Archive for February, 2013

Janet Leigh

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags on February 28, 2013 by Cade


July 6, 1927 – October 3, 2004

In the history of the world, it is entirely likely that no one has become more famous for taking a shower.

Janet Leigh’s most notable role, obviously, was as Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Legend has it that she was never again able to take a shower after making the movie.  True or not, it makes for a good yarn.

Leigh starred in other movies and television shows, of course. As well, she authored a couple of books. She was also in the media spotlight for her 11 year, golden-couple marriage to Tony Curtis. The couple had two daughters, actresses Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis, before calling it quits in 1962.  Janet died after suffering a heart attack in October of 2004.  She was 77 years-old.


Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

leigh - jan 21 2013

Specific Location

In the Garden of Serenity section at the south end of the park (with the fountains);  The walls surrounding this section have wall niches for cremated remains. Near the center of the eastern-most wall (left as you enter,) you’ll find Janet’s small niche.



Tony Curtis

Posted in Palm Valley View Memorial Park with tags , on February 28, 2013 by Cade


June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010

Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz) was a devilishly handsome man. His looks and his broad range certainly made him one of the biggest stars of the 1950’s and 60’s.  He garnered attention with Oscar nominated dramatic roles (The Defiant Ones) as well as classic comedic turns (Some Like It Hot1 alongside Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe – directed by Billy Wilder) as well as more than 100 other projects.  He was also an avid painter – something he continued to do later in life, claiming to enjoy it more than making movies.

Curtis was married three times. His first marriage, to actress Janet Leigh, produced two daughters, actresses Kelly and Jamie Lee Curtis.  Tony battled a host of health issues his last few decades and passed away in his Nevada home from cardiac arrest at the age of 85.


Palm Valley View Memorial Park – Las Vegas, NV

curtis - mar 20, 2011 - las vegas, NV

Specific Location

Legacy Garden, Space PG10, Row 3; Behind (to the East) of the main mausoleum building there is a smaller mausoleum called the Legacy Mausoleum. Jutting off of this building to the Northwest is a small row of semi-private garden plots. Tony is buried on the Northeast side of this row, third garden in from the road.


1 – One of my favorite movies of all time.

Billie Burke

Posted in Kensico Cemetery with tags , on February 27, 2013 by Cade


August 7, 1884 – May 14, 1970

Though a prolific stage, screen and radio actress, Mary William Ethelbert Appleton “Billie” Burke is remembered for two things:  1) she was married to legendary Broadway producer Florenz Ziegfeld and 2) she played Glinda the Good Witch in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. Personally, I believe she should be remembered for her glorious birth name above all else.

Billie’s portrayal of Glinda has made her known for generations past and will continue to do so for generations to come.  All in all, not too shabby for someone with a middle name like “Ethelbert.”


Kensico Cemetery – Valhalla, NY

burke, billie - may 02 2010

Specific Location

Section 78; Just off of a circle in Powhattan Ave, behind the Roth mausoleum, there is a bronze statue of a woman with her hands on her knees, Billie and Florenz are buried in front of this statue


Moe Howard

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , on February 26, 2013 by Cade


June 19, 1897 – May 4, 1975

Larry, Moe and Curly.

Three names that almost anyone should recognize. The Three Stooges were a huge box office draw for more than 40 years.  Their manic slapstick was the stuff of male adolescent fantasy.  They eye-gouged and “wub-wub-wub”ed into the American pop-culture landscape and became a permanent fixture…even decades after all of them left us.  At the, and I use this term very loosely, grounded center of the trio, was always Moe (born Moses Horowitz.)  He was the “brains.” He was the leader, his trademark bowl haircut always jostling with every cartoonish reaction to his compatriots.

Life as a Stooge was not easy, but Moe made it to the commendable age of 77 before succumbing to lung cancer.  From the looks of it, he was a character right up to the end.



Hillside Memorial Park – Culver City, CA

howard - jun 28 2009

Specific Location

Alcove of Love, Wall C, Crypt 233; The triangular Alcove of Love is only accessible via the Court of Love; when you enter, Moe’s crypt is on the back wall, two rows up, 5 spaces in from the back right corner


John Ritter

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , on February 26, 2013 by Cade


September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003

Few actors get to enjoy the kind of universal success that John Ritter did. Whether on television (Three’s Company8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter) or film (Problem ChildNoises OffSling Blade) Ritter was always charming.

Alas, charm can only get you so far.  And an undetected congenital heart defect will make sure you don’t get too far at all.  At the age of 54, John became ill on the set of 8 Simple Rules… and was rushed to the hospital. He died of an aortic dissection later that evening. Interesting fact about Ritter’s life and death: he died in the same Burbank hospital in which he was born. And he is buried across the highway from it in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.


Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills – Hollywood Hills, CA

ritter - jan 21 2013

Specific Location

Court Of Liberty, Lot 1622; Walk past the central statue of George Washington, up (south) to the next/second section of the Court, Turn right at the sidewalk (when you see Stan Laurel), walk (west) through the doorway into the next section, down some steps and around a short walled section to your left, John is buried just on the other side of this short walled section.


