swimming pool just days before his first birthday, the same year the team topped a poll of Hollywood stars. Lou never got over the tragedy, blaming his wife--who was home at the time but didn't see the boy wander out into the back yard and fall into the pool. A year later he was stricken with rheumatic fever, which halted the production of any new Abbott and Costello features for over a year until Lou fully recuperated. The disease, which normally strikes children, damaged his heart and led to the heart attack that ultimately killed him at such a young age. Known for his portly figure and child like persona, his last words were, “that was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted,” then his heart stopped at age 53.
In the first half of the 20th Century, Ethel Barrymore and her brothers John and Lionel were probably the most famous family of actors in the English-speaking world. He appeared in over 85 silent films from the time of his first role in 1911 to the invention of talkies in 1929. After signing a contract with MGM in 1926, he left the New York stage for good to relocate to Culver City, California. He ultimately spent over a quarter of a century under contract to MGM, lending his talents to over 100 films. He also brought Ethel and John to MGM and the brother teamed in films such as “Grand Hotel,” “Dinner at Eight,” and “Arsene Lupin.” His 1931 performance in “A Free Soul” with Clark Gable earned him an Oscar, although he is most remembered for his work with Spencer Tracy in “Captains Courageous” and later as the evil “Mr. Potter” in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” His crypt is in the mausoleum of Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.
Pet of actor Lionel Barrymore is not buried with the rest of the family, but in the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery in Calabasas. Little imagination is necessary for the moniker, but a cat probably deserves something a little better on their grave.
She was a legend on the New York and London stage for over 40 years. Her aristocratic poise and distinguished career earned her the sobriquet, "The First Lady of the American Theatre." Apart from an isolated role in MGM's "Rasputin and the Empress" in 1933, in which she co-starred with her brothers, she made no films until Cary Grant invited her to play his mother in the sentimental drama "None but the Lonely Heart" in 1944. She won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress and, at 65, decided to end her career as a character player in films. Barrymore nabbed six more Oscar nominations. The last surviving member of the "Fabulous Barrymores," she died two months shy of her 80th birthday, whispering, "Is everybody happy? I want everybody to be happy. I know I'm happy." Her crypt is in the mausoleum of Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles down the hall from her famous brothers.
Drew Barrymore’s grandfather became a major Broadway star in "The Fortune Hunter" in 1909. He debuted on the screen in 1914 in "An American Citizen" and his good looks and remarkable talent made him a star, known as “The Great Profile.” In the early days of talking films, he became a romantic leading man but heavy drinking took its toll on him and he sadly degenerated into an old man before his time. Barrymore had been a friend and contemporary (and drinking buddy) of his fellow Philadelphian W. C. Fields. A notorious lady’s man, John was fond of sailing and owned his own yacht, "The Mariner," on which he could escape unhappy wives, mistresses, lawyers, and creditors. John died in 1942 and was mourned not just for the loss of his life, but for the loss of his grace, wit and brilliance he brought to the silver screen. Barrymore collapsed while appearing on a radio show and died some days later in his hospital room. His dying words were "Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.” According to Errol Flynn's memoirs, film director Raoul Walsh "borrowed" Barrymore's body after the funeral, and left his corpse propped in a chair for a drunken Flynn to discover when he returned home from The Cock and Bull Bar. Known for his Shakespeare, his epitaph reads “Good Night Sweet Prince.” He was buried in a crypt in the mausoleum next to his brother Lionel, with sister Ethel nearby in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles but that crypt is now empty.
In his life he had expressed a desire to be buried back in Philadelphia, so his son (also a notorious drunk and Drew Barrymore’s father) removed him years later, supposedly with the casket leaking all the way to the crematorium as his son drove off with the casket in the back of his station wagon.
Early silent film star made her screen debut in 1911. Costello met her future husband John Barrymore on the set of “The Sea Beast” and during their lengthy kissing scene in this picture Dolores fainted in Barrymore's arms. They married in 1928 despite the misgivings of her mother. In 1939, following the divorce from Barrymore (because of Barrymore’s drinking problems), Costello married Dr. John Vruwink who was her obstetrician who delivered both of her children and whom John accused her of having an affair with. After being forced into early retirement, (Costello's physical appearance was damaged because of her extreme reaction to the studios' harsh makeup to her very sensitive skin) Costello lived in semi seclusion in Southern Californian. Her grave is marked with the name Mum-mum, and she is actress Drew Barrymore’s grandmother. She is buried just outside the mausoleum where all the Barrymores were interred in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.
Throughout his 47 years as an actor, he worked on 50 films, earned 8 Academy Awards nominations, and won the Oscar twice. He was named Best Supporting Actor in for his role of “Ensign Pulver” in "Mister Roberts," and for Best Actor for "Save the Tiger" in 1973. His career included two inspired collaborations - 10 films with Walter Matthau (one of his best friends) which included the “Grumpy Old Men” series and with director Billy Wilder. He also gave memorable performances on television, including the 1997 remake of "Twelve Angry Men," "Inherit the Wind,” and "Tuesdays with Morrie," for which he received an Emmy. He was married to actress Felicia Farr from 1962 until his death due to cancer. His grave is not marked with his full name or any dates, simply and humorously carved in the stone is essentially the film credit “Jack Lemmon in” – but what he is “in” is now the ground, at Westwood Memorial Park in Westwood California. Just two graves over from screenwriter, Director Billy Wilder with who he worked on 7 films, including AFI’s number one comedy movie of all time – “Some Like It Hot.” (Actor Carroll O’Conner of “All in the Family” fame is between the two) and not far from great friend Walter Matthau.
Matthau contributed to the family income by playing bit parts at a Yiddish theater at age 11 where he was paid fifty cents for each onstage appearance. He would make his film debut as “the heavy” in 1955's "The Kentuckian.” In 1965, he was cast as Oscar Madison in the Broadway play “The Odd Couple” opposite Art Carney. It earned him a Tony Award and “Star” status. He reprised his Odd Couple role in the 1968 film version, starring opposite his good friend, Jack Lemmon. In 1966, the pair had another hit with “The Fortune Cookie” for which Matthau won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Matthau was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in “Kotch” in 1971 (which was directed by Lemmon) and again for “The Sunshine Boys.” Matthau and Lemmon made 10 films together, including two “Grumpy Old Men” movies. Matthau died of a massive heart attack in Santa Monica, California at the age of 79, and is buried near his good friends Wilder and Lemmon in Westwood Memorial Park.
Legendary, Academy-Award winning motion picture writer, director, and producer of the 1920s thru 1980s. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933. Wilder immediately realized his Jewish ancestry would cause problems, so he emigrated to Paris, then the US. Although he spoke no English when he arrived in Hollywood, Wilder was a fast learner, and thanks to contacts such as Peter Lorre (with whom he shared an apartment), he was able to break into American films. Directed 14 different actors in their academy award winning movies. and he won Oscars himself for the classic films "The Lost Weekend," "Sunset Blvd.," and "The Apartment." He also wrote and directed the timeless comedy "Some Like it Hot," starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe. (He said of Monroe "An endless puzzle without any solution") A true Hollywood icon, Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe begged Wilder to appear in Jerry Maguire, but he turned them down flat. He collaborated closely with Steven Spielberg on the script for Schindler's List and was one of several directors considered to direct it. Although Wilder strongly considered directing “Schindler's List,” he felt he was a little too old (he had already retired) and the subject was almost too personal (both his mother and grandmother were killed in the Holocaust). It was ultimately Wilder who told Spielberg he should direct it. He was also famous for the modern-art collection he put together over his lifetime (he sold only a portion of it in 1989 for $32.6 million) One of his more famous quotes was “A bad play closes and is forgotten, but in pictures we don't bury our dead. Just when you think it's out of your system, your daughter sees it on television and says, “My father is an idiot.” He preferred writing rather than directing and his tombstone in Westwood Memorial Park, not far from pal Jack Lemmon reads “I Am a Writer, but then Nobody’s Perfect.”
Classically trained actor appeared on stage and in motion pictures from the 1920s to the 1960s. Educated at Stonyhurst, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received a gold medal) and first appearance on stage in 1926. A consummate artist, Laughton achieved great success with both stage and film. He greatly disliked children. Because of his disdain for them and the fact that he had to work with them in “The Night of the Hunter,” most of the scenes with the children were directed by star Robert Mitchum, who had three children of his own; although, Mitchum was to say Laughton was the best director he ever worked with. Laughton discovered actress Maureen O'Hara at the age of 18 while he played in the first talking version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Married for many years to “Bride of Frankenstein” actress Elsa Lanchester, in a memoir written after his death, she stated they never had children because he was homosexual. (Rumor had it that she came home one night from her work on “Frankenstein” to find him naked on a couch with a teenager). According to Maureen O'Hara, however, Laughton once told her that not having children was his biggest regret, and that it was because Elsa could not bear children as a result of an botched abortion she had early in her career while performing burlesque. It is possible both stories are true. Whether Lanchester ever had an abortion (which would have been illegal at the time) is not known, but it is known that Charles Laughton was gay. He won a Best Actor Oscar for his lead role in the 1933 drama "The Private Life of Henry VIII” and it sounds like he might have had a private life of his own. Interred in a crypt at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
Popular, well-respected stage, motion picture and television actress of the 1950s thru 1980s, who was well known for her beauty rests. Her crypt marker carries an epitaph relating to her love of "beauty" sleep, admonishing visitors to "Go Away - I'm Asleep." She is in a crypt at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Comedian Freddie Prinze seemed to have everything going for him. By 1977 he was the star of a hit network series, beautiful women were drawn to his good looks and natural charm, he was the father of a baby boy named after him; but there were a lot of things Freddie Prinze had against him: a failed marriage, an expensive drug habit, and a morbid fascination with guns. At the age of 16, Freddie made his debut at the Improv during one of that club's regular non-paying showcases. The Improv's owner, Budd Friedman, recalled that the teenager was an instant success. TV appearances with Johnny Carson as well as Jack Paar led to Freddie being cast at age 19 in the TV series "Chico and the Man," co-starring Jack Albertson. Freddie's rise to stardom was so quick that he often had difficulty accepting it. Freddie turned to Quaaludes and other drugs, and his apparent instability to sustain a healthy romantic relationship also created problems. Freddie was briefly engaged to Kitty Bruce, daughter of the late comedian Lenny Bruce, one of Freddie's idols. A short-lived marriage to Kathy Cochran in 1976 produced a son, Freddie Prinze, Jr. Freddie Prince, Sr.'s life came to an end when on January 28, 1977, Freddie phoned several people, including his personal secretary and his psychiatrist. Martin Snyder, Freddie's agent, arrived at his apartment shortly after two in the morning in response to a call from the distraught comedian. While Snyder was still in the apartment, Freddie phoned his ex-wife and parents and after hanging up, pulled a pistol from beneath a couch cushion and fired into the right temple of his head. He was just 22.
Ina crypt in Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
Groundbreaking cartoonist who created the character "Woody Woodpecker," which was voiced by his wife Gracie. He was the first to use the Technicolor process in his work, won a special Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1979 and had been nominated for 10 other Oscars over his long career. He is interred in a crypt in Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
Born right here in Chicago, his father was a concert violinist and he himself was an accomplished cellist. Amsterdam started in vaudeville at the age of 14, as a straight man for his piano-playing brother. By the he was 16 he was working at a Chicago speakeasy owned by Al Capone. When he was caught in the middle of a shootout in the club one night, Amsterdam decided to seek safer bookings. He moved to California, where he became a writer and gag man for such stars as Fanny Brice, Jimmy Durante and Will Rogers. Morey would become known as the "Human Joke Machine" because he could tell a joke about any subject on request. In the 1930s and 1940s he was on the radio, where his humor brought him fame and notoriety. By 1947 he had three different daily radio shows and comedian Fred Allen said, "The only thing I can turn on without getting Amsterdam is the faucet". Amsterdam was the host of the talk show "Broadway Open House" (1950), the precursor to NBC's "The Tonight Show" in its various forms. His real fame, though, would come after he had spent almost four decades in the business, playing the part of wisecracking comedy writer Buddy Sorrell in the classic "The Dick Van Dyke Show" . For Morey, who was reportedly able to recall up to 100,000 jokes, it was the role of a lifetime.
The Amsterdam’s family dog is buried in the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery in Calabasas, and now you know why Morey was known as “The Human Joke Machine.” The animal was probably very confused if not suffering from psychosis, did not know whether to bark or meow.
Crane started out in show business as a drummer, and eventually became a disk jockey. For nine years in California, he hosted a morning drive show that was very popular. He had many famous people on this show, ranging from Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few. Eventually he decided to get into acting, and landed guest roles on such shows as “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” He was cast in a regular role on “The Donna Reed Show” as Dr. David Kelsey. He left that show in 1965 to star in “Hogan's Heroes” on CBS, which many felt would be a failure. Instead, the show was one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, and ran until 1970, when it was cancelled. After the series was cancelled, he appeared in a few Disney movies and made appearances on shows including “The Love Boat.” Crane eventually began touring in dinner theater productions and while he was touring in the play “Beginner's Luck” he was brutally murdered. He was bludgeoned to death while he slept in his hotel room. An acquaintance of Crane's, John Carpenter, was eventually arrested and tried for the murder. Carpenter was found not guilty, and he died in 1994, denying his guilt to the end. It is believed that Crane was murdered because of his habit of picking up various women, and then filming himself in different sexual acts with them. Today, almost twenty-five years later, Crane's murder remains one of Hollywood's unsolved mysteries. He is buried in Westwood Cemetery in Los Angeles, with his wife Sigrid Valdis, actress best known for her role as Colonel Klink's secretary "Hilda" on the television series "Hogan's Heroes." She married the show's star Bob Crane on the set in 1970, although he was an obvious womanizer. Their picture in “Hogan’s Heroes” costume adorns the top of their headstone, with the caption “Hogan and Hilda, Together Forever.”
The leader of the Three Stooges. At a very early age he was interested in acting, a talent that was helped along by his voracious memory and capacity for memorizing just about anything, including all of the many books he read and all of the plays he saw when he was skipping school. In 1909 he became an errand boy at the Vitagraph Studios, which were based in Brooklyn. In short time, his hard work and persistence paid off and he was soon acting in films produced by the studio, not running errands for its stars. Over the following decade he continued to perform in various modes of entertainment. In 1922 he and his older brother Shemp began working vaudeville with his childhood friend Ted Healy. Three years later, in 1925, Larry Fine joined their act. Their youngest brother, Jerome, who was later to be nicknamed Curly, later replaced Shemp and the classic line up of the Three Stooges was born. Over the next 24 years they starred in 190 two-reelers, occasionally also appearing in features. A consummate professional, he was working, appearing on television, and lecturing at college campuses right up till the last days of his life. Although the Moe Howard fans saw onscreen was very bossy and short-tempered, his real life off-screen persona was the complete opposite. He was the only Stooge who was good at managing money, and died very wealthy as a result. He also always insisted the others turn over part of their salaries to him, so they wouldn't waste all of their money on luxuries, gambling, and women. He passed away a month before what would have been his fiftieth wedding anniversary, of lung cancer, at the age of seventy-eight. Interred in a crypt at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City.
