Archive for March, 2013

Brandon Lee

Posted in Lake View Cemetery with tags on March 31, 2013 by Cade

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February 1, 1965 – March 31, 1993

Brandon Lee was an actor whose life and career were both cut short during the filming of what would be his breakout role, 1994’s The Crow. The son of legendary martial artist/actor, Bruce Lee, Brandon was on the cusp of Hollywood stardom when he was killed after a prop gun on the set accidentally fired a bullet that was unknowingly lodged in the barrel. Given the mysterious circumstances surrounding his father’s death some 20 years earlier, many cried conspiracy or, at the very least, some sort of familial curse.

Burial

Lake View Cemetery – Seattle, WA

Specific Location

Lot 276, Grave 2; There is a circle road at the top of the hill near the center of the cemetery; Bruce and Brandon Lee’s distinctive graves are just below the curb to the East of this circle.

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David Nelson

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on March 26, 2013 by Cade

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October 24, 1936 – January 11, 2011

David Nelson was the oldest son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. He, his parents and his brother, Ricky, rose to popularity with the highly successful radio and television program The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  David also directed a number of episodes of the show and continued acting and directing long after the show ended.  Though, he stepped out of the public life for the last nearly 20 years of his life.

David died in 2011 of colon cancer.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

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. You’ll find David’s niche on the northern-most wall on the bottom row.

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Ricky Nelson

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

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May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985

Sometimes you are just born into show business.  Eric “Ricky” Nelson was certainly that.  At the age of 9, he began playing himself on the long-running radio and television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, alongside his mother and father and brother, David.  During the run of the show, and well after it ended, Ricky became a very successful musician.  He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and had over 50 singles on the Billboard charts during his career.

Aaaand, as many child stars’ stories go, it all ended rather poorly for Rick.  He was an admitted user of a number of drugs throughout his life, a detail which may or may not have played a role in the New Years Eve 1985 plane crash that claimed his life along with 6 others.  Who knows?  Nelson left behind quite an emotional and financial mess that led to lawsuits and jilted illegitimate children.  He also left us sons Gunnar and Matthew, AKA the ’90’s band, Nelson.  Take that for what it’s worth.

Burial

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills, CA

Specific Location

Revelation, Lot 3538; From the northwestern point of the Murmuring Trees section on Evergreen Dr., walk 16 rows up the hill to the southwest (away from the Murmuring Trees point) in the Revelation section, you’ll find his grave just 4 rows behind a tree. Ricky is buried 2 rows above and 2 spaces to the left of his father.

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Ozzie and Harriet Nelson

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

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July 18, 1909 – October 2, 1994; March 20, 1906 – June 3, 1975

Oswald Nelson and Harriet Hilliard were married in 1935.  Harriet was a singer in Ozzie’s band (he also sang and played saxophone) and the two began a foray into show business that would entertain millions for decades.  Their biggest success was by way of the 1940’s radio program The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet which followed the Nelsons and their two sons, David and Ricky (portrayed by actors until 1949).  The popularity of the show and the dawn of a newfangled medium led, of course, to the 14-year running television sitcom of the same name – this time, with each of the four Nelsons portraying him/herself as America watch the family grow up on a box in their living rooms.

Ozzie died of liver cancer in 1975 and Harriet continued to work in television for the next 15 years.  She died of heart failure in 1994.

Burial

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills, CA

Specific Location

Revelation, Lot 3540; From the northwestern point of the Murmuring Trees section on Evergreen Dr., walk 14 rows up the hill to the southwest (away from the Murmuring Trees point) in the Revelation section, you’ll find Ozzie and Harriet’s graves, side by side,  just 2 rows behind a tree.

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Michael Jackson

Posted in Forest Lawn Glendale with tags , on March 23, 2013 by Cade

jackson3August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

I hesitated adding a post about Michael Jackson for one, simple reason: I have not personally visited his grave, nor do I see it happening any time soon.  He is interred within the halls of the most secure, private mausoleum in Los Angeles – and probably the whole country: The Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Glendale.

However, A) I didn’t feel right posting about Farrah without posting about Michael, given the close proximity of their deaths sort of bind them together forever. And B) His death and burial was the single, biggest celebrity death media spectacle this side of Elvis, so he sort of needs to be included.

So…Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana into an insanely talented family.  His life is fairly well-documented – child superstar, “King of Pop,” adored by millions, weird as hell, magical self-lightening skin, may have liked little boys a bit too much, etc – so, I’ll just start with his last day.  Jackson died of an alleged overdose of a powerful anesthesia that he should not have had access to. At the age of just 50, and on the cusp of an epic comeback concert series in London, it was the biggest celebrity death story in decades. His funeral details were drawn out for weeks.  He was finally buried at Forest Lawn, locked away from his legions of fans forever.  Good move, I guess <eyeroll>.

Burial

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Glendale, CA

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Photo credit: Lisa Burks

Specific Location

Great Mausoleum, Holly Terrace, Sanctuary of Ascension (Private); under the Ascension Windows at the end of the corridor.