Jerry Orbach

Posted in Trinity Church Cemetery with tags on February 24, 2013 by Cade


October 20, 1935 – December 28, 2004

Despite a prolific career both on and Off-Broadway, Jerry Orbach was probably best known for his work as Lt. Lennie Briscoe on NBC’s Law & Order…or, more likely, as Baby’s father in 1987’s Dirty Dancing.  He was also, for those that care, the voice behind everyone’s favorite singing and dancing candlestick, Lumière, in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Orbach died in New York after nearly 10 years of secretly battling  prostate cancer.  He donated his eyes to the eye bank and two people received his corneas.  Pretty cool.


Trinity Church Cemetery, Manhattan, NY

orbach, jerry - trinity cemetery, nov 17, 2012

Specific Location

Riverside Terrace Mausoleum; Upper level, enter and turn right at the end of the hallway, Jerry and his wife, Elaine, are interred on your right just above eye level. (Note: I have visited this site twice. The first time, the doors to the mausoleum were locked. The second time, they were not. I don’t know if they are normally locked or not, but thought I’d mention it.)


Gilda Radner

Posted in Long Ridge Union Cemetery with tags , on February 24, 2013 by Cade


June 28, 1946 – May 20, 1989

Best known for the hilarious characters she created as an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, Gilda Radner was a beloved comedienne and actress. Her exposure on SNL as well as movie roles and Broadway shows made her one of the most popular comic actors of the 197o’s and ’80’s.  She was married twice, most notably to actor Gene Wilder.

Gilda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986. During a period of remission, she wrote her autobiography “It’s Always Something,” which detailed her struggle with the illness.  She died on May 20, 1989 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  She was 42 years old.


Long Ridge Union Cemetery – Stamford, CT

radner - nov 15, 2011 - stamford CT

Specific Location

About halfway down the length of the cemetery, roughly 50 ft. from the street, under a small tree.


Eugene O’Neill

Posted in Forest Hills Cemetery with tags , , on February 24, 2013 by Cade


October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953

American playwright Eugene O’Neill was literally born on Broadway – the Bartlett Hotel, to be precise – and found a figurative home there for his entire life churning out more than 30 full-length plays including the classics The Iceman ComethA Long Day’s Journey Into NightA Moon for the Misbegotten and Mourning Becomes Electra.

O’Neill won many awards for his works, including several Pulitzers and a Nobel Prize for Literature. As anyone who has seen any of his plays would guess, he suffered from depression and alcoholism for a good chunk of his life.  But, he used the pain and experiences to create some really freakin’ great stories. He died in another hotel, this time in Boston at 65 years old.


Forest Hills Cemetery – Boston, MA

oneill - oct 4 2009

Specific Location

Section 8, between Chestnut Ave and Betony Path, tucked in a small clump of trees


Ella Fitzgerald

Posted in Inglewood Park Cemetery with tags , on February 24, 2013 by Cade


April 25, 1918 – June 15, 1996

A celebrated jazz vocalist, “Lady Ella” Fitzgerald was known as the “Queen of Jazz” and the “First Lady of Song.”  She earned 13 Grammy awards as well as a number of other honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Ella’s unmistakable voice is often praised for its pure tone and flawless diction.

Her later life was plagued with health concerns and, after significant struggles with diabetes, she passed away in her home at the age of 79. Her last words were “I’m ready to go now.”  We should all be so lucky.


Inglewood Park Cemetery – Inglewood, CA

fitzgerald - jan 21 2013

Specific Location

Sunset Mission Mausoleum, Sanctuary of the Bells, Crypt 1063; Enter the door closest to the park’s E. Florence Ave. entrance; Go up the stairs on your left to the 2nd floor. Ella’s crypt is across the hall from the top of the stairs, 2 rows up


John Wayne

Posted in Pacific View Memorial Park with tags on February 24, 2013 by Cade


May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979

Who would have guessed that a little boy named Marion would grow up to become the quintessential American badass?  Yet, that’s exactly what John Wayne did.  “The Duke” personified masculinity in everything he did.  Whether portraying war heroes in The Flying Leathernecks or The Green Berets or classic icons of the old west in…every…Western…ever…made, he was always John Wayne, and he was always awesome.

Truly, the only thing that could kick John Wayne’s ass was cancer.  And it did just that on June 11, 1979.  Allegedly, he wanted his tombstone to read “Feo, Fuerte y Formal” (“Ugly, Strong, and Dignified,”) but that never happened.  In fact, his grave remained unmarked entirely for 20 years.  Now it looks like this:


Pacific View Memorial Park – Corona del Mar, CA

wayne - jan 24 2013

Specific Location

Bayview Terrace, section 575; 6 rows down from the Eastern curb at the top of the hill overlooking the local reservoir, 5 spaces to the right – North – of a large tree. (See map below).