Larry was the frizzy-haired star of the legendary comedy team the “The Three Stooges.” Upstaged by the team's angry leader Moe Howard and the scene-stealing Curly Howard, Larry was indeed the comic "glue" between the two. Yet comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said that Larry, like his own father, "never did anything but it wasn't the same without him." In fact, Larry's stroke ended the Stooges for good, underscoring his value. He met Moe Howard in 1925 and joined the Three Stooges with Moe's brother Shemp. When Shemp left and Moe's younger brother Jerome joined the act as Curly in 1934, the Three Stooges began making two-reel shorts for 24 years. Like his screen character, Larry was laid-back, talkative and charitable. (When Shemp replaced the ill Curly, Larry insisted each Stooge give $50 a week to Curly, who couldn't work because of a stroke that eventually killed him.) He gave his money away to down-and-out actors, gambled and threw parties. With disdain for housekeeping, he and wife Mabel lived in hotels and didn't own a house until Larry’s late 40s. He was tardy on the set, yet his performing was effortless. "I think Larry was the best actor of three," said Moe's son-in-law and director Norman Maurer. "I used to argue with Moe about giving him more lines because Larry was good, but Moe was against it." When Columbia unceremoniously dumped the Stooges in 1958, their popularity revived when their shorts showed up on TV. They did live shows, made six films, and appeared on TV before the widowed Larry suffered a stroke leaving him partially paralyzed. He lived with his daughter Phyllis until Moe placed him in the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, Calif. Larry, despite his illness and being wheelchair-bound, appeared on TV, gave shows at schools, entertained the other patients, and wrote the optimistically titled book, "A Stroke of Luck." Larry is interred in a crypt in Forest Lawn in Glendale, California
Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk. As a very young child Jerome was already interested in performing, appearing in small home theatrical productions with his older brothers Moe and Shemp. He idolized these two brothers, even though he didn't get into show business at the same time they did due to his young age. During his late teens, he got married for the first time. The name of his wife is unknown to this day; his mother was very opposed to the idea of him marrying while still a teenager and had this marriage annulled in less than six months. After Shemp left the act, Jerome shaved his head, took on the name “Curly” and joined Larry and Moe as “The Three Stooges.” Curly made 97 short subjects with the group, as well as appearing in a few other features and short subjects on the side, in supporting or bit roles. His health began to deteriorate as he drank, ate, and partied to excess. In January of 1945 he was hospitalized for obesity, extreme hypertension, and a retinal hemorrhage. Eight months after his release, he met Marion Buxbaum, a divorcée with a ten-year-old son. They married almost instantly, and this marriage too did not last long. Many of his friends and relatives felt she was using him for his money. He had never been known for being very sharp when it came to dealing with women and managing money, and this marriage seemed to prove to them yet again his lack of skills in these areas. He bought her everything she asked for, such as fur coats, jewelry, and a luxury house. All of these purchases cost a fortune, and the couple began fighting before long. They separated after only three months, and this time Curly was the one who sued for divorce. His health had gotten even worse by the time the divorce was over and he suffered a major stroke. His brother Shemp came back into the team to take his place. At the time everyone believed it would just be a temporary hiatus but his health never improved to the point where he could rejoin the team, and he later died from the complications. He is buried in the Home of Peace Memorial Park in East Los Angeles.
Legendary comic actor with the “Three Stooges,” he worked with his brother Moe in various amateur and vaudeville acts until 1922, when a former school mate and vaudeville comedian, Ted Healy, was playing at the Brooklyn prospect theater and needed a replacement in his current act. Moe and Shemp both joined the act. In 1927 Larry Fine joined Moe and Shemp with Ted Healy but a short time later, Healy left the "JJ Shubert Broadway Review," taking Moe and Larry with him while Shemp Howard decided to stay with the show. On his own, he went on to star in countless comedies for Vitaphone in 1932 and he later played the role of “Knobby Walsh” in the Joe Palooka series. After brother Curly Howard had to leave what had become “The Three Stooges” act because of his stroke, Shemp replaced him. On November 23,1955, he went out with his friends to a boxing match at the Hollywood Legion Stadium. After the fights were over, Shemp hailed a taxicab to take him to his North Hollywood home with friend Al Winston. He set back and lit up his cigar, and then suddenly he slumped over. He had a heart attack and died at the age of 60. He is in a crypt in the Home of Peace Memorial Park in East Los Angeles, not far from his brother Curly.
The fifth of the “Three Stooges,” as a child he spent most of his time attending vaudeville shows as opposed to going to elementary school. He ran away from home to work in a magic act, then with his own vaudeville routine he was continually gaining more and more popularity and before long was a headliner on the theatre circuits. After experiencing much success on Broadway and vaudeville, Besser was signed to a contract with Columbia Studios in 1938, and appeared in both features and short subjects. In 1946 he also began performing on the new medium of television, on a variety series entitled “Hour Glass.” He stole the show with his opening military skit, "The Rookie," and got the attention of a great many television producers. His best-remembered television appearances came on “The Abbott and Costello Show,” in which he played a man named Stinky on thirteen episodes. In 1956, he joined the “Three Stooges” after the death of Shemp Howard, and appeared in sixteen shorts with them. It is perhaps unfortunate that this period of his career is what many people most remember him for today, for many critics and fans agree that this was not representative of his talents or vast body of work. In 1958, he left the act to be with his wife, who had just suffered a heart attack. After she had recovered, he continued with his acting career, appearing on many more television programs and in feature films. Starting in 1962 and continuing through 1965, he was a regular on “The Joey Bishop Show,” which gave a large boost to his already high level of popularity. After his long fruitful association with Joey Bishop ended, he made frequent cameo and character appearances throughout the Sixties and Seventies on television shows such as “The Danny Thomas Special,” “That's Life,” “The Jerry Lewis Show,” “Love American Style,” “Batman,” “My World and Welcome to It,” “That’s Life,” “The Jerry Lewis Show,” “Love American Style,” “Batman,” “My World and Welcome to It,” “That Girl,” and “The Bing Crosby Christmas Special.” He said that in these later years of his life, his best friends, and his best audience. Now enjoying the peace of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California just outside the mausoleum where Larry Fine is entombed, his headstone is inscribed, “He brought the world love and laughter.”
DeRita was born into a show business family and often acted on stage from his early childhood. Taking on his mother's maiden name, DeRita (Portuguese), the actor joined the Burlesque circuit during the 1920s, gaining fame as a comedian. After Shemp Howard died in 1955, Moe Howard and Larry Fine tried to complete the "Three Stooges" act with Joe Besser, but his wife's ill health led Besser to quit the act after just two years. Familiar with DeRita's work, Moe Howard asked him to join the act, and he readily accepted. DeRita became the first non-Jewish member of the Three Stooges. Because of his physical resemblance to predecessors Besser and especially Curly Howard, DeRita was renamed "Curly-Joe" and became the sixth of the Three Stooges in 1958. "Curly-Joe" also made it easier to distinguish him from Besser (the previous Stooge called Joe). Columbia Pictures' short films studio shut down, leaving the Stooges to seek their own full-length features. The team created a number of theatrical Three Stooges films, including “Have Rocket, Will Travel” and “Snow White and the Three Stooges.” Aimed primarily at children, these films rarely reached the same comedic heights as their shorts. (Moe and Larry's advanced ages plus pressure from the PTA and other children's advocates led to a severe toning-down of the trio's trademark violent slapstick.) Through the 1960s, DeRita remained a member of the team, participating in animated cartoons (with live-action introductions). However, Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, putting all new Stooges related material on hold. Nearly blind from diabetes, DeRita died in Los Angeles on July 3, 1993. He was buried in the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood. His epitaph reads, "The Last Stooge.”
Her impressive career in film and theatre spanned 42 years, ending only with her death in 1993. A vastly influential person and notable humanitarian, she received over fifty awards and international distinctions for her work in film and later for her efforts on behalf of children everywhere. In 1948 to 1949, she entered into the world of musical theatre as a chorus girl in two London productions: "High Button Shoes" and "Sauce Tartare." Her film career began in 1951, as an unbilled extra in "One Wild Oat." More prominent roles followed, earning her Academy Award – Best Actress nominations for the following films: "Roman Holiday" (1953 - Best Actress - Won), "Sabrina," "The Nun's Story," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and "Wait Until Dark." Additional awards received include the 1954 Tony Award for Best Dramatic Actress, the 1954 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama, the 1990 Golden Globe’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, the 1993 Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and posthumously the 1993 Oscar (Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award). She could also be seen in "War and Peace," "Funny Face," "The Unforgiven" and "My Fair Lady." In 1988, she became the international Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and remained in this position until her death in 1993. During this period, she made over fifty field research visits to UNICEF-assisted projects in Sudan, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, and Somalia. Her first-hand experience of the plight of poor and displaced children gave her the opportunity to speak before Special Assemblies at the United Nations, to share details with various Press Associations, and to lobby to World Parliaments. One of the few included here that is not actually buried in southern California, just because we can do what whatever we want with our website. She is buried in a lovely garden spot at Tolochenaz Cemetery in Vuad, Switzerland.
Academy award winning leading man, his rugged athletic appearance landed him his first movie role as a tough guy at the late age of 32. He was on the way with a series of adventure movies such as “The Crimson Pirate” and then proved his acting ability in “From Here to Eternity.” “The Sweet Smell of Success” followed and then the blockbuster “Elmer Gantry,” based on the life of Billie Sunday the famous Chicago Evangelist, where he won the best actor Oscar. He continued acting in his later years while earning his fourth Oscar nomination with “Atlantic City.” Burt Lancaster set up his own production company, hiring experts to direct his career. He produced “Marty” which won an Oscar in 1955. Often remembered for the leading role in “Birdman of Alcatraz,” he suffered a debilitating stroke and died from a heart attack three years later in his Los Angeles home. The prolific actor was gone at the age of eighty but not after a career where he was linked to hundreds of movies in various roles, either as a writer, director, producer, a major starring actor, simply making a guest appearance on a TV mini series and even doing special roles as a narrator. Burt Lancaster was a one-man gang. He was cremated with his ashes interred in Westwood Memorial Park with a small square ground plaque marking the burial spot. In accordance with his wishes, he had no memorial or funeral service.
A scheming self-promoter began dating her and convinced her to pose for nude photographs, while attempting to get her selected as Playboy's 25th Anniversary Playmate. Although she lost out to Candy Loving, she was made Playmate of the month for August 1979. Soon afterwards, she married the bum, Paul Snider, who wanted more control over her personal life as well as professional life. After the centerfold was published, she found work in films and her big break came with the lead role in "Galaxina." In 1980, Playboy announced that Stratton would be the 1980 Playmate of the Year. Meanwhile, things were not going well with her marriage. Snider was present on the set of “Galaxina,” interfering with her acting, and when he discovered she was developing a close relationship with director Peter Bogdonavich, Snider and Stratton separated. Snider remained in their Los Angeles apartment, and Stratton moved in with Peter Bogdonavich. Snider then hired a private detective to follow her around and report on her activities. One evening, Snider convinced her to come to their apartment, where he tied her up, raped her and then put a shotgun to her head, pulling the trigger, then turned the gun on himself. Since her death, she has been the subject of a number of movies and TV stories, including two by Playboy, and one on "E! True Hollywood Stories" and the films "Star 80" and “Death of a Centerfold.” The murder scene in one was filmed in the actual apartment where she died. On her Playmate data sheet, she listed "jealous people" as her major turn-off. Later, obsessive, Peter Bogdonavich married Dorothy’s younger sister, Louise Stratten, although they later divorced. Her epitaph reads “If people bring so much courage to this world, the world has to kill them to break them so of course it kills them….it kills the good and the very gentle, and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. We love you D.R.” She is buried in Westwood Memorial Park not far from two other who died tragically and young, Natalie Wood & Marilyn Monroe. Only in Hollywood.
Remembered for one of her first roles of Susan Walker the classic Christmas movie "Miracle on 34th Street" that started a string of great roles as she appeared in over 56 movies for the silver screen and television, and was nominated three times for an Oscar (she never won). In 1955, she played in "Rebel Without a Cause," the famous James Dean movie, with her first Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. She played opposite John Wayne in "The Searchers." She appeared in "Splendor in the Grass," “West Side Story” which earned a second nomination for an academy award as best supporting actress, as Gypsy Rose Lee in "Gypsy," and then "Love with a Proper Stranger" for which she earned her third academy award nomination. In a book written by her sister, Lana Wood, Natalie was portrayed as insecure and unhappy in life. She was married three times, first to Robert Wagner then to Richard Gregson. After discovering Gregson was having an affair, she divorced him and soon remarried her first husband, Robert Wagner again. While sailing on her yacht off Santa Catalina Island with her husband, Robert Wagner, and their friend, Christopher Walken, she disappeared one night, supposedly while trying to get into a dinghy. Her body washed ashore the next morning and the circumstances of her death have never been fully explained, but the cause of death was determined as drowning at age 43, under young woman who died mysteriously. She is buried near Marilyn Monroe in Westwood Memorial Park.
Dean moved from Fairmount Indiana to New York City to pursue roles in live stage performances. He honed his skills while studying under Lee Strasberg in his famous Actors Studio school. Roles soon came his way with director Elia Kazan signing him for the starring role of "Cal" in "East of Eden." James Dean would make only two more films in his brief Hollywood career…. "Rebel Without a Cause," and "Giant." Only the first was released before his death but his noted performance netted him a posthumous nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. The other two were released after his death while again receiving posthumous nominations in each. Two more movies were pending, for M.G.M. "Somebody Up There Likes Me" and for Warner Bros, "The Left Handed Gun" which was also part of a signed 9-picture contract with that studio worth $1 million. One can only imagine the heights of a career that awaited him had not fate intervened in the form of his tragic death. James Dean was in the process of driving his new Porsche 550 Spyder to a race in northern California. While on Route 466 near Cholame, California, an automobile driven from the opposite direction attempted a turn, crossing into Dean's lane resulting in a head-on collision. The mortally injured Dean was rushed to the Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, gone at the age of 24. Note all the stars of “Rebel Without a Cause,” Dean Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood all died young, violent, tragic deaths. In September 2005, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his death, the California Highway Department named the 46-41 Highway Junction where he died "The James Dean Memorial Junction." Quite an honor, who needs an Oscar? One of the few we have included that is not actually buried in Hollywood, but his status as a cult/pop icon has made his headstone like a soap opera with a life of its own. It is constantly being chipped away by souvenir hunters and many times it has been stolen intact, found and returned to his grave at Park Cemetery in his hometown of Fairmount, Indiana.
