Archive for the Holy Cross Cemetery Category

Sharon Tate

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags on April 3, 2014 by Cade

tate1January 24, 1943 – August 9, 1969

Sharon Tate was a B-Movie actress who was just on the cusp of mainstream stardom when the unthinkable happened…and made her a household name.

Tate’s career as an actress was modest, at best. She had bit parts on television shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and had major roles in cult movies like Valley of the Dolls. But her talents took some work. Being a tall, beautiful head-turner certainly helped cover over many of the confidence issues that plagued her early career. Positive reviews of her comedic performance opposite Dean Martin in 1969’s The Wrecking Crew led to a more confident Tate and her career was finally shaping up. In August of 1969, a very pregnant Tate (she was married to director Roman Polanski) and four others were murdered in the couple’s Benedict Canyon home by members of the infamous “Manson Family.” The grisly crime rightfully shocked the entertainment world and much of the country. The aftermath and trial were a sensation in the media. The killers’ potential paroles would lead to changes in the California Criminal Law to allow victims’ families the right to plea against parolees. Sharon’s mother, Doris, was a leading advocate to this cause and affected significant change for victims’ rights. So, in death, Sharon’s story would go on to help countless others receive the dignity and closure they deserved.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Saint Ann’s Section, L152, 6; To the west of the Grotto section in the triangular Saint Ann’s section, Sharon’s grave is 3 rows down from the Grotto and 5 spaces from the northern edge. Sharon’s mother, Doris, is also now buried here.

grotto_tate

Advertisements

Lawrence Welk

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags , on November 9, 2013 by Cade

welk1March 11, 1903 – May 17, 1992

“A one and a two . . . “

Lawrence Welk may be the most famous accordion player of all time.

He’s probably the most famous German-speaking accordion player of all time.

And, he’s MOST DEFINITELY the most famous German-speaking accordion player of all time from North Dakota.

Born in predominantly (entirely?) German-speaking, Strasburg, ND, Welk led a big band on small-time tours around the country until he finally settled in Los Angeles. In L.A., he parlayed his wholesome, folksy persona and music into a very successful, very G-rated variety show. The Lawrence Welk Show ran for 27 years and featured all the bubbles and awesome fashion one would imagine. Beyond the “Champagne Music,” Welk was a savvy businessman who was involved in successful real estate and restaurant ventures and even a few U.S. patents. At the age of 89, shortly after retiring from public appearances, Lawrence Welk died in his home of pneumonia.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section Y, T9, 110; In the lawn section immediately to the southeast of the mausoleum, Lawrence is buried 9 rows up from the southeastern curb, in direct line with a white statue of St. Francis.

holycross_welk

Mary Frann

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags , on October 24, 2013 by Cade

frann1February 27, 1943 – September 23, 1998

Best remembered as Bob Newhart’s other TV wife, Mary Frann (born Mary Frances Luecke) was a former pageant girl from St. Louis who studied acting in college and forged a nice career for herself –  mainly in television. From 1974-1979, Frann appeared on the popular soap opera Days of our Lives. From there, she made appearances on many TV shows including Fantasy Island and WKRP in Cincinnati. But, it was in 1982 that she was cast in her most famous role; that of Joanna Loudon, the wife of innkeeper/author Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) on Newhart. The show was a success and ran for 8 years on CBS. She continued to do side projects all throughout her time on Newhart but never really found that level of success outside of it.  In 1998, at the age of 55, Mary died suddenly in her sleep from a heart attack.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Note: Her headstone has been updated since this picture was taken.

Specific Location

Section CC-T 52 #58; 9 rows in front of a large statue of Jesus toward the middle of this section at the northern end of the park.

holycross_frann

Mary Astor

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags on October 15, 2013 by Cade

astor1May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987

Making the transition to the “talkies” was every Silent Era star’s nightmare.  For some, the change was easy and sound only helped make their career greater.

Meet Mary Astor; the young, auburn-haired girl of German descent whose family moved to New York so she could be discovered. A ploy that worked, as it turns out. Astor (born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke) landed small roles in silent films and  a contract with Paramount pictures. Though successful, her early life as an actor was not a happy one. In fact, Mary’s life was rife with scandal.  Her parents lived lavishly off the money she made and kept her locked away from the world in their Hollywood mansion. She endured tragic marriages and messy divorces. Lawsuits, affairs, secret diaries, you name it. If TMZ existed in the 1930’s, they would have loved her.

On screen, though, she continued to shine.  She starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon and Across the Pacific and opposite Bette Davis in The Great Lie, for which she won an Oscar and got to show off her skill at playing concert piano.

She wrote a little (seven published books.) And she drank a lot. After a 45 year career and more than 100 films, Mary retired to spend the rest of her life off the screen. She did not want to become the little old lady version of herself so she quit on her terms.  27 years later, she died quietly at a Hollywood retirement home. She was 81.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section N-L523-5; In the section immediately southeast of the mausoleum, Mary’s grave is 10 rows down from the road (away from the mausoleum) and about 5 spaces west of a large tree.