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Farrah Fawcett

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on March 23, 2013 by Cade

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February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009

Few women defined “sex-symbol” in the late 1970’s the way Farrah Fawcett did.  After appearing in small roles on a number of television shows and movies, she shot to superstardom when she was cast in Aaron Spelling’s Charlie’s Angels. Farrah left the show to pursue other Hollywood opportunities, but never fully reproduced the success she had on Angels.  She also starred in a pretty famous poster.

Farrah’s later career included several dramatic turns that earned her some credibility as more than a pretty face.  Erratic behavior and rumored drug use peppered her final years. Romantically speaking, she was married to actor Lee Majors and had a tumultuous, on-again/off-again 30-year relationship with actor Ryan O’Neal. The two had reunited and planned to marry when Fawcett died of cancer at the age of 62. The world media outlets mourned her passing for all of 5 hours…when the Michael Jackson death circus pulled into town.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Rose Garden; Just south of the southern road in the park is a row of garden plots facing north, Farrah is buried just two spaces to the west of the entrance to the Memorial Gardens, one space to the right of Merv Griffin.

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Walter Cronkite

Posted in Mt. Moriah Cemetery with tags , on March 23, 2013 by Cade

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November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009

Dubbed “The Most Trusted Man in America,” Walter Cronkite delivered the news into American living rooms for nearly 20 years.  Cronkite’s distinguished career, both as anchor and reporter, saw him reporting on some of the 2oth century’s most memorable moments, including (but certainly not limited to) World War II, the Apollo moon landing, the Watergate scandal and the assassination of President Kennedy.  He retired from full-time anchor work at CBS in 1981, leaving a 45-year legacy that will never see an equal.

Burial

Mt. Moriah Cemetery – Kansas City, MO

Specific Location

On the lawn behind the main mausoleum as you enter the park, about 50 feet from the southern curb of this section, near a tree and a small stone bench.

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Joan Crawford

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags on March 23, 2013 by Cade

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March 23, 1904 – May 10, 1977

Joan Crawford (born Lucille Fay LeSueur) was one of Hollywood’s brightest stars in the 1930’s.  Her meteoric rise from “flapper” to sliver screen legend paved the way for a roller coaster of a life.  Her motion picture career stalled out and was revived a number of times over its course. She died a recluse in 1977 at the age of 73.

Crawford is perhaps most widely remembered according to the tell-all book, Mommie Dearest, written after her death by her adopted daughter, Christina.  The book does not paint a very flattering portrait of Crawford and recounts years of alleged emotional and physical abuse.  It also is the reason I, to this day, do not use wire hangers.

Burial

Ferncliff Cemetery – Hartsdale, NY

Specific Location

Ferncliff Mausoleum, Unit 8, Alcove E, Crypt 42; Enter the mausoleum’s main entrance, Turn left, right, left, left then right to enter Unit 8, Joan’s crypt is on the left side of Alcove E (on your right,) two rows up from the floor.

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Tennessee Williams

Posted in Calvary Cemetery (MO) with tags , , on March 20, 2013 by Cade

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March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983

Thomas Lanier Williams was an American writer who is primarily known for his plays The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire, among others. After a staggeringly successful run that saw at least 10 of his plays produced on Broadway, his career and personal life started a steady downward spiral.  Following the death of his long-time partner, Williams struggled with depression and addiction to alcohol and narcotics.  Though he continued to write throughout his life, his style mirrored his mood and his later work was never as well-received as his early work.  Tennessee Williams died in a New York hotel after choking to death on the lid of a bottle of eye drops.  Drugs may have been involved. He was 71.

Burial

Calvary Cemetery – St. Louis, MO

Specific Location

Section 15A; Get a map at the office or online, Section 15 is made up of 3 small sections, Tennessee Williams is buried near the road in the northwest corner of the western section.

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Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags on March 19, 2013 by Cade

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March 8, 1922 – June 17, 2008

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December 25, 1913 – July 27, 2012

Actress/dancer Cyd Charisse and crooner Tony Martin were married for 60 years, a rarity for a Hollywood couple.

Charisse (born Tula Ellice Finklea) had a storied career throughout the so-called Golden-Age of Hollywood.  Her stunning looks and remarkable dancing made her a popular star.  She is probably most known to audiences for her turn opposite Gene Kelly in the “Broadway Melody Ballet” in 1952’s Singin’ In The Rain.

Martin was a talented singer who also starred in many films during the heyday of Hollywood musicals.  He recorded hits such as “To Each His Own” and “There’s No Tomorrow” while starring in upwards of 40 films throughout the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s.

Cyd Charisse died after suffering a heart attack in 2008 and Tony of natural causes at the age of 98 in 2012.

Burial

Hillside Memorial Park – Culver City, CA

The white paper marks Tony until a permanent plate is installed.

Specific Location

Sunland Gardens Mausoleum, Court of Matriarchs 401; Enter the small, mostly-outdoor mausoleum’s main (west) entrance and turn into the first alcove on your right, Cyd and Tony are interred at the end of this alcove on the right, 4 spaces up from the floor.

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