Known to many as "The Singing Cowboy," he is best remembered for his songs "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer," and his theme song, "Back in the Saddle Again." According to Hollywood lore, he was discovered by Will Rogers, singing for his own amusement in a telegraph office in Oklahoma, and Rogers suggested he go to Hollywood. In 1928, he began singing for a local radio station, and within three years had his own radio show and was making records, then moved on to films in the 1930s and 1940s and literally defined the B-Western film, despite cars, airplanes and other modern devices in them. During the 1950s, he had his own television show, "The Gene Autry Show." He wrote over 200 songs. A shrewd businessman, Autry invested wisely and retired from show business in the late 1950s, a self-made millionaire. His gasoline company, Flying A, takes its name from his interest in flying and the letter of his last name, Autry. In 1983, he bought the California Angels baseball team. In the late 1980s, he built a museum to showcase his personal collection of authentic western memorabilia. He has five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Recording, Movies, Television, Radio, and Live Theater. He died of cancer in Los Angeles, California in 1998. He once stated, "I'm not a good actor, a good rider, or a particularly good singer, but they seem to like what I do, so I'll keep on doing it as long as they want." Buried under a large memorial listing his accomplishments at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
Starting out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A. system), he eventually got work as a band singer, first with The Hoboken Four, then with Harry James and then Tommy Dorsey. With the help of George Evans (Sinatra's genius press agent), his image was shaped into that of a street thug and punk who was saved by his first wife, Nancy. In 1942 he started his solo career, instantly finding fame as the king of the bobbysoxers - the young women and girls who were his fans. About that time his film career was also starting in earnest. Known as "One-Take Charlie" for his approach to acting that strove for spontaneity and energy, rather than perfection, he was an instinctive actor who was best at playing parts that mirrored his own personality. A controversial public affair with screen siren Ava Gardner broke up his marriage to Nancy Barbato. After a vocal cord hemorrhage that all but ended his career, he fought back and won the coveted role of Maggio in “From Here to Eternity.” He won an Oscar for best supporting actor, yet still didn't have widespread acceptance in Hollywood. He continued to give strong and memorable performances in such films as “The Man with the Golden Arm” and, especially, “The Manchurian Candidate”-- probably his best film. He was the leader of the famed “Rat Pak” whose members include Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, and for the rest of the 1960s he concentrated mainly on lighter roles, playing hard-boiled private eyes and hamming it up with his Rat Pack buddies on Las Vegas stages and in films, “The Detective” and the original “Ocean's Eleven” being the best. Nicknamed "Old Blue Eyes," and later “Chairman of the Board” he attained the pinnacle of his success in the music industry. Married four times, including, actress Ava Gardner, Mia Farrow and an ex of band member “Zeppo” from Marx Brother, which was his last, Barbara Marx. His epitaph reads, “The Best is Yet to Come” on a small grave in Desert Memorial Park near Palm Springs.
Legendary Singer, Actor and Comedian, before achieving stardom, he performed various job duties, some of which were: a steel mill worker, a service station attendant, a gambler, and he also tried to be a professional boxer. As a boxer, he fought under the name of "Kid Crochet." When asked about his boxing career, he said that he had won "all" but 11 of his 12 bouts. In 1946 his life would change forever when he met a very hard working young up-start named Jerry Lewis. This would mark the beginning of one of Hollywood's greatest teams and over the next 11 years and 16 films, the team of Martin and Lewis not only brought about super-stardom, but it also brought a lot of personal conflicts. These conflicts not only led to their break-up, but the hurt was felt by the two for a great number of years. The mega-hit film "Oceans Eleven" would bring with it the ever-famous "Rat Pack" label, when he was teamed with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. This proved to be an enduring bond among these greats. Dean's film career continued until 1965, when he made a daring venture into the television industry with "The Dean Martin Show." He hosted this show until 1973, and earned a Golden Globe Award. His show would change, and by adding a panel of some of Hollywood's biggest names, the "Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast" was formed. This show would be known as one of the best in television history, and will remain a classic. When the show's run ended in 1984, and after a 19-year stint in TV, he thought it was a time to relax, but after a short respite, he went on a singing tour with his old friends of the "Rat Pack." But 1987 would bring with it a very tragic event, one from which Dean would never recover, when his son, Dean Paul Martin, was killed in a plane crash. Dean immediately left the Rat Pack Tour, never to return, and he resigned to a solitary life until his death on a Christmas day. In his personal life, Dean was married 3 times, all of which ended in divorce. Dino is in a crypt at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, with one of his great songs “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime” becoming his epitaph.
Acclaimed and beloved singer, actor, and dancer, a multi-talented performer, Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded forty albums and made countless film, television and live appearances. He began performing at the age of four, and starred in his first film when he was six. Coached by legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Davis achieved success on the vaudeville circuit, dancing with his father and adopted uncle. In the late 1940s, Davis opened for Frank Sinatra at the Capitol Theatre in New York, which ignited a friendship that would last a lifetime. He toured six months with Mickey Rooney and performed with Bob Hope. Through Jack Benny, the trio won a booking at Ciro's in Hollywood. In 1954, he made headlines when he lost his left eye in a near-fatal car crash while driving back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. During his recovery in the hospital, he converted to Judaism, which was bruited about by the press. Davis continued treading on socially controversial ground by carrying on a series of interracial romances, most notably with actress Kim Novak, and with the Swedish actress May Britt, whom he married in 1960. Davis began making appearances on television, including “The Ed Sullivan Show.” In the early 1960s, he appeared with his "Rat Pack" cohorts Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford in a series of films including “Ocean's Eleven,” “Sergeants Three,” and “Robin and the Seven Hoods.” Davis was also heavily involved in the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, working with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After announcing that he had successfully overcome an addiction to cocaine and alcohol, Davis embarked on a concert tour in 1988-1989 with fellow Rat-packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. On Sept. 14 1989, Davis publicly announced that he had throat cancer and would begin radiation therapy. On Nov. 13, 1989, an unprecedented turnout of stars appeared at taping of Sammy Davis Tribute in Hollywood. Sammy Davis, Jr. succumbed to throat cancer at his Beverly Hills, California, home on May 16, 1990. His funeral attracted thousands of unknown individuals and the “Who's Who” of entertainment. Davis funeral was a moving, tear-filled ceremony, punctuated by applause and the standing ovations that characterized his life. A 300-car caravan followed his remains to his Forest Lawn, Glendale, gravesite which is behind a locked garden wall. He epitaph reads, “ The Entertainer, he did it all.”
Legendary stage and screen actor of the 1910s through 1950s, he is most widely identified with his 1931 title role in the movie “Dracula.” Born Bela Ferenc Dezso Blasko in Lugos, Banat, Austria-Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania), he began his acting career on the stage in Hungary, playing in several Shakespearean plays and appeared in several silent movies of the Hungarian cinema. When World War I broke out, he became an infantry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Army, being wounded three times. Following the death of his first wife, in 1921 he emigrated to the US, and worked as a laborer before being spotted in the title role of the 1927 stage play “Dracula.” In 1929, he married a wealthy San Francisco widow named Beatrice Weeks, their marriage lasted only three days and their divorce papers named actress Clara Bow as the cause of the breakup; the notoriety quickly brought him to Hollywood film attention. When Universal Pictures decided to film “Dracula” (1931), he had to campaign vigorously for the opportunity to get the same role. When the movie, “Dracula” (1931) became successful, Lugosi was given a studio contract with Universal; that same year, he became a US citizen. Due in part to his heavy accent and his success in “Dracula,” he was soon typecast in such B-horror films. He was often paired with Boris Karloff, an actor most famous as the Frankenstein monster, and despite their reputed rivalry they actually remained good friends. In the 1940s he became addicted to morphine. On the set, he would disguise his addiction by sipping burgundy wine. He ended up making movies for Ed Wood, considered by many as the worst director in Hollywood history, and he died while shooting the now-cult classic film “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” He died of a drug related heart attack in his Los Angeles home, a copy of the script for “Final Curtain,” written by director Ed Wood, in his lap. He was buried wearing one of his many Dracula capes, per the request of his fifth wife, Hope Lininger, and his son, Bela Jr. At the time of his death, he was so poor that his family could not afford to bury him, and his friend Frank Sinatra quietly picked up the cost of the funeral. No self-respecting vampire would have a cross on his grave, but there it is in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.
Subject of the acclaimed biographical film, “Gods and Monsters,” this movie Director is best known for his work in the horror classics, "Frankenstein," "Old Dark House," "Invisible Man," and "Bride of Frankenstein." In 1928, he was offered a chance to direct the play "Journey's End" starring then newcomer, Laurence Olivier. The play was a huge success and Whale was soon offered the chance to direct the Broadway and film versions of "Journey's End" in the United States. He quickly began directing motion pictures of various genres, but found his niche in horror films, largely due to his unique and innovative use of camera angles. In his later years, the openly gay director began suffering from memory loss due to a stroke. Whale struggled with depression and found it difficult to put the memories of his World War I service and imprisonment in a German P.O.W. camp behind him. On May 29, 1957, at the age of 67, he committed suicide by drowning himself in his swimming pool. Although he did leave a suicide note detailing why he killed himself, circumstances of his death were not known until years later. His suicide note read, "The future is just old age and illness and pain...I must have peace and this is the only way." Cremated and placed in a crypt in Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Co-founder of Warner Bros., with siblings Harry, Sam, and Albert Warner. Their father was an itinerant peddler who pursued get-rich-quick schemes throughout the northeastern US. In 1903 the family pooled their resources and bought a fleapit Nickelodeon in Newcastle, Pennsylvania. Business brain Harry handled the receipts while young Jack, an aspiring musical comedy star, entertained the audience during intermission. Their attempts to build a film distribution exchange were crushed by the powerful Edison Trust in 1910, but they carried on and began producing one-reelers in 1912. They scored their first blockbuster with the World War I propaganda feature "My Four Years in Germany" and with the profits built a handsome studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Their first star and main breadwinner was the canine hero Rin-Tin-Tin. In 1923 Warner Bros. went public as a corporation with Harry as president, Sam the CEO, Albert the treasurer, and Jack the production chief. They launched an ambitious expansion campaign by acquiring the Vitagraph Company, Burbank-based First National Pictures (where they set up new headquarters), and a nationwide chain of theatres, but by 1927 the organization was financially stretched to the breaking point. Salvation arrived with the Warner’s' experiments with talking pictures, initiated by Sam Warner before his early death. The phenomenal success of "The Jazz Singer" touched off the “talkie” revolution and firmly established Warner Bros. as one of the giants of the American film industry. While Harry and Albert handled the corporate end in New York, Jack ran the studio with an iron fist and a production philosophy of maximum economy consistent with quality. He held his stars to unfavorable contracts they had signed as unknowns and was famously sued by James Cagney, Bette Davis, and Olivia de Havilland over his draconian policies. Even the family was not spared from his ruthless behavior. In 1956, the three surviving brothers agreed to sell most of their shares in the company. Jack held onto his instead, gaining total control of the studio while watching the stock triple in value. Harry never spoke to him again and the episode made Jack persona non grata with the rest of the Warner clan. (This may explain why he is buried not in the Warner Family Mausoleums but in a private garden nearby). Throughout it all he kept a sense of humor, which he usually indulged without tact and at the least opportune moments; Jack Benny said of him, "He would rather tell a bad joke than make a good movie." (Example: On being introduced to Mme. Chiang Kai-Shek, he muttered that he had forgotten his laundry). In 1967 he finally sold his interest in Warner Bros. to Seven Arts, maintaining a position as an independent producer until his retirement at 80. In a grave at the Home of Piece Memorial Park in East Los Angeles, not far from the family mausoleum from which he was excluded. He probably had a lot of explaining to do.
Her stunning, natural beauty caught the eye of actor Richard Beymer who put her in touch with his agent, Hal Gefsky. She went to Los Angeles in the early-1960s and got parts in TV commercials. Prior to her movie career, she played bit parts in TV shows such as "The Beverly Hillbillies" (where she played the recurring role of secretary Janet Trego in a black wig), "Petticoat Junction," "Mr. Ed," and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." among others. She costarred in the films including "Valley of the Dolls," and "The Fearless Vampire Killers." She met celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring at a Hollywood party in 1964. Upon his divorce, conflicting accounts abound of whether Jay proposed to Sharon, or Sharon wanted to get married and Jay was hesitant. She then fell for movie director Roman Polanski. Instead of leading him on, Sharon phoned Jay to break up. Before he let her go, Jay wanted to meet Roman to make sure he was good enough for Sharon and then broke things off, but remained within the couple's close circle of friends. In early-1969, Sharon was overjoyed to learn she was pregnant and thought of nothing but the coming baby. On the night of August 8, 1969, Jay took Sharon, Abigail Folger and Wojiech "Voytek" Frykowski to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, El Coyote. The four returned to Cielo Drive where Voytek fell asleep on the living room couch, Abigail went to a bedroom to read a book, and Sharon and Jay retired to the master bedroom to talk. Then the Manson Family appeared. Sharon pleaded for the life of her baby more than for her own to no avail (she reportedly even wanted the killers to let her have her baby and then kill her). Her baby, a boy, was posthumously named Paul Richard Polanski by Roman - Paul for Sharon's father and Richard for Roman's father. They are buried together in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, victims of Hollywood most gruesome and celebrated mass murderer, Charles Manson.
In 1977, Candy was offered a position with the legendary Second City Troupe here in Chicago. He doubled as a writer and performer for the television show, “SCTV,” and he earned two Emmy awards for this work. His career branched out into feature films and in 1980, he appeared in “1941” and in “The Blues Brothers,” “Stripes” in 1981; 1984's “Splash,” “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” in 1987, and “Uncle Buck” in 1989. That same year, he also produced and starred in an animated television series for NBC entitled “Camp Candy.” In the early 1990s, Candy's career went into slump as many of his features failed to generate either financial or critical success including 1991's romantic comedy-drama, “Only the Lonely.” Candy also indulged his passion for sports and became co-owner of the Canadian Football team, the Toronto Argonauts. Candy accepted a role in a western Farce entitled “Wagons East” which was to be shot on location in Mexico. According to his friends, Candy feared “something bad” would happen if he traveled to Mexico. He died in his sleep after suffering a massive heart attack while on location at age 44. His memorial service was held at St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto and was broadcast live on Canadian television. His crypt is directly above that of actor Fred MacMurray and his wife, June Haver, in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City “One Heart and One Soul,” “We Miss You Dearly.”