holycross_astor

Jimmy Durante

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags on October 15, 2013 by Cade

durante1February 10, 1893 – March 29, 1980

James Frances Durante and his nose were born in New York City to Italian immigrant parents. Young Jimmy dropped out of school to become a jazz and ragtime pianist. Something he was very good at. By the time he was 27, Durante had his very own New Orleans Jazz Band. But, his piano chops aside, Jimmy Durante was most famous for being a comedian. His self-deprecating humor – he called himself “The Great Schnozzola” because, well… – intentionally butchered language and staccatoed speech patterns earned him fame on the Vaudeville stages, the radio and, ultimately, film and television. He also wrote songs, the music at least, and penned what would become his unofficial career anthem, the nonsensical “Inka Dinka Doo.”  To younger audiences, his raspy voice is most recognized from his narration of the annual holiday television staple Frosty the Snowman, though impressions of him and shout-outs to his classic one-liners are often included in much of pop-culture, even today. Jimmy continued to perform until he was sidelined in 1972 by a stroke.  He died of pneumonia eight years later.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section F, T96, space 6; Two rows to the north of the Grotto section, about 3 spaces in from the sidewalk.

grotto_durante

Rosalind Russell

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags on October 9, 2013 by Cade

russell1June 4, 1907 – November 28, 1976

Multiple Golden Globe and Tony Award winner, Rosalind Russell, was a versatile character actress who made a career out of playing both comedic and dramatic roles. Russell was known for her portrayal of professional-types and was rarely cast as a sex symbol. Her career highlights included films such as His Girl Friday, Mourning Becomes Electra and The Trouble With Angels and stage hits like Auntie Mame and Wonderful Town. In addition to the aforementioned awards, she was also nominated for an Academy Award twice. As far as Hollywood stories go, Rosalind Russell’s is pretty tame. She was married to one man for 35 years. They had a son. She died of breast cancer at the age of 69. There you go.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section M; The very large cross that marks Rosalind’s grave is unmissable at the center of this section in front of the mausoleum.

holycross_russell

Bela Lugosi

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags on October 1, 2013 by Cade

lugosi1October 20, 1882 – August  16, 1956

Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó was born in Lugos, Hungary (now, Romania) in 1882. He acted on stage and in films in his native country before fleeing to Germany, and eventually, the U.S.A. He changed is name to Lugosi (after his hometown) and made a career of playing one of the most recognizable monsters in pop culture history. As far as I am concerned, Bela Lugosi – with his eastern European accent and steely glare – WAS Count Dracula. You can’t convince me otherwise (except for the fact that he is dead, as evidenced by his presence in this blog – though he WAS buried in a cape1.)

Either way, Lugosi had an uneven career that saw fame and leading roles give way to token appearances and bit parts. He famously appeared opposite Boris Karloff (whom I am also convinced WAS Frankenstein’s monster) in a number of horror films. These films saw Karloff constantly stealing the spotlight and billing from a now waning Lugosi. Later in his life, his career was somewhat resurrected by filmmaker, Ed Wood, who cast Lugosi in the kind of epically terrible movies that live on today as cult classics.

Finally, if Bela Lugosi was a vampire, then he was a vampire with a drug problem. And a heart problem. Lugosi died of a heart attack on his couch at the age of 73.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Grotto, L120, 1; 4 rows south of the Grotto, about 10 spaces in from the eastern curb, 5 spaces to the east of Bing Crosby.

grotto_lugosi

1 – SEE!!!!!

Ann Miller

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags on September 15, 2013 by Cade

miller1April 12, 1923 – January 22, 2004

Ann Miller (born Johnnie Lucille Collier…yes, Johnnie, her father wanted a boy) was a popular dancer, singer and actress.  Discovered as a young teenager – she lied about her age – she went on to be a staple figure in the heyday of the MGM movie musicals of the 1940s and ’50s. She enjoyed success beyond that, appearing on stage and in television and films well into her 70s. She was largely responsible for the rise in popularity of pantyhose during her work in Hollywood. Being a dancer, this was not a surprise as she had – along with fellow hoofers Betty Grable and Cyd Charisse – some of the most famous legs in the world at the time. Miller died of lung cancer at the age of 80 in 2004.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section F; There is a large white Pieta statue just north of the Grotto section, from this statue, Ann is buried 3 rows west of this statue and about 20 spaces north.

grotto_miller

Rita Hayworth

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags on April 27, 2013 by Cade

hayworth1

October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987

Actress, dancer and all-around bombshell, Rita Hayworth, captivated Hollywood audiences throughout the 1940s and ’50s. Glamorous and talented, she was the quintessential Golden-era beauty. Her personal life was quite public and tremendously busy.  She once quipped that men “fell in love with [her iconic character] Gilda, but they wake up with me.”  She was married five times, including to actor/director Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan.  Rita struggled with alcohol most of her life. She died from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 68.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Grotto, L196, 6; in the small lawn section immediately to the east of the main grotto alter, 2 rows up from the sidewalk.

grotto_hayworth

Ricardo Montalbán

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery with tags , on April 8, 2013 by Cade

montalban1

November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009

Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro “KHAAAANNN!” Montalbán y Merino, the Mexican-born actor who literally invented a fake type of leather, was probably best known to American television audiences as the charming Mr. Roarke on the 1970’s-’80’s ABC series, Fantasy Island. Of course, hanging out in paradise with Hervé Villechaize wasn’t Montalbán’s only claim to fame. He also rose to pop-culture infamy by portraying Khan in both the TV and motion picture versions of Star Trek. But, the man who killed Spock also enjoyed a lucrative career on both sides of the Rio Grande starring in dozens of movies – often as an Asian character…for some reason.  Ricardo died of congestive heart failure at the age of 88 in Los Angeles.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section EE, Tier 3, grave 21; At the extreme northern edge of the park, Ricardo and his wife are buried in the 3rd row up from the curb about 50 ft from the western edge of the section.

holycross_montalban