Offbeat L.A.: Rockin’ Bones- Los Angeles Cemeteries… Visit the Stars

Inglewood Park Cemetery (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Inglewood Park Cemetery (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

 

Take me to the cemetery and “We’ll hear the dead people talk. They do talk there. They chatter like birds… but all they say is one word and that one word is ‘live.’  They say ‘live, live, live, live, live.’  It’s all they’ve learned, it’s the only advice they can give.  Just live.  Simple! A very simple instruction.” — Tennessee Williams (from his play Orpheus Descending)

With sprawling, well manicured lawns, nicely tended gardens, shade trees and more statuary then you shake a stick at, cemeteries can be magical places and do not have to be considered morbid.  They are places of history, places of remembrance, places where you can “meet” your idols, even if they passed away a century before you were born. They are sacred places that will put you in touch with your mortality and may even give you a life affirming jolt. Time is priceless and we never know how much of it we have left. Visiting the graves of the multitude of celebrities we have buried in Los Angeles is a unique and somewhat surreal way to pay homage to our heroes. Below is a partial list of area cemeteries where some of the celebrated are buried. Finding the actual graves can be like detective work, but there are a few internet sites that are very helpful. The two websites that I have found best for celebrity grave hunting are www.findagrave.com and www.seeing-stars.com.

Etta James crypt at Inglewood Park Cemetery (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Etta James crypt at Inglewood Park Cemetery (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Inglewood Park Cemetery 720 E. Florence Avenue, Inglewood, CA.
(310) 412-6500

Ray Charles, Etta James. Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Sugar Ray Robinson, Gypsy Rose Lee, T-Bone Walker, Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, Richard Berry, Betty Grable, Cesar Romero, Billy Preston.

www.laweekly.com/bestof/2013/award/best-cemetery-to-visit-jazz-legends

The crypt of Marilyn Monroe. The man in the crypt above her requested that he be buried face down. (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The crypt of Marilyn Monroe. The man in the crypt above her requested that he be buried face down (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Pierce Bros Westwood Memorial Park 218 Glendon Avenue, Westwood, CA. (310) 474-1579

Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Farrah Fawcett, Natalie Wood, Roy Orbison (unmarked), Frank Zappa (unmarked), Carl Wilson, Dorothy Stratten, Truman Capote, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Burt Lancaster, Carroll O’Connor, Donna Reed, Eddie Albert, George C. Scott, Eva Gabor, Bob Crane, Richard Dawson, Jim Backus, Minnie Riperton, Buddy Rich, Billy Wilder.

Bela Lugosi's Dead (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Bela Lugosi’s Dead (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Holy Cross Cemetery 5835 W. Slauson Avenue, Culver City, CA.  (310) 670-7697

Bela Lugosi, Lawrence Welk, Sharon Tate, Bing Crosby, John Ford, Rita Hayworth, Louella Parsons, Darby Crash, John Candy, Rosalind Russell, Loretta Young, Chick Hearn, Ray Bolger, Fred MacMurray, Jimmy Durante, Mario Lanza, Ricardo Montalban.

 

The grave of Ritchie Valens

The grave of Ritchie Valens (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

San Fernando Mission Cemetery 11160 Stranwood Avenue, 
Mission Hills, CA.  (818) 361-7387

Ritchie Valens, Chuck Connors, Tommy Noonan, William Frawley. (Bob Hope used to be here, but was moved next door to the San Fernando Mission itself).

 

 

 

Errol Flynn's grave at Forset Lawn in Glendale (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Errol Flynn’s grave at Forset Lawn in Glendale (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Forest Lawn Glendale 1712 S. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA.
 (323) 254-3131

Walt Disney, Michael Jackson*, Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart*, Errol Flynn, Clara Bow, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, Jean Harlow, Mary Pickford*, Spencer Tracy, George Burns, Lon Chaney, Ethel Waters, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Red Skelton, Ted Knight, Louis L’Amour, Frank L. Baum, Alan Ladd, Billy Barty, The Andrews Sisters, Theda Bara. (* These are behind locked gates.)

 

Andy Gibb's grave at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Andy Gibb’s grave at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA.
 (323) 254-7251 or (818) 984-171

Liberace, Ricky Nelson, Bette Davis, Freddie Prinze, Ronnie James Dio, Telly Savalas, Andy Gibb, Gene Autry, Julie London, Lou Rawls, David Carradine, Scatman Crothers, Michael Hutchence, Isabel Sanford, Sandra Dee, John Ritter, Buster Keaton, Jack Webb, Brittany Murphy, Tom Bosley, Dorothy L’Amour, Steve Allen, Arthur Lee, Bobby Fuller, Nicolette Larson.

 

A close-up of Johnny Ramone's grave at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

A close-up of Johnny Ramone’s grave at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Hollywood Forever 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, CA.
 (323) 469-1181

Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Vampira, Rudolph Valentino, Mel Blanc, Bugsy Siegel, Douglas Fairbanks, Woody Herman, Peter Lorre, Estelle Getty, Fay Wray, Janet Gaynor, David White, Iron Eyes Cody. 

 

The late, great Milton Berle can be found at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City. (Photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The late, great Milton Berle can be found at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Hillside Memorial Park 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Culver City, CA.  (310) 641-0707

Milton Berle, Shelley Winters, Michael Landon, Jack Benny, Al Jolsen, Lorne Greene, Max Factor, Dinah Shore, Aaron Spelling, Nell Carter, Fritz Freleng, Moe Howard, Suzanne Pleshette, Mickey Cohen, Vic Morrow.

 

Nikki Kreuzer

About Nikki Kreuzer

Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for almost 30 years. When not working her day job in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring & photographing the oddities of the city she adores. So far she has written over 100 Offbeat L.A. articles which are published at the Los Angeles Beat and on the website OffbeatLA.com. As a writer she has also been published in the LA Weekly, Oddee.com, Blurred Culture, Twist Magazine, Strobe and Not For Hire. Nikki is also a mosaic artist, working actor and published photographer. Her photography has been featured in the print version of LA Weekly and as part of an exhibit at the Museum of Neon Art. In the band Nikki & Candy, she plays bass, sings and is co-writer. Find Nikki & Candy music on iTunes, Amazon or at NikkiandCandy.com. Nikki is currently working on her first novel. Please "like" the Offbeat L.A. Facebook page! For more Offbeat L.A. photos & adventures follow @Lunabeat on Instagram or @Offbeat_LA on Twitter.
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2 Responses to Offbeat L.A.: Rockin’ Bones- Los Angeles Cemeteries… Visit the Stars

  1. LOL at the guy buried above Marilyn. 😉

  2. Donna Lethal Donna Lethal says:

    Oh, my pal Steve Goldstein wrote the ultimate grave guide to Los Angeles, “LA’s Graveside Companion: Where the V.I.P.s R.I.P” and runs the website “Beneath Los Angeles.” Don’t leave home without them!

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