Born in nearby Kankakee Illinois he performed in a Chicago Orchestra and studied at Chicago’s Art Institute. He is one of the most prolific yet underrated actors of the 20th century. Fred MacMurray played bemused husband, unrepentant heel and perfect father with panache and style. His career took off after he and Claudette Colbert starred in the forgotten "Grand Old Girl," they would make seven movies together. He was searing in "Double Indemnity," brilliant in "The Caine Mutiny," and unforgettable in "The Apartment." He starred in Disney’s “The Absent Minded Professor,” “Son of Flubber” and “The Shaggy Dog” among others and became a close personal friend of Walt Disney. He will be forever remembered as the Dad in the legendary television series "My Three Sons." His body of work is simply amazing, and underappreciated - except for those who recognize a great talent when they see it. He is interred in crypt with his long-term wife, Actress June Haver, at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City right above John Candy’s crypt.
She went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York, having convinced her mother that she intended to teach acting. In 1934, with some stock company work and a little Broadway experience, she was tested and signed by Universal but simultaneously MGM tested her and made her a better offer. For some time she was used in secondary roles and as a replacement threat to limit Myrna Loy's salary demands. Knowing she was right for comedy, she tried five times for the role of Sylvia Fowler in “The Women” until George Cukor told her to "play her as a freak." She did and got the part. In her forties, she returned to the stage, touring "Bell, Book and Candle" in 1951 and winning a Tony for "Wonderful Town" in 1953. Columbia Pictures, worried the public would think she had the female lead in “Picnic” instead of Kim Novak billed her "co-starring Rosalind Russell as Rosemary" (she refused to accept an Oscar nomination as supporting actress). The role of "Auntie Mame" kept her on Broadway for two years; the movie version was her last cinematic triumph. She had Oscar nominations for “My Sister Eileen,” “Sister Kenny,” “Mourning Becomes Electra” and “Auntie Mame.” In 1972 she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for contributions to charity. She is buried beneath a huge cross at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.
An American comedian, singer, actor, songwriter familiar to Broadway, radio and early television audiences, this "Apostle of Pep" was regarded almost as a family member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing antics about his wife Ida and five children. His eye-rolling song-and-dance routines eventually led to his nickname, Banjo Eyes. Cantor's eyes became his trademark, often exaggerated in illustrations, and leading to his appearance on Broadway in the musical “Banjo Eyes” (1941). He was President of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) [1933-1935], and invented the name "March of Dimes" for the donation campaigns of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (polio). He began the first campaign on his own radio show in January 1938, asking people to mail a dime to the nation's most famous polio victim, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Other entertainers joined in the appeal via their own shows and the White House was deluged with 2,680,000 dimes. Cantor received a Special Academy Award in 1956 for distinguished service to the film industry. He is in a crypt at Hillside Memorial Cemetery.
American comedienne, primarily on stage (with a long run in the “Ziegfeld Follies”) and radio (“Baby Snooks”). She dropped out of school after the eighth grade to take a job as a chorus girl in a burlesque. Showman Florenz Ziegfeld hired her for the “Follies” and she continued to appear in the “Follies” until Ziegfeld’s death in 1932 (and even after: 1934 and 1936 versions were produced by the Shuberts). Despite her flair for manic comedy, she made one of her biggest marks in the “Follies” with the torch song “My Man,” standing nearly motionless and singing in a clear, unaccented voice (perhaps some of the depth of the performance came from her rocky relationship with small-time con-man and second husband Nicky Arnstein). Brice played herself in the 1936 biopic “The Great Ziegfeld,” and was played by Barbra Streisand in both the stage and film version of “Funny Girl” and “Funny Lady” which portrayed Brice’s relationship with third husband Billy Rose. (A 1939 film musical, “Rose of Washington Square,” so closely paralleled the events of Brice’s life that she sued 20th Century-Fox for invasion of privacy and won.) Cremated and put on a shelf in Home of Peace Memorial Park, she was later moved to Westwood Memorial, both in Los Angeles.
Zanuck was a producer, writer, actor and director who played a major part in the Hollywood studio system as one of its longest survivors. At age eight, he found his first movie job as an extra. He later managed to find work producing movie plots, selling his first story in 1922. He then worked for Mack Sennett and took that experience to Warner Brothers where he wrote stories for “Rin Tin Tin” and under a number of pseudonyms wrote over forty scripts from 1924-1929. He moved into management in 1929 and became head of production in 1931. In 1933 he left Warners to found Twentieth Century Pictures with Joseph Schenck and William Goetz, releasing their material through United Artists. In 1935 they bought out Fox studios to become Twentieth Century-Fox. Zanuck was vice-president of this new studio. “People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." A notorious womanizer with a hot casting couch, he left his wife Virginia Fox Zanuck in 1956, and the later films which he came to produce often featured his girlfriend of that day. He returned to control of Fox in 1962 in a confrontation over the release of Zanuck's production of “The Longest Day” as the studio struggled to finish the difficult filming of “Cleopatra.” He made his son Richard D. Zanuck head of production. He became involved in a power struggle with the board and his son from around 1969. In May 1971, Zanuck was finally forced from “his” studio. He was the winner of 3 Thalberg Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. In 1946, Zanuck had said, "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months.”
Actress born of the ultimate in stage door mom, she began training her daughter literally from the time the child could walk and talk, teaching her to dance, play the saxophone and sing. Her persistent mother was able to land her a screen test resulting in an appearance in the movie “Happy Days.” Upon the studio discovering her real age, they voided the contract. She married child star Jackie Coogan (later known as the Addam’s Family’s Uncle Fester) and his success helped her career by landing a major role in the film, “Down Argentina Way.” She sang and danced her way to become the most recognized film figure during the war years. It was Betty Grable's famous pin-up pose that cemented her stardom during World War II, as she became the secret weapon and moral booster of the U.S. Military. Her picture appeared worldwide, in military barracks, soldiers’ lockers, and the fuselage of bombers, trucks, tanks and posters selling war bonds. Her legs were reportedly insured for a million dollars and were laid in cement rather than just her feet for her ceremony at the famous Grauman’s Chinese forecourt. After being a co- Master of Ceremonies at the Academy Awards in 1972, she experienced trouble breathing and was rushed to a hospital. A heavy smoker, Betty was diagnosed with lung cancer resulting in death at age 56. The funeral was held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills packed with about every Hollywood show person. Betty's favorite songs were played. Her body was cremated and the ashes interred in a crypt at Inglewood Memorial Park with those of her infamous stage mother. During the war years, she was the highest paid performer in films and earned over five million dollars in her career. However, upon her death she had many outstanding debts, from hospital bills to taxes. Her Nevada home was sold to the nearby Tropicana Hotel at auction. A poignant note was left in her empty safety deposit box, "sorry, there's nothing more."
Entertainer Ray Charles Robinson was blind by age 7 and an orphan at 15. He spent his life shattering any notion of musical boundaries and defying easy definition. A gifted pianist and saxophonist, he dabbled in country, jazz, big band and blues, and put his stamp on it all with a deep, warm voice, roughened by heartbreak from a childhood in the segregated South. Ray Charles won nine of his 12 Grammy Awards between 1960 and 1966, including the best R&B recording three consecutive years ("Hit the Road Jack," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Busted"). His versions of other songs are also well known, including "Makin Whoopee" and a stirring "America the Beautiful." Hoagy Carmichael & Stuart Gorrell wrote "Georgia on My Mind" in 1931 but it didn't become Georgia's official state song until 1979, long after Ray Charles turned it into an American standard. He learned to read and write music in Braille, score for big bands and play instruments, including trumpet, clarinet, organ, alto sax and the piano. Of course, he made an outrageous gun toting Chicago music storeowner in “The Blues Brothers.” His crypt is in Inglewood Park Cemetery, not far from LAX.
A ventriloquist and one of the last great Vaudeville-style actors, he is best remembered for his creation of the puppet characters “Charlie McCarthy” and “Mortimer Snerd.” Born in Chicago, Illinois, he attended Northwestern University, where he developed his acting ability and practiced ventriloquism. His early movie roles were so popular that in 1937 he starred in his own radio show, "The Edgar Bergen / Charlie McCarthy Show" which ran until 1956, when the growing popularity of television took away his radio audience. From 1937 until 1959, and again in the early 1980s, he played in many films, including such hits as "Hollywood Handicap," "The Goldwyn Follies," "Stage Door Canteen," "Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd in Sweden," and "The Muppet Movie" (which came out after his death, and is dedicated to him). In most films, he plays himself. After 1956, he made guest appearances on such television shows as the “Jack Benny Show,” (Johnny Carson's) “The Tonight Show,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and numerous cameo roles (usually without Charlie McCarthy). His epitaph reads “WE Miss You Dad” and of course his daughter is well-regarded actress of the small and big screen, Candice Bergen, best known as “X Murphy”. He is buried in the family plot at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
His first film was in 1924 at age 3 in "Pied Piper Malone." He worked as an extra in several films before speaking roles and subsequent stardom. His biggest break came in 1966 when he landed the role of "Uncle Bill" on the popular television situation comedy "Family Affair," a role, which garnered him three Emmy nominations for Best Actor. The show made him a household name. He went on to star in such television series as "The Brian Keith Show," "Heartland," and "Hardcastle and McCormick." He also made over 60 movies in his career. He married three times, first to Frances Helm, then in 1955 to Judith Landon, and finally in 1970 to Hawaiian actress Victoria Young. He fathered a total of four children, but also adopted three others with Judith Landon. His first son died in childhood. One of his children with Victoria Young was Daisy Keith, who also became an actress, appearing with her father in the short-lived series "Heartland" in 1989. Despite having quit smoking ten years earlier (he had posed for Camel cigarettes in an endorsement campaign in 1955) he suffered from emphysema and developed lung cancer. Knowing the end was approaching, and in deep despair over his daughter’s own suicide, he ate dinner with his family, went into his office, sat at his desk and pulled the trigger, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 75. He is buried next to his daughter Daisy, who also committed suicide just 2 months earlier. They are cremated and buried together in Westwood Memorial Park. Kathy Garver, who played his niece Cissy in “Family Affair” commented, "It was so sad, but it was in line with who he was in real life. He was this very manly man, very in charge of his life, always doing things his way. When his daughter died and he was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema and given only a few weeks to live, there was no way he was going to go out any way other than his way. I truly believe that." (Chicago Sun-Times, June 23, 2006).
Bombshell sex-goddess Rita Hayworth began her career as a dancer in the family act during her adolescence. In the late 1930s, she signed with Columbia studios who urged her to dye her hair auburn and change her name to Rita Hayworth. In the 1940s she became a leading lady to many popular stars including Gene Kelly, Glenn Ford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Her most popular films to date are "Gilda," "Lady From Shanghai," which she co-starred with then husband Orson Welles, "Salome" and "Separate Tables" which also starred Burt Lancaster. Soon afterwards, her career came to a standstill and in the 1960s when she began to suffer from early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Her daughter, Princess Yasmin Khan (Rita Married Aly Khan in 1949, they were divorced 2 years later) would care for her in her later years. It was Rita's death from Alzheimer's that was the catalyst for increased funding and public awareness of the disease. Her epitaph at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City reads, “To Yesterdays Companionship and Tomorrow’s Reunion.”
Actor best remembered for his role of “Superman” in the 1950s television series of the same name. His actual birth date is January 5, but when he was growing up his mother lied to him, telling him it was April 5,1914, since this would place his birth at nine months after her marriage. He did not discover this until he was an adult. To make confusion worse, his mother made a mistake on his burial marker, listing his birth date as January 6 instead of January 5. An amateur boxer and skilled musician, he began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he was discovered by Hollywood talent scouts. His first movie was “Ride, Cowboy, Ride”; although it is in the role of Stuart Tarleton, one of Scarlet O’Hara’s suitors in “Gone With The Wind,” that he is most remembered for in his early film career. He found steady work in the period 1939 to 1943, appearing in over 40 films starring as the title role in “Superman and the Mole Men” in 1951. This film got him noticed, and he was offered the title role in the upcoming television series, “The Adventures of Superman” (1952-1957). Afterwards, he got a few film and television roles, and since he had been typecast as “Superman,” his acting offers soon dried up. Although he was depressed with being stereotyped as “Superman,” he took the role model aspects seriously, giving up smoking and not making any appearances around children with any of his girlfriends. In the early morning hours of June 16, 1959, three days before his scheduled wedding to Lenore Lemmon, a gun shot was heard, and he was soon discovered dead with a wound to the head. An official inquiry returned the verdict of suicide, however, since his death, additional information makes many believe it was murder. He apparently had a long-term affair with Toni Lanier, a former showgirl and wife of MGM executive E. J. Mannix. She was known for her beauty and legendary sexual appetite, and the affair apparently had the approval of her husband, EJ Mannix, who had a mistress of his own. Five months before Reeves was to be married to Lenore Lemmon, he broke off the affair with Toni, which left her reportedly broken hearted and very angry. Toni would remain devoted to the memory of Reeves for the rest of her life. Cause of death at age 45 - suicide or murder by gunshot, but we will never know for sure. His ashes are on a shelf at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, California with the urn inscribed “My Beloved Son Superman”, a characterization he could not even escape in death.
The only man to win three Best Supporting Actor Oscar awards, Walter Brennan was probably the most successful character actor in American film. He entered pictures as an extra, beginning in 1923, and then did some work as a stuntman. With his wiry frame, thinning hair, lost teeth and weary expression, which made him look older than he really was, he eventually landed supporting roles in numerous features and short subjects between 1927 and 1938. The first of his three Oscars was for his role in “Come and Get It,” which was the first Best Supporting Oscar ever awarded. He would win the award again in 1938 in “Kentucky” and again in 1940 in a particularly vivid performance as Judge Roy Bean in “The Westerner”. He was also nominated for his performance in “Sergeant York.” He appeared with John Wayne in “Red River” and “Rio Bravo” and was a memorable Ike Clanton in “My Darling Clementine.” Among his more than 100 feature films were “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Meet John Doe,” “The Pride of the Yankees,” “To Have and Have Not,” “Bad Day at Black Rock,” “How the West Was Won,” and Disney’s “The Gnome Mobile.” Brennan also starred in three TV series, including “The Real McCoys,” which ran for six seasons, “Tycoon” and “The Guns of Will Sonnett.” He even had a hit record, the spoken/sung, “Old Rivers,” which first charted on April 7, 1962, spent 11 weeks on the Billboard charts, and peaked at number 5. Buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, just outside Los Angeles.
Early in life she took an interest in singing and went to New York City aspiring to be a part of the Metropolitan Opera, but when this did not work out, as she planned, she came here to Chicago where she became part of the musical "Irene." In 1929, Showman Florenz Ziegfeld, while the two were riding in an elevator, "discovered her" and soon after featured her in the musical "Showboat." Destined to become a movie star, she traveled to California and RKO signed her in 1930, The following year, she got an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie "Cimarron." Her next career highlight was the lead role in "Roberta" (1935) where she introduced the classic song "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Though she loved acting in dramatic roles, she was found to be a gifted comedic actress. Cary Grant starred with her in the classic "My Favorite Wife" (1940) and went on to say that she was his favorite co-star of all because she "was so much fun to work with." Her last film was in 1952 though appearing on television throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. She christened the paddle wheeler "Mark Twain" at Disneyland when it opened in 1955. She was involved in several charities and also worked with the United Nations. She is in a crypt just across the hall from the Barrymore’s in Cavalry Cemetery in East Los Angeles.
Legendary singer, actor, entertainer, Al Jolson was referred to as “The World's Greatest Entertainer” during the 1920’s. A singer and dancer of boundless energy and an expressive face, Jolson's greatest claim to fame was starring in the first talking motion picture, "The Jazz Singer," in 1927, where he uttered the immortal lines, "You ain't heard nothin' yet." Jolson married four times, including to Ziegfeld girl Ruby Keeler. In the 1930s, despite film and radio fame, his career began to slide. It revived in 1946 when Columbia Pictures made the standard-setting biopic, "The Jolson Story," which featured Jolson-sung tunes. Jolson died in San Francisco playing cards not long after returning from touring with the USO in Korea. He is buried at Hillside Memorial Park under a huge marble sarcophagus, under a mural painted dome supported by six gigantic columns with a terraced waterfall emanating from the side and tumbling down a hill (the hill in “Hillside Cemetery”). Look from the Los Angeles Freeway, you can’t miss this huge memorial.
Groucho was the leader of the Marx Brothers comedy team with his greasepaint mustache, big cigar, swallow tail coat, and most of all, sarcastic, caustic wit. He achieved fame in film with his brothers Harpo and Chico and sometimes Zeppo, and went on to radio and TV success with the "You Bet Your Life" program. The brothers became a smash on Broadway in 1924 with "I'll Say She Is." The brothers --- by this time, with Zeppo replacing Gummo - became movie stars in 1929 with the film version of "The Cocoanuts,” which was the third talking movie ever. They made 13 films together, finally retiring with "Love Happy" in 1949. In 1947, he went on radio as the quizmaster of "You Bet Your Life," a show more famous for its repartee between Groucho and his contestants than for the game itself. The program went on TV in 1950 and ended in 1961. One of the things Groucho was best known for was his rendition of the song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady” from their movie “At the Circus.” In the 1950s Groucho was invited to take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange. While in the observation booth, he grabbed the public address system handset and began singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady." Upon hearing silence coming from the trading floor, he walked into view, was given a loud cheer by the traders, and shouted, "Gentlemen, in 1929 I lost eight hundred thousand dollars on this floor, and I intend to get my money's worth!" For fifteen minutes, he sang, danced, told jokes, and all this time, the Wall Street stock ticker was running blank.
After the deaths of Harpo and Chico, Groucho faded into semi-retirement, having ended his third marriage in 1969. Erin Fleming became his companion/secretary and helped revive his visibility, which included campus tours and a Carnegie Hall appearance. Groucho also wrote eight books. His last year was sadly spent with his son, Arthur Marx, battling Fleming over an aged and decrepit Groucho's care and her alleged physical abuse and financial misappropriation of his fortune. Shortly after his death, his children found a gag letter written by Groucho that stated that he wanted to be buried on top of Marilyn Monroe, although he was cremated and put in a small niche in Eden Memorial Cemetery in Mission Hills California. In 1989, the Republic of Abkhazia (in the former Soviet Georgia) proclaimed independence and to show the world they were rejecting their Communist past, they issued a postage stamp of Groucho Marx and another of John Lennon (as opposed to Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin). He was good friends with rock star Alice Cooper, often inviting Alice over at 11 o'clock at night to watch TV with him. A drawing of Groucho can also be seen on the cover of the "Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits" album. In 1978, when the original giant white letters of the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign were auctioned off in order to raise money for new replacement letters, Alice bought an "O" in memory of Groucho. Some of his best one liners…..
“Remember, men, we're fighting for this woman's honor; which is probably more than she ever did."
“I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.”
[When told that a swimming pool was off-limits to Jews] "My son is half-Jewish; can he wade in up to his knees?"
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.”
“From the moment I picked your book up until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”
“I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”
“You're only as young as the woman you feel.”
“If you want to see a comic strip, you should see me in the shower.”
One of the legendary Marx Brothers along with Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, and Gummo, Leonard "Chico" Marx was the pianist with a phony Italian accent. Leonard was a serious student of New York’s streets where he learned various accents and gambling (which became a serious, lifelong addiction). He also managed to teach himself to become both a world-class bridge player and pianist using his skills at "shooting" the keys in his movies. He held various jobs, including playing piano at whorehouses, until he joined his brothers' comedy team in the 1910s. Chico was also extraordinarily successful with women all of his life, much to the frustration of his first wife, Betty. While his stage named is commonly pronounced Cheek –o, it was actually chic-o, named for his always-chasing women –“chics.” Chico’s character was defined as the dumb, happy ivory tickler, providing the bridge between Groucho and Harpo, who rarely had scenes with each other. (He also forgot his lines and strayed from the set to gamble and chase women.) The brothers disbanded after 1941's "The Big Store" but later reunited for two more films because the forever-in-debt Chico needed money, the last time when his life was being threatened by mob enforcers over a huge gambling marker. When a check written by Chico was found in mobster Bugsy Siegel's wallet at the time of his death, Chico was interrogated by police. He insisted the check was payment of a gambling debt from a poker game. When asked about his knowledge of Siegel's criminal activities, Chico stated, "We never discussed business." Groucho Marx later said of this incident, "Chico was lucky that Bugsy was shot. If Bugsy had tried to cash that check, it would have bounced. Then Bugsy would have shot Chico." Chico married his second wife, Mary Dee, in 1959, and died of heart trouble two years later in his small Los Angeles bungalow. His funeral was highlighted by a eulogy from a rabbi who didn't know him, and his will left $10,000 to his widow. Entombed in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
Milton "Gummo" Marx joined his brothers Julius "Groucho" and Adolph "Harpo" in 1911 to become the vaudeville singing troupe the Three Nightingales. When brother Leonard "Chico" joined the group, they became the Four Marx Brothers, with Gummo playing the straight role. (He was nicknamed Gummo because of his penchant for rubber shoes, “Gum-shoes” which also became a common slang term for a policeman.) Gummo left the group in 1917 to join the U.S. Army during World War I and was replaced by baby brother Herbert "Zeppo." Afterward, he became his brothers' agent and even went into show business management with brother Zeppo when the latter quit the team in 1933. Gummo was considered the most responsible brother, whether it was taking care of the wayward Chico's finances or handling a family member's funeral. Gummo is entombed next to his wife Helen, and across the hallway from elder brother Chico, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
NOTE: Brothers Zeppo (whose ex-wife later married Frank Sinatra) and Harpo were both cremated, the formers ashes being spread at sea while Harpo’s ashes were sprinkled into the sand trap at the seventh hole of the Rancho Mirage golf course!
Until the early 1960s, he had a job delivering meat along the Sunset Strip in California. He became an A&R Man for Phil Spector. Working with people such as Sam Cooke, and Chubby Checker, and writing songs such as “Baby Don’t Go,” and “Don’t Laugh At Me.” Bono achieved his highest level of fame in the entertainment field with his second wife “Cher.” It was at Aldo's Italian Restaurant in Hollywood in 1961 that Sonny met a very young Cher and they married in 1964. Destined to become one of the most famous duos in music history. Their weekly variety television show ran from 1972 until 1974. A daughter, Chastity, was born on March 04, 1969. After his marriage with Cher ended in 1974, Sonny appeared in movies such as “Hairspray,” and “First Kid’” and he was a guest star on many television shows. Sonny had a short-lived third marriage to Susie Coelho. In May of 1982 he married Mary Whitaker. In 1983 he opened a restaurant, Bono‚s in Los Angeles followed by another in Palm Springs. It was during a dispute with City Hall over a building permit needed for his Palm Springs restaurant that Bono became interested in politics. He set out to become the Mayor of Palm Springs so that he could help to change the bureaucracy. He served as Mayor from 1988-1992. In 1990 he formed the Palm Springs International Film Festival. A run for The U. S. Senate in 1991 was not successful, however in November of 1994 he was elected to Congress to serve the 44th District of California. He was well known for his outspoken and often blunt opinions of the policies and issues in which he was involved. He worked to achieve federal aid to preserve habitats of various endangered species. He was killed at the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe after he collided with a tree. Bet that hurt. He is buried at Desert Memorial Park outside Palm Springs California
A popular film star of the 1930s and 1940s, making over 50 films, she was dubbed the "Sweater Girl" early in her career. At age 15, Carole married Irving Wheeler, but the union was quickly annulled (the couple remarried in 1934). She worked as a dancer and singer, but in 1937 won a studio contract with Warner Brothers Studio, where she played mostly bit parts. In 1939, she divorced Wheeler, and when she was cast as the lead female role in "One Million B.C." her career began to take off. Critics and movie reviewers dwelled on her beauty, and not on her talent. She is known for her role in "Four Jills in a Jeep," based on a popular book of the same name that she wrote about her first USO tour. Considered highly intelligent, generous, and talented, she toured with the USO twice during the war, and almost died in 1945 from amoebic dysentery and malaria that she contracted in the Pacific. Despite a well-received comedy film in 1945, "Having Wonderful Crime," Fox dropped her contract. Carole was plagued by depression her entire life and attempted suicide in 1944 and 1946. By 1948 her career was fading and her marriage with Producer Harold Schmidlapp was failing. She entered into a romance with actor Rex Harrison who was at the time married to actress Lilli Palmer. Landis was reported to be crushed when Harrison refused to divorce his wife in her favor and unable to cope any longer, she committed suicide at Pacific Palisades, California, by taking an overdose of Seconal. Her final night alive had been spent with Harrison and it was Harrison who found her body the next morning. She was just 29 years old. Carole's mother and sister, never believed that Carole committed suicide. They tried for years to prove that Rex Harrison was responsible for her death but could not find evidence. Her epitaph reads, “To our beloved Carole, whose love, graciousness, and kindness touched us all – who will always be with us in the beauties of this earth until we meet again” in a grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
A tall, beautiful blonde, who was homecoming queen of her high school. She met Orenthal James (O.J.) Simpson soon after her graduation, when she was 18 and he was 30 years old. They married on February 2, 1985, and she soon became a mother of two children. Citing spousal abuse, she divorced O.J. Simpson in 1992, winning a $433,000 cash settlement and $10,000 per month in child support. She and a casual friend, Ronald Goldman, were found murdered at her Brentwood condominium, just outside her own front door. Ronald Goldman, a waiter at a nearby restaurant, was returning eyeglasses that she had accidentally left there at dinner that night. He is considered an accidental victim of the murderer. In a highly televised and controversial trial running from December 1994 to October 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of both murders after it was found that a police investigator, Detective Mark Fuhrman, had lied on the witness stand. In a later civil court case concluded in February 1997, brought by Ronald Goldman's father, O.J. Simpson was found guilty for wrongful death and ordered to pay $8.5 million dollars to the Goldman family. One of the trials of the century, similar to the Fatty Arbuckle trial for the death of Virginia Rappe, the statutory rape trial of Errol Flynn or the Lana Turner and daughter’s trial for murder of mobster Johnny Stompanato; all ending in acquittals. She is buried at Ascension Cemetery in Lake Forest outside Los Angeles, dead at age 35.
Considered by many to be the “world's greatest entertainer,” Judy Garland began performing at the age of two and a half. From 1924-1935 she and her older sisters performed as a singing trio that toured all over the country. In 1935, the group split up due to marriage of the oldest sister. Judy was often billed as "the little girl with the big voice," and soon drew the attention of casting agents. In September of 1935, she signed with MGM, and went on to be their biggest female star. Her time at MGM produced the studio's greatest musicals, such as "The Wizard of Oz," "Meet Me In St. Louis," and "Easter Parade." She also appeared with Mickey Rooney in a dozen films. She was the first celebrity to offer her services as an entertainer in World War II, and was the first female to be named an Honorary Corporal for her war efforts. Between 1937 and 1950 her films grossed over one hundred million dollars. In 1950, Garland asked to be released from her film contract, and the release was granted. She would go on to make some critically acclaimed films (such as the 1954 remake of "A Star Is Born"), but her first love remained the live concert stage, despite making over 30 films in her lifetime. From 1963-64 she hosted her own weekly television series and afterward became primarily a live performer. In the last two years of her life she completed 120 concerts. In the early morning of June 22, 1969, she died as a result of an accidental overdose of a prescription sleeping aid. Over 22,000 people filed past her open, glass-covered casket during a 24 hour wake. Judy Garland was nominated for two Academy Awards, and won a special Academy Award for her performance in "The Wizard of Oz." She won five Grammy awards, a Tony award, and was nominated for ten Emmy awards. Of her audiences, Judy said, "I just want them to know that I have been in love with them for all my life, and I tried to please. I hope I did." She is interred in the Mausoleum of Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester New York.
Terry was 2 years old when she starred as “Toto” in “The Wizard of Oz.” Hollywood Animal Trainer Carl Spitz was her owner. Terry had done previous screen work ending her career in 1945 at age 11. As Toto, Terry made $125 per week, more than each individual Munchkin. She was buried in Spitz’s backyard in the San Fernando Valley. In the 1950s, the ranch was paved over to make way for the Ventura Freeway and this apartment complex parking lot. Today, Toto lies under the freeway, about where that palm tree is in the middle of the photo.
In Vaudeville he was half of a team called Sanford and Bolger. In 1926, Gus Edwards, a vaudeville legend and star maker, spotted Bolger and hired him for the Broadway show “A Merry World.” Numerous Broadway roles followed including the lead in the Rodgers and Hart 1936 classic “On Your Toes.” The strength of that performance earned him a movie contract from MGM. His feature film debut was as himself in the film “The Great Ziegfeld” in 1936. In 1939, he was assigned to the role of Tin Man in the production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Dismayed at the limited mobility of the character, Bolger convinced producer Mervyn LeRoy to allow him to switch roles and play the Scarecrow. It was to become the role that he is most associated with. He reunited with co-star Judy Garland for 1946's “The Harvey Girls.” In 1949 he returned to Broadway where he starred in “Where's Charley?” for which he won a Tony Award as Best Actor. Bolger succumbed to cancer in Los Angeles five days after his 83rd birthday attended by his wife of 60 years. He is entombed at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.
He is best remembered for his role of the “Tin Man” in the 1939 film, "The Wizard of Oz." Actor Buddy Ebsen was originally cast in the role, but had to drop out when he proved to be allergic to the metal makeup. Haley began his career by auditioning as a singer for a music-publishing firm. Using the money from that job, he learned to tap dance, and shortly afterwards, found a small job on the vaudeville stage in Hoboken, New Jersey, working as a singer and dancer in a touring company musical. He was able to meet and make friends of many future stars, including George Burns, Gracie Allen and Jack Benny. Haley continued to make films through the war years, with his last major film in 1946. He died in Los Angeles in 1979 following a sudden heart attack. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, not far from the mausoleum containing his Scarecrow co-star, Ray Bolger. Bert Lahr
American stage and film actor, best known for his comedic roles, the most famous being “The Cowardly Lion” in the 1939 MGM classic “The Wizard of Oz.” Dropping out of school at 15 and taking the stage name “Bert Lahr” to join a juvenile vaudeville act, he worked his way up from second comic to top banana on the Columbia Burlesque Circuit. Long before “Oz," he was an established name in burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway. He starred in Broadway's "Ziegfeld Follies" and had his own show on radio before venturing into feature films. Lahr's greatest screen performance -- indeed, one of the greatest performances ever captured on celluloid -- was as “The Cowardly Lion” in the perennial favorite “The Wizard of Oz.” After making more money than he'd ever seen in his life as star of a series of potato chip commercials, Bert Lahr was cast as “Professor Spats” in the nostalgic 1967 film “The Night They Raided Minsky's;” Lahr died of cancer during production, forcing the producers to use a double for him in several scenes. He is buried in Union Field Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens New York
Actress who is fondly remembered for her role of “Auntie Em” in the 1939 film classic, "The Wizard of Oz." She entered films in 1929 and appeared in over 100 movies. On April 15, 1962 she decided she could no longer bear her severe arthritic pains and failing eyesight. The old gal went out and had her hair done, put on her best Sunday dress and spread out her stills and memorabilia from her long career about her apartment and took an overdose of sleeping pills. To make sure she would not survive, she tied a plastic bag over her head. Auntie Em was shortly over the rainbow. Dead of suicide at age 80. She is in a crypt in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale
One of the most beloved character actors in Hollywood history, best known for playing five roles in the MGM film classic "The Wizard of Oz” including the Wizard himself. His first film was "The Suspect" in 1916. His career at MGM took off when talkies began; his most stereotypical role was that of a befuddled but good-hearted middle-aged man. In over 100 film appearances, he was nominated for two Academy Awards: for Best Actor in 1934's "The Affairs of Cellini," where he played the cuckolded Duke of Florence; and for Best Supporting Actor in 1942's "Tortilla Flat," where he played a dull-witted Hispanic man. But Morgan's most famous portrayal was the title role in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz," where as well as the Wizard, he also played Professor Marvel, the Emerald City doorman, the Emerald City hack driver, and the Wizard's guard. This film made him so popular that MGM gave him a lifetime contract, even though they did not resign Scarecrow Ray Bolger. Frank Morgan died on September 18, 1949 in Beverly Hills, California at age 59 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
American character actress, best known for her legendary role as “The Wicked Witch of the West” in the 1939 MGM classic “The Wizard of Oz,” which was ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's villains list of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains. Hamilton had a long career on stage and screen, often playing spinsters and nosy neighbors with names like Aunt Huddy, Mrs. Klopplebobbler and Hester Crabwell. A former schoolteacher, she remained passionately interested in education and served on school boards and in children's therapy groups. Over her lifetime she made over 70 motion pictures and performed in at least that many stage plays. She was active in many projects that were geared for children and often at her own expense. Though her roles as “Miss Gulch” and “The Wicked Witch of the West” in “The Wizard of Oz” will never be forgotten, the generation of the 70's will never forget her in the warm and wonderful commercials for Maxwell House Coffee as “Cora” the owner of a small New England store who only sold that brand of coffee. For nearly fifteen years, Margaret Hamilton lived in Los Angeles, California before establishing permanent residence in New York City in 1951. She was cremated and the ashes scattered over her property in New York. Note she was almost cremated during the filming of “The Wizard of Oz” when she caught fire while disappearing from Munchkinland
Billie Burke was a pretty, delightful and funny actress primarily known to modern audiences for her role as “Glinda, the Good Witch of the North” in “The Wizard of Oz.” In 1903 she began acting on stage, making her debut in London, and eventually returning to America to become the toast of Broadway as a musical comedy star. There she caught the eye of theatre producer Florenz Ziegfeld, marrying him in 1914. In 1916, they had one daughter, Patricia Ziegfeld. She was quickly signed for the movies, with her first movie, in the starring role, in “Peggy” in 1916. She continued to appear on both stage and screen, but when the family's savings were wiped out in the Crash of 1929, she began to concentrate on the movies. Ziegfeld died in 1932, worsening her financial situation. That next year, she starred in the delightful comedy “Dinner at Eight.” This was shortly thereafter followed by the “Topper” series of films, about a man haunted by two alcoholic ghosts (played by Cary Grant and Constance Bennett), in which she played the tremulous and daffy Clara Topper. In 1939 she was the unforgettable “Glinda, the Good Witch of the North” in “The Wizard of Oz,” directed by Victor Fleming. Another successful series followed with the original “Father of the Bride” series and “Father's Little Dividend,” both of them with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. In 1960, when she retired from the show business, she said, "Acting just wasn't any fun anymore." She died in Los Angeles but was interred at Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York.
Among his numerous stage and film roles, he is fondly remembered as “Uncle Henry” in the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz." Buried in a crypt at Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Lyman Frank Baum showed a remarkable inclination for journalism from an early age, publishing his own small newspaper and stamp-collecting magazine while still in his teens. His passion for children's storytelling, however, eventually led to his greatest success. Once, when telling a fabulous story to a group of children, one listener asked the name of the magical land Baum was describing. Looking about the room, Baum's eyes fell on a file cabinet labeled "O-Z." The name stuck, and Baum, inspired, published a selection of his stories in his first book, 1899's "Father Goose." This book met with great success, and was the best-selling children's book of the year. Published in 1900, Baum followed this with his greatest successes, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and the subsequent musical play "The Wizard of Oz." Baum would go on to write thirteen more books about Oz, inspiring a legacy perhaps best embodied in the 1939 filming of his work, "The Wizard of Oz," which, like Baum's great book, endures as an American classic. Few people know that he founded one of the first movie studios in Hollywood, and lived right in old Hollywood just off Hollywood Blvd. He did not live to see the making of “The Wizard of Oz.” Buried in Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Beautiful Chinese actress began her career as an extra at the age of 14 and played several supporting roles before being cast as the lead in "The Toll of the Sea." She was the first Asian-American actress to become an international celebrity and appeared in over 50 films, making the transition from silents to talkies. Her career was sidelined by Hollywood's discriminatory codes of the period, which would not permit an Asian woman to kiss a Caucasian man on screen. She was not allowed to play female leads but was channeled into parts as servants, secondary parts where she was an innocent native girl who was usually murdered before the film was over. Under then-American law she was not even permitted to marry, as racial intermarriage was illegal in California and she was rejected by her own family and culture because of her film roles." Her other credits include: "The Thief of Baghdad," with Douglas Fairbanks. Anna was a remarkable individual who tried so hard to break out of her Hollywood confines. She made $6,000 for the movie “Shanghai Express” compared to Marlene Dietrich's $78,000 for the same movie. Anna gave the entire $6,000 to the relief effort for China (this was during the WW2 Japanese occupation of China). Anna may have been a Hollywood bad girl but she showed so much class as a real person. Buried with her mother, Lee Toy Wong, Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles. The lobby of the Chinese Auditorium in the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville is dedicated to her memory.
In a fifty year career, Joan Blondell juggled acted, danced and sang in some 80 films, with a very successful stage career with many appearances on Broadway. She was born in New York City to Vaudeville players, Eddie and Kathryn Blondell. In early infancy, she slept in a trunk as her parents known as "Blondell and Company," traveled around the world performing in the US, Europe and the far East. As an infant, Rose was inserted in the act starting at four months of age. At seventeen she won the title "Miss Dallas" in a beauty contest then stepped out on her own by joining a stock company at age 17, making her way the New York City debuting with the Ziegfeld Follies. Several Broadway shows followed and while playing opposite James Cagney in the production "Penny Arcade" (1929), they were seen by a Warner Brothers talent scout. The movie company took the couple to Hollywood and made a screen version of the play, re-titled "Sinners Holiday." Cagney and Blondell were put under long-term contact by the studio. Five more Cagney-Blondell films were made before she was paired with Dick Powell in a series of ten musicals and their professional relationship blossomed into marriage. Joan was busy in the 30's cranking out movie after movie..."The Public Enemy" was where she famously had a grapefruit mashed into her face by Cagney. Joan worked until cancer claimed her life in Santa Monica at age 72 She was cremated with her ashes in a small crypt in Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Not the vegetable, but the motion picture producer best known for producing James Bond films. Broccoli married three times. In 1940, at the age of 31, he married actress Gloria Blondell (the younger sister of Joan Blondell); they later divorced amicably in 1945 without having had children. In 1951, he married Nedra Clark, and the couple was told they had fertility problems and would never have children. They adopted a son Tony Broccoli, after which Nedra became pregnant. She died in 1958, soon after giving birth to their daughter, Tina Broccoli-Brewster, who today produces films under the name Tina Banta. At the time of Nedra's illness, while nursing her in America, Cubby became convinced that Bond would make a good movie series, and set up a meeting between Ian Fleming and his partner in London. In the very late 1950s, Broccoli married actress and novelist Dana Wilson (née Dana Natol). They had a daughter together, Barbara Broccoli, and Cubby became a mentor to teenage son, Michael G. Wilson. Broccoli insisted on keeping his family close to him when possible. Consequently the children grew up around the Bond film sets, and his wife's influence on various production decisions is alluded to in many informal accounts. Michael Wilson made uncredited cameo appearances in Bond films from his teens onward, and in adulthood worked his way up through the production company to co-write and co-produce. Barbara Broccoli, in her turn, served in several capacities under her father's tutelage from the 1980s on. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have co-produced the films since the elder Broccoli's death. In his own large crypt in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.
Best remembered for her singing partnership with her brother, Richard, as "The Carpenters." In 1966, their group won first place in the Hollywood Bowl Battle of the Bands, and landed a recording contract with RCA Records. After two albums, which were never released, Karen and Richard formed another band and in 1970, they made several demo tapes, which landed them a contract with A&M Records. Their first real hit was a reworked version of Burt Bacharach's "Close to You," which soon sold a million copies. They became one of the most successful groups in the early 1970s, won three Grammy Awards, and starred in their own TV variety series. Karen suffered from a relatively unknown illness, Anorexia. Her illness surfaced in 1975, when they were forced to cancel a European tour, when she was too weak to perform. In the 1980s, she and her brother were back making records, but in 1982 she collapsed after a recording, and spent most of the year undergoing treatment. Although her marriage fell apart, she appeared as if she was beginning to take control of her life again, and on February 4, 1983, she went to her parent's house to sort through some of her old clothes. She collapsed there from cardiac arrest, and was pronounced dead by responding doctors. Doctors later revealed that her long battle with Anorexia has stressed her heart to the failure point. Originally interred in Forest-Lawn Cypress Cemetery in Cypress, California, her remains were moved to a new location in the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park by her brother in late 2003.
No comment except I am glad they are together again, buried in Cavalry Cemetery in Los Angeles.
His first whirl with show business was in the 1940s appearing in the "Borscht Belt" resorts in the Catskill Mountains where he wrote jokes, was a singing waiter and did a stand up act under the name of Jack Roy. He struggled until he decided to leave the business to earn a stable living as aluminum siding salesman and a house painter. He would later return in the 1960s at age 40 and his stand up act took off with various television appearances and comedy albums. The man who was famous for his signature phrase "I can't get no respect," Mr. Dangerfield opened up the self-named comedy club "Dangerfield's" in New York City. There he helped the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Roseanne Barr, Jeff Foxworthy, Tim Allen and the late Sam Kinison for who was like a son to him. His most famous movies include “Caddyshack” and a dramatic role that drew rave reviews in "Natural Born Killers" as the abusive father. He was a regular when Johnny Carson hosted "The Tonight Show" and would appear frequently on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” One of his last appearances was on the television show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” just days before his hospitalization for heart valve replacement. Dangerfield underwent brain surgery to improve blood flow in preparation for that heart valve-replacement surgery. Upon entering the hospital, he uttered another one-liner of the type for which he was known: When asked how long he would be hospitalized, he said, "If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour-and-a-half.” In September 2004, it was revealed that Dangerfield had been in a coma for several weeks. Afterward, he had been breathing on his own and had been showing signs of awareness when visited by friends. However, on October 5, 2004, he died at the UCLA Medical Center, where he had undergone the surgery in August. He was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. In keeping with his "No Respect" persona, his headstone reads simply, "Rodney Dangerfield - There goes the neighborhood.” His last wife, Joan Child (young Double D with a rock on her finger to match), held a memorial in which the word "Respect" had been emblazoned in the sky, while each guest was given a live Monarch butterfly for a Native American butterfly-release ceremony. Farrah Fawcett was sculpting a life-size bronze statue of Dangerfield, which will be placed in Pierce Brothers Memorial Park.
In the 1950s and 1960s he prospered as a writer primarily on British radio and television. In 1961 he was diagnosed with severe hyperthyroidism, which affected his eyes giving him what was to become his trademark appearance. His American television debut came in the late 1960's as sketch characters on “The Dean Martin Show” and “Dean Martin Presents The Gold Diggers.” His popularity soared and in 1970 he starred in his own television show called “The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine.” His most famous role came in 1974 when Mel Brooks cast him as Igor (or do you pronounce it Egor) the Hunchback in "Young Frankenstein." In 1975 he teamed with Gene Wilder in the film "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" and in 1976 starred in another Mel Brooks film, "Silent Movie," a role which earned him a Golden Globe nomination." In 1982 he was in Mexico filming the movie "Yellowbeard" when he suffered a massive heart attack. He died in a Mexico City hospital and is buried in Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.
Best known for his roles as “Deputy Barney Fife” in the 1960s television series the "Andy Griffith Show," and as landlord “Ralph Furley” from the late 1970s television situation comedy series "Three's Company." He began his career as a ventriloquist and comedian in his local hometown of Morgantown. He became a regular on several radio and television programs, including the "Steve Allen Show." In 1955 he made his theatrical debut on Broadway, appearing in the comedy "No Time for Sergeants" along with Andy Griffith. In 1959 he moved to Hollywood where he joined Griffith on the "Andy Griffith Show." He appeared on the series from 1960 to 1965 as a regular cast member, earning five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance as a Supporting Actor. In 1965 he left the show to follow a film career, although he returned periodically to the "Andy Griffith Show" in numerous guest appearance roles. He returned to television as the leisure-suit clad landlord in "Three's Company." His notable film credits include "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" and "The Reluctant Astronaut," and "The Shakiest Gun in the West." He is buried in a thin grave at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles not far from Truman Capote, Mel Torme and Eva Gabor.
Discovered when retired film star Norma Shearer saw her picture at a ski resort. Norma recommended her to talent agent Lew Wasserman who got Janet a contract at MGM for $50 a week. Janet's most famous role was as an office worker who was stabbed to death in a shower by Anthony Perkins's diabolical character in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film, "Psycho." Many people thought twice before taking a shower after watching the movie; and in her book, "Psycho: Behind the Scenes in the Classic Thriller" published in 1995, Janet herself admitted to never being able to take a shower again after filming the movie. Janet married fellow actor Tony Curtis in 1951 (her third husband). The union produced actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis (of "Halloween" fame). She was cremated and her family in Hollywood keeps her ashes.
Truman Capote SEE ME ON GRAVE PHOTOsRemembered for his novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and for his nonfiction novel "In Cold Blood," both stories were later made into movies of the same name. The author's photo which Capote used for the back of his first book caused a public uproar, in that he posed in a suggestive manner; the controversy brought Capote much media attention, and made him a "darling" of New York society. Flamboyant and outspoken, Capote was openly gay at a time when most gay men were silent and unobtrusive; in 1948, he began a non-exclusive relationship with fellow author Jack Dunphy who would become his lifelong companion. After reading about the 1959 Clutter family murders in the "New York Times," Capote became fascinated with the story and traveled to Holcomb, Kansas, to investigate the killings. In his later years, Capote became reclusive, in part from rejection from his wealthy, famous, upper crust friends who he had managed to alienate over the years, and partly due to his alcoholism and drug addiction. He was often hospitalized in his final years for drug abuse. He died in 1984 at age 59 from an overdose of pills, According to the coroner's report the cause of death was "liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication." in the Los Angeles home of Joanne Carson, the ex-wife of TV host Johnny Carson. He was cremated and buried in Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, leaving behind his long-term companion, Jack Dunphy. When Dunphy died in 1992, some of their ashes were mixed together and scattered at Crooked Pond, Long Island, New York, where they had maintained property together. Another portion of his cremated remains were given to his friend, Joanne Carson. That’s him all over, with the remaining ashes in a crypt at Westwood Memorial Park. He was the inspiration for the character “Dill,” in Lee's 1960 bestseller “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Phillip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar for his portrayal of Capote in movie biography of his life.
Actor, Writer, Producer, Director. Although he had a genius level IQ, he failed to maintain passing grades in high school. He was, however, a popular student and was considered by most to be very funny. Warner Brothers was impressed with an audition, signed him and sent him to acting school for four months. During this time he decided to take a stage name and chose the name Michael Landon, picking it from a telephone book. His first notable appearance on film was in "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" in 1957. Around this time producer David Dortort had a television show in the works that he had created called “Bonanza” and he was chosen for the roll of “Little Joe Cartwright.” The show premiered on September 12, 1959 and was a hit for 10 of the 14 years it was on the air. Landon wrote and directed several of the episodes. His next project was “Little House on the Prairie.” The series, which premiered in 1974 and ended in 1983, was very successful. Relationships with his fellow actors on these projects were an essential part of his life and many remained close friends until his death. In 1984 he started his last television series, “Highway to Heaven,” which was to run until 1989. In April of 1991 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, famously saying goodbye to his fans with Johnny Carson on the tonight show. He is interred in a glassed off corridor in a crypt that receives constant attention from his family in Hillside Memorial Park.
He played the character, “Sergeant Chip Saunders” on “COMBAT+ACE,” television's longest running WWII drama, which ran on ABC from 1962 through 1967. Vic Morrow died on July 23, 1982 while filming a scene for "Twilight Zone: The Movie." He was wading across the Santa Clara River carrying two Vietnamese children (actor My-ca Dinh Le and actress Renee Shin-Ye Chen) when a helicopter being used on the set spun out of control and crashed, decapitating Morrow and one of the children and crushing the other. The six occupants inside the helicopter sustained minor injuries. The accident led to massive reforms in U.S. child labor laws and safety regulations on movie sets in California. Buried at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City. Vic Morrow was the father of actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, who, as his epitaph says, “I loved him as ‘Dad’ to everyone else he was ‘Vic.’”
Best known for playing “Archie Bunker” on "All In The Family." He substituted as a high school English teacher to keep up the bills until an acting job came along. He was given minor rolls in several films including “Cleopatra,” starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Nancy, Carroll’s wife, was on location in Rome during filming of “Cleopatra” in 1962. Meanwhile, Carroll's son, Hugh, was fighting Hodgkin's disease at 16 and began smoking marijuana. Hugh battled drugs for the rest of his life. Carroll tried to help Hugh with rehab and acting jobs from 1988 to 1994. Carroll had bypass surgery in 1989 but continued to star in his new television show "In The Heat Of The Night" including his son in the show. His son was divorced due to the addiction and called his father despondent three times on his third wedding anniversary. In the final phone call Hugh told his father that he was going to kill himself. Carroll called police and by the time they could get to his sons house it was to late, he had shot himself. Carroll then made it his mission to get the man who had supplied Hugh with the drugs that he was addicted to. He made commercials warning parents to "Do anything to get between your kid and drugs.” In 1998 he wrote his autobiography named "I Think I'm Outta Here." On June 21, 2001 Carroll O'Connor had a heart attack after complaining of chest pains. And although he had battled diabetes in recent years, the heart attack was a shock. His wife of 50 years was by his side at the hospital when he passed away two hours after arriving there. On June 26, 2001 a funeral was held for Carroll at the St. Paul Apostle Church in Westwood, Ca. The funeral was attended by 800 mourners and 200 fans gathered outside of the church. A violin solo of "Danny Boy" was played during the service. When Carroll's casket was carried out of the church he was given a final standing ovation and 76 doves were released, one for each year of his life. He is buried in Westwood Cemetery with his son.
A figure in television and motion pictures, he is fondly remembered for his role in the television comedy series "Three's Company" where he received an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for his work and "8 Simple Rules for Dating my Daughter." The youngest son of movie and television singing cowboy actor Tex Ritter, it was natural that he would follow his father's footsteps into show business. He graduated from Hollywood High School and studied Psychology and Architecture at the University of Southern California, where he majored in Dramatic Arts and graduated with a BA degree in Drama in 1971. His first steady job was playing the minister in the television series "The Waltons." Buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, his epitaph reads: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make..." --Beatles
When Polish pianist Paderwski visited the Liberaces, he recommended Wladziu (Polish for Walter) receive a scholarship to the Wisconsin College of Music. He also studied privately and at age 14 made his debut with the Chicago Symphony. Liberace debuted on local Los Angeles television then reappeared in his own CBS network series. He often played the song "I'll Be Seeing You" as his closing number. He earned his nickname "Mr. Showmanship" for his glittering wardrobes and a candelabrum placed on top of his piano, which became his trademark. He made a few movies, but after his television career faded, he became a mainstay at Las Vegas Casinos where he played to sold-out performances for years. His last public appearance was on a Christmas telecast of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” His health was deteriorating and he retreated to his Palm Spring home. He received the last rites of the Catholic Church and with a rosary in his hands died at the age of 68, a victim of AIDS. He is interred with his mother and brother, an orchestra leader and violinist at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills. A Memorial Mass was held at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Las Vegas. The Palm Springs City Hall flew their flag at half-mast. He denied his homosexuality to the end, and in the 1950’s even won a landmark case and millions of dollars in a suit against the National Enquirer
He was one of the most popular swashbuckling movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s. Named after his father and great-grandfather, who were both theatrical players, his mother, Patia Power was a Shakespearean actress and a highly respected drama coach, which greatly aided him at the start in his career. He moved to California where he landed a screen test with 20th Century Fox and by 1936 he was offered a contract, Within only a year he was one of Fox's leading stars and was paired with Alice Faye, Maureen O'Hara and Norma Shearer among many others. During World War II, he became a Marine pilot and saw action in the South Pacific. During the filming of "Solomon and Sheba" in Madrid, Spain, which he also produced in 1958, he collapsed while dueling with George Sanders, and died of a heart attack before he got to the hospital, dead at the age of 44. His scenes were re-shot with the replacement star Yul Brynner in the role. His burial site in Hollywood Forever is a unique tomb in the form of a marble bench. He is only a short distance away from two other great swashbucklers of the movies: Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr.
Russian-born motion picture actress, producer, and writer of the 1910s through the 1940s. Violinist, at age 17, she was given an audition at the Philharmonic School in Moscow. In February 1905, she, along with the rest of the St. Petersburg Players, left for New York. Nazimova's performances were singled out by critics and during the next few years she became a darling of the New York Theatre. In 1915, after the outbreak of World War I she was offered a role in the play “War Brides,” a plea for pacifism. Based on the film's success, in 1917, she was offered a contract with Metro for 5 years. By 1917, she was earning as much as $30,000 per film, with a $1,000 per day bonus for every day of filming. She was also given a $13,000 per week contract. At the time, actress Mary Pickford was on a $3,000 per week contract. Her private lifestyle gave rise to widespread rumors of outlandish and allegedly debauched parties at her palatial mansion on Sunset Boulevard known as “The Garden of Alla,” built in 1919 it was a popular spot for the Hollywood elite and later became the Garden of Allah apartment-hotel complex. In her later years, she continued to live in one of the villas there. Between the years of 1917 and 1922, Nazimova wielded considerable influence and power in Hollywood. By all accounts she was extremely generous to young actresses in whom she saw talent, and became involved with at least some of them romantically. A noteworthy example was Anna May Wong, whose first film role was in “The Red Lantern” as an extra at age fourteen. She helped start the careers of both of Rudolph Valentino's wives, Jean Acker and Natacha Rambova. Nazimova was involved in an affair with Acker, but it is debated as to whether her connection with Rambova ever developed into a sexual affair. She was the Godmother of First Lady Nancy Reagan. Eventually she started producing her own films but it lead to disappointment and she returned to theatre; though, still occasionally playing roles on film, most notably “Blood and Sand” with Tyrone Power. She died in 1945 and is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale. Her epitaph reads, "'Voice of World's Conscience-- Immaculate beyond our concept-- Christ is thy name. Teach us to shun the ways of greed and prejudice and strife; to earn our bread, to share our bread; to heed, to follow Thee forever. Amen.'" --A.N.
Nominated for both Emmy and Tony Awards, she was a vaudeville, stage, motion picture, and television actress of the 1920s thru 1960s who gained international fame while playing the role of “Granny” on the 1960s TV series "The Beverly Hillbillies." Irene died in 1973, in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 70, several days following a stroke suffered during a performance of the musical Pippin on Broadway, after which she was flown back to California. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor some time previously, but reportedly was never made aware of it, although her friend and fellow Beverly Hillbillies cast member, Nancy Kulp, tried to persuade her not to go to New York for the musical. Pallbearers at her funeral included Hillbillies co-stars Buddy Ebsen and Max Baer, Jr., along with Beverly Hillbillies creator Paul Henning. Donna Douglas and others associated with the series also attended the funeral. Her body was interred into a mausoleum crypt at the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica, California.
Chicago born musician and founder of the chart-topping band “Chicago.” While attending De Paul University in 1966, Kath formed “The Big Thing” with Walt Paradaizer and Danny Seraphine. Within a year the lineup also included trombonist James Pankow, trumpet player Lee Loughnane, keyboardist Robert Lamm, and bassist Peter Cetera and became the Chicago Transit Authority. The band would become the opening act for Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Hendrix was reported to have said Kath was the better guitarist. He had developed an interest in guns and had numerous weapons in his home and often on his person. On January 23, 1978 at a party at roadie Donnie Johnson's home in Los Angeles, Kath was drinking heavily and showing off one of his automatic pistols. He was asked to put it away. He ejected the magazine to show that the weapon was unloaded, returned the clip and placed the barrel against his temple. Reassuring everyone that it wasn't loaded, Kath pulled the trigger. The chambered round that he neglected to unload killed him instantly at age 32. Lesson learned. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled the death an accidental gunshot inflicted under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale and on his headstone it reads: The "Memories of Love" He left on Earth. All the World has shared. Rare and gifted, gentle man whose riches were a symphony of songs for young and old because he cared. Our Loved One
Legendary singer/songwriter with the highly influential 1960s-70s pop rock band “The Beach Boys.” He sang lead vocal on the timeless classic "God Only Knows," among many other popular songs. Brother of Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson and drummer Dennis Wilson. Died young of Lung and Brain Cancer, and is buried in Westwood Memorial Park at age 42. His epitaph reads “The Heart and Voice of an Angel” and “The world is a Far Lesser Place without You.”
Chicago native best known for her 1974 hit single "Lovin' You." Throughout the 1960s she worked in the music business with wide success, but the decade of 1970s and the rise of disco music would bring her renown. Her major hit "Loving You," a song she released with the help of Stevie Wonder, achieved Number 1 status on the American Pop Music charts, and her album "Perfect Angel" was certified gold. She went on to release two more albums after her song's success. In 1976 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after a three-year battle she passed away from that disease at age 31. Her daughter, Maya Rudolph, grew up to be a comic actor, and became a cast member on the weekly late night comedy show "Saturday Night Live." She is buried adjacent to Beach Boy Carl Wilson at Westwood Memorial Park.
Son of famed entertainers Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. He made his first movie in 1947's "Here comes the Nelsons." This lead to their family television show, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." The show became the first and longest running family sitcom and he grew up in front of America. Rick was also interested in Tennis and was ranked fifth in California among tennis player's 15 years old and younger. He competed nationally, and at one time had ambitions to go professional. His first recording was his rendition of Fats Domino‘s "I'm Walkin'." The record flew out of the stores and sold one million copies in a week, completely unheard of at that time. Life magazine ran a cover story on him, and coined an original phrase to describe what he had become: a "Teenage Idol." At the age of 21 he had 9 gold records and his single hit that year, "Travelin' Man," sold over 2 million copies and went to #1. Its flip side "Hello, Mary Lou" proved to be his biggest hit ever, reaching #1 in 32 countries. For the television show, Ozzie overlaid Rick's performance of "Travelin' Man" with some footage specially shot on location, making it the first conceptual rock video in history. He appeared in "Rio Bravo" with John Wayne in 1959 and "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" in 1960. On December 31, 1985, en route from Alabama to a New Year's Eve show in Dallas, Nelson's chartered DC-3 crash-landed in a field near DeKalb, Texas. The pilots had attempted to land in a field after smoke filled the cabin. An examination indicated that a fire had originated in the righthand side of the aft cabin area at or near the floor line. The burning plane trapped its passengers inside when the aircraft struck obstacles during the forced landing; killing Ricky, his ‘Stone Canyon Band’ and his fiancée, Helen Blair. The pilot and co-pilot escaped through the cockpit window. The ignition and fuel sources of the fire could not be absolutely determined, although many believe that the most likely cause was a defective cabin heater. The surviving pilot indicated that the crew tried to turn on the gasoline cabin heater repeatedly just before the fire occurred, but that it failed to respond. That theory is supported by records that showed that DC-3s in general, and this aircraft in particular, had had a previous history of problems with the cabin heaters. Despite these findings, unsubstantiated rumors persisted that the fire was due to the band freebasing cocaine. He is buried near his parents, Ozzie & Harriet, at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills, dead at age 45.
Sheridan came to Hollywood as the 18-year-old winner of Paramount’s 1933 “Search for Beauty” contest, and made her film debut in a 1934 film of the same name. Paramount kept her busy throughout 1935 with mostly supporting roles, even using her as a body double and she left the studio, winding up at Warner Bros., who billed her as the “Oomph Girl” and landing a leading role in “The Great O’Malley” (1937), starring Pat O’Brien and Humphrey Bogart. A succession of B pictures followed until director Michael Curtiz gave her the role of a strong-minded slum girl in his gangster drama “Angels With Dirty Faces” in 1938. The success of that film earned Sheridan better roles in bigger pictures through the end of the 1930s and into the 1940s, including “Torrid Zone,” “Honeymoon for Three” and “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” (She delivered what may have been the finest performance of her career as “Randy Monoghan,” the loyal small-town girl in “Kings Row” (1942, co-starring Ronald Reagan). She continued to act throughout her life, dead of cancer at age 52. She was cremated and interred in a large niche at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, just behind the Paramount lot where she got her start.
He started acting in community theater after serving in the US Navy during World War II, eventually landing a role in the touring company of "Mr. Roberts." He was noticed by film director Stanley Kramer, who cast him in a non-speaking role in "High Noon" and later as another bad cowboy in the John Wayne/Jimmy Stewart classic western “The Man who Shot Liberty Valence.” This led to a long string of supporting roles, usually playing menacing bad guy roles in westerns both in films and on television. He rose to star status in Sergio Leone's "spaghetti westerns," playing enigmatic characters in "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” opposite Clint Eastwood. His headstone reads “Best of the Bad” and “Love and Light.” He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
Motion picture and television actor, characterized by his cheerful, sing-song speaking voice, fondly remembered in such films as "The Absent-Minded Professor," "Babes in Toyland," and "Mary Poppins” where he sang the hit “I Love to Laugh.” Wynn also provided the voice of the “Mad Hatter” in Walt Disney's film, “Alice in Wonderland” and appeared as the Fairy Godfather in Jerry Lewis' “Cinderfella.” Born Isaiah Edwin Leopold, he ran away from home in his teens and eventually adapted his middle name "Edwin" into his new stage name, "Ed Wynn," to save his family the embarrassment of having a low comedian as a relative. In his youth, Wynn worked as an onstage assistant to W. C. Fields. Fields caught him "mugging" for the audience during his "Pool Room" routine and knocked him unconscious with his cue. Wynn became a headliner in vaudeville in the early-1910s, and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies starting in 1914. Father of actor Keenan Wynn who is buried with him in a crypt in Forest Lawn in Glendale. Grandfather of actors Ned Wynn and Tracy Keenan Wynn. His epitaph proclaims, “Dear God: Thanks….”
Adam Sandler placed this memorial brick at the LA Pet Cemetery in Calabasas for his beloved pet bulldog, “Meatball.”
Legendary innovative television comedian, the epitaph on his grave marker reads “Nothing in Moderation.” He is best remembered for creating many of the camera gags and camera techniques that are common today, influencing and inspiring such later shows as “Laugh-In,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Today Show,” and television hosts like Johnny Carson and David Letterman. He pioneered such ideas as blackouts, trick photography (such as rotating the camera to get an unusual angle), on-the-street interviews, and clowning with the camera crews and other backstage persons. His cigar was his trademark, and he rarely was without one in his broadcasts. Kovacs first married Bette Wilcox and when the marriage fell apart in 1952, he was awarded full custody of his two children, Bette and Kippie, setting a legal precedent, as the court normally gave children to their mother, but, in this case, the court felt that Bette was mentally unstable. Bette later kidnapped the two children and ran to Florida; and after a long and expensive search, Ernie was reunited with his children three years later, with the help of private detectives and police. Ernie would marry actress Edie Adams on September 12, 1954 in Mexico City, Mexico, and they would have one child, Mia Kovacs. Later, both Mia and Kippie would die in tragic automobile accidents. Kovacs died while driving a new 1962 Corvair Station Wagon, a car later made famous by Ralph Nader in his book, “Unsafe at any Speed.” During a rainstorm, he lost control of the car on a curve, and hit a telephone pole. Police found an unlit cigar just out of reach of his arm, and theorized that he lost control while trying to reach for the cigar. When Kovacs died, he owed the US Government several hundred thousand dollars in back taxes (he believed the tax system was unfair, and refused to file his taxes in protest). His widow, Edie Adams, made television commercials and did other work to pay off the back taxes. Buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
Bakley's early life is checkered by a criminal record. She was convicted in Little Rock, Arkansas for possessing false identifications. In 1989, she was convicted of drug possession in Memphis, Tennessee and later in 1995, convicted of passing bad checks. FBI records show that in 1994, while under investigation for fraud, Bakley told agents of a con she ran on a college student, sending her then thirteen year old daughter to seduce the man. Bonnie soon made a living running a lonely-hearts scheme, sending nude pictures of herself to men with the promise of visiting them if they sent her money. Bakley also had a history of pursuing celebrities. Her friends and relatives all described her as "celebrity-obsessed." She claimed to have had an affair with rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis and borne his daughter in 1993, but DNA tests later disproved her claim. Lewis has denied ever having a relationship with Bakley. Tapes of Bakley's phone conversations reveal that she was star struck and bent on marrying someone famous. "I like being around celebrities," she once said, "it makes you feel better than other people." Her lonely-hearts fraud, however, continued to be lucrative. She was able to marry several of her victims swindling a number of men out of their savings and life insurance. Eventually, she obtained enough money to buy two houses and several undeveloped lots in Memphis and a house outside of LA; additionally, her lonely-hearts fraud funded her unsuccessful Hollywood career as a singer and actor under the stage name Lee Bonny. In 1999, Bonny Lee Bakley met Robert Blake at a birthday party. At the time she was seeing Christian Brando, before becoming acquainted with Blake. Blake slept with Bakley, later claiming that she had assured him that she was taking birth control pills. Friends of Bakley later said that she was, rather, taking fertility pills at the time. She was soon pregnant with what would be her fourth child. Initially, Bakley believed that Christian Brando was the father, but later told Blake she wasn't sure, and that it might have been his. When a DNA test determined that it was Blake, not Brando, that was the father of Bakley's youngest child, Blake agreed to marry her. It was his second marriage, her tenth! Their marriage was somewhat unconventional. Bakley lived in a small guesthouse beside her husband's house in the Studio City. It is rumored that Blake only married her to eventually get custody of their child, whom Blake wanted his childless daughter to raise. On May 4, 2001 Blake took Bakley to an Italian dinner at Vitello's Restaurant on Tujunga Boulevard in Studio City. Afterward, Bakley was murdered by a gunshot to the head while sitting in the car, which was parked on a side street around the corner from the restaurant. Blake told the police that he had gone back to the restaurant to get a gun he left at the table and was there when the shooting occurred. Loving wife of actor Robert Blake, who buried her in loving memory at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills, not far from where she was murdered. Blake was later acquitted of her murder. Only in Hollywood!
Born right here in Chicago, later moving to Wheaton, where John played on the high school football team and was homecoming king. Belushi then auditioned for and won a spot with Chicago's famous Second City ensemble. In 1973 John moved to New York City and landed a role off-Broadway in National Lampoon’s “Lemmings." In 1975 a new skit comedy program was being cast and John won a spot with an audition featuring his soon to be familiar Samurai character as a pool hustler. John formed a partnership with fellow cast mate Dan Aykroyd and together they introduced the Blues Brothers with a rendition of "Hey Bartender" in the spring of 1978 on SNL and followed it with the release of an album, “Briefcase Full of Blues.” That same year saw the release of “National Lampoon's Animal House” and John became a huge star. John continued as a member of SNL until September of 1979. He and Aykroyd then threw themselves into the creation of “The Blues Brothers.” Released in 1980, it set a record for the most cars crashed in one movie and sparked a renewed interest in the blues. Unfortunately, with his fame, apparently, came a cocaine addiction. His last days were spent in West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont Hotel, with similar hard-core users. Witnesses said that on March 5, 1982, John mainlined a cocktail of heroin and cocaine called a “speedball.” The overdose caused a complete respiratory failure and killed him. On March 9, Dan Aykroyd, in a black leather jacket and black jeans, led John’s funeral procession on his motorcycle. His family erected a headstone / cenotaph at Elmwood Cemetery just outside Chicago, but he is actually buried in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts where he and his wife had a home.
Rock Musician. He was a co-founder and guitarist of the legendary, ground-breaking rick band "The Ramones." Some of their hit songs include "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Beat On The Brat," and "I Wanna Be Sedated." The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. At age 56, knowing the end was near, he asked to have inscribed on his monument "If a man can tell if he's been successful in his life by having great friends, then I have been very successful." Several of those friend have engraved parting words on the side, such as "A dedicated punk and loyal Friend. Thanks for everything. I miss ya, Johnny. --Rob Zombie" He is in Hollywood Forever Memorial Park.
Best known for his work in the 1970's television series Kung Fu and more recently as Bill in the Tarantino “Kill Bill” movies as well as some great yellow book commercials.; David was the eldest son of legendary character actor John Carradine. He appeared in more than 100 feature films, television appearances to numerous to count and was nominated four times for Golden Globe Awards. Multi-talented from acting to producing, writing, martial arts, swordsman, musician and artist, he was an amazing man. He was on location in Thailand when he mysteriously died, some say by his own hand, others say by murder. David was an old friend of our theater, had been here several times and one of his swords is on display in our Hollywood Blvd museum and a second one in our Formosa Café. He is buried in Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills which actually overlooks the Warner Bros lot where he filmed his television series Kung Fu. His two part epitaph reads….
THE BAREFOOT LEGEND
He will ever more be revered as one who popularized the spiritual values of the East and the West. Dancer, musician, artist, actor, producer, director, writer, composer, storyteller, poet, philosopher, aesthete, academician, martial artist, master, teacher, kung fu.
“I’m lookin’ for a place where the dogs don’t bite, and the children don’t cry and everything always goes just right. And brothers don’t fight….David Carradine”
Tony was formerly married to actress Janet Leigh and was the father of actresses Kelly and Jamie Lee Curtis. In addition to acting, Curtis was a gifted artist with paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in our very own museum at Hollywood Blvd. Cinema. He was one of the most handsome and popular leading men of his time, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an Oscar nomination for playing an escaped prisoner chained to Sidney Poitier in the Stanley Kramer picture "The Defiant Ones" (1958). He is probably best remembered for his role as a female impersonator with his friends Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder's "Some Like it Hot" which still holds the number one position on AFI’s list of 100 Best Comedies. Tony always hosted our theaters annual screenings of this great comedy and was an absolute delight - funny, witty and Shakespearean eloquent. He was laid to rest in his favorite white shorts and favorite white sweater which had to be mended more times that can be counted, his Armani scarf around his neck and his well worn Stetson under his arm. Also a bag of interesting colored stones that he had collected during his travels, which included stones from his friend Dodi Fayed’s grave, a basket of which was flown over and used on his own grave by mourners in the traditional Jewish service. A model of his car, the 25th Anniversary Edition Trans Am with what Tony called, “the screaming chicken” on its hood and some of his Navy medals as he was a proud sailor and a World War Two Veteran were placed inside his favorite bag with his late son Nicholas’ baby shoes that Tony always brought with him wherever he traveled as well as seven packets of Splenda. Tony loved to sweeten everything with Splenda - no less than seven packets. Also included were some of his favorite paint brushes, some paint and a sketch pad and a pen. An accomplished Fencer, his favorite Fencing saber is at his side. The ashes from his dog, Jack, who was rescued from the desert a few years ago and who instantly fell in love with Tony and faithfully followed him everywhere. When Jack passed on, Tony kept his ashes. Now Jack is following Tony again. Tony is buried in Palm Memorial Park in Las Vegas and his epitaph is a stanza from his favorite poem,
”He was always quietly arrayed, and he was human when he talked; but still he fluttered pulses when he said, Good Morning and he glittered when he walked.”
This is the family marker atop a little knoll in Ingelwood Cemetery, not far from the grave of Edger Bergen (who was another mouthpiece for a dummy, Charlie McCarthy) near LAX. There is a whole family of them. We won’t make the joke of “the only good lawyer is…” but interestingly enough the grass is greener here; must be the fertilizer.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - 'WOW, what a ride!!'" That’s our Hollywood, the happy the sad, the soaring heights and the horrific lows, the comedies and the tragedies. See you there (and at the movies)!
© 2007 Hollywood Blvd Theater * 630-427-1880 * Woodridge, IL * www.atriptothemovies.com |