Archive for the Westwood Memorial Park Category

Jack Klugman

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on September 14, 2018 by Cade

April 27, 1922 – December 24, 2012

Whether you remember him as Dr. Quincy (Quincy, M.E.), Oscar (The Odd Couple) or as Juror #5 (12 Angry Men), Jack Klugman is one of those actors that’s instantly recognizable. From stage to screen, The Twilight Zone to Gypsy, he was seemingly everywhere for more than 50 years. He is probably most widely regarded for bringing the role of Oscar Madison from the stage – where he replaced Walter Matthau – to the small screen – opposite Tony Randall – in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. Klugman won Emmys and Golden Globes, was nominated for Tonys and was praised and beloved by his peers. After successfully battling throat cancer for decades – and losing a vocal chord to the disease – Jack continued to fight and work until the end. He succumbed to prostate cancer in 2012 at the age of 90.

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. Near the center of the eastern-most wall (left as you enter), you’ll find Jack’s small niche immediately to the left of Janet Leigh.

 

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Jane Greer

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags on September 9, 2018 by Cade

September 9, 1924 – August 24, 2001

“Mine is a sissy name. It’s too bo-peepish, ingenueish, for the type of role I’ve been playing.”

When Bettejane Greer legally changed her first name to just “Jane,” she was not wrong in her observation. RKO Picture’s ‘woman with the Mona Lisa smile’ was well-known for her femme fatale roles – most notably, opposite Robert Mitchum in the film noir classic Out of the Past – and enigmatic, hard shell characters. A Bettejane, she was most certainly not. Greer was a model, a singer and an actress whose career spanned more than half a century. She was discovered (controlled?) by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, briefly married to crooner Rudy Vallée and appeared on television shows ranging from Bonanza to Twin Peaks. But, her biggest legacy was using her girl-next-door charm to devious and villainous effect on the silver screen in the noir hey day of 1940’s Hollywood.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

In the Garden of Serenity section at the south end of the park there are 5 pillars with north-facing niches just to the east (right) when you enter. Jane is in the top space of the easternmost (5th) pillar.

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Florence Henderson

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on August 27, 2018 by Cade

henderson1February 14, 1934 – November 24, 2016

It can be hard to go your entire career being associated with one character or one performance. For Florence Henderson, being the spokesperson for Wesson cooking oil for 2 decades was a defining persona and the kind of role every struggling actor covets. A gifted stage actress and singer, Henderson made a splash early on with performances on Broadway and televised productions of musicals. She appeared in game shows and on talk shows and was instantly recognizable in any household thanks to her long tenure with Wesson.

Oh, and in 1969, she was cast as the role of Carol Brady on the hit show The Brady Bunch which some consider one of the greatest television characters of all time and maybe the best television mother of all time, but I’d be willing to wager not many people remember that.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

In the Garden of Serenity section at the south end of the park there are 5 pillars with north-facing niches just to the east (left) when you enter. Florence is interred in the bottom niche of the first pillar.

Brian Keith

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags on February 14, 2014 by Cade

keith1November 14, 1921 – June 24, 1997

Brain Keith began acting at the age of two. He appeared on stage, in dozens of television shows and scores of films. He is probably best known for his role in the original The Parent Trap and for his television shows Family Affair (opposite Sebastian Cabot – who is buried just across the road from Keith) and Hardcastle and McCormick. Alright, so that last one is how I best remember him, but I digress. Keith’s career boasts an impressive number of starring and guest starring roles. He was prolific and busy. In his later life, he suffered from health issues, including emphysema and lung cancer. And in 1997, his daughter, Daisy, committed suicide. Unable to deal with his health and the death of his daughter1, Keith took his own life just two months later. He was interred next to Daisy in Westwood.

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. Brian’s niche is in the northeast corner on the top row, facing south.

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1 – and, apparently, financial troubles…but I’m not one to pile on.

Sebastian Cabot

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on February 14, 2014 by Cade

cabot1July 6, 1918 – August 22, 1977

Of course, I could very easily base most of this write up on English actor Charles Sebastian Thomas Cabot’s most famous role: that of valet Mr. French on the classic CBS sitcom Family Affair (opposite permanent neighbor, Brian Keith). But, I would rather devote my energy to his stunning turn as Bagheera, the wise panther in Disney’s 1967 masterpiece The Jungle Book. Without the centered and stoic Bagheera, who knows what would have become of the movie’s hero, Mowgli the mancub. Would he have succumbed to the lackadaisical and hapless ways of Baloo, doomed to drift through life without purpose or vision? Would he have been forced to unwillingly hand the secret of fire over to the likable, but dangerous King Louie? Even if he managed to evade these pitfalls, he most CERTAINLY would have been eaten by Kaa. But no, it was Cabot’s Bagheera who steered the young boy safely toward his destiny. And for that, we thank you, Sebastian.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Urn Garden at the southwest corner of the main lawn (just across from the office); Sebastian’s marker is in the top (northernmost) row about 9 spaces from the right edge.

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Dorothy Stratten

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags on February 14, 2014 by Cade

stratten1February 28, 1960 – August 14, 1980

Hollywood. Amiright?

Dorothy Stratten was smack in the middle of her Hollywood dream (by way of becoming Playboy’s Playmate of the Year) when she was murdered by the very man who had hitched his way on her coattails all the way from Vancouver. She had turned her popularity from the men’s magazine into a budding film career and even found herself in a relationship with a real-life Hollywood director. Of course, her jealous (and unstable) husband didn’t like that, so he did what any rational person would do: killed her and himself with a shotgun after an argument about money and divorce.

Stratten’s dream may have been cut short, but her tragic story went on to inspire a couple of films and numerous songs. Not sure she would be that excited about being said inspiration, but it’s something.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Section D, Center Lawn; There is a large evergreen tree about 1/3 of the way in from the eastern edge of the main lawn, Dorothy is buried about 4 rows to the south of this tree.

westwood_stratten

Buddy Rich

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on February 14, 2014 by Cade

rich1September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987

Bernard “Buddy” Rich played the drums. He played the drums really, really well. He had a temper. He (allegedly) liked to fire musicians in the middle of sets if the need arose. He played with all the big names like Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. He also led his own bands. And he had a bit of a temper.

But, Buddy Rich could play the drums. Seemingly from birth. He will be remembered as one of the best jazz drummers of all time. Hell, he was probably even a pretty nice guy…when he wasn’t throwing trombonists off the bus in the middle of the night.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Sanctuary of Tranquility; At the northern edge of the park, the Sanctuary of Tranquility is the easternmost sanctuary, Buddy is interred on the bottom right row, just two spaces in.

westwood_rich

Frank Zappa

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags on February 14, 2014 by Cade

zappa1December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993

Frank Vincent Zappa was an influential, experimental musician who broke onto the popular music scene with his band’s (The Mothers of Invention) 1966 album Freak Out! Zappa’s style defied category as his works and compositions included rock, jazz and classical elements. His music drew on influences from everything from R&B to jazz. Over the course of his almost 40 year career, he experimented with sound and quietly influenced countless musicians that would follow. Throughout his public life, Zappa was an outspoken voice on subjects ranging from religion to illicit drugs. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years after his death from prostate cancer at the age of 52.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Section D, #100 (unmarked); Just to the west of Roy Orbison and Richard Dawson, Frank’s unmarked grave is immediately to the right of actor Lew Ayers.

westwood_zappa

Sammy Cahn

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags on December 30, 2013 by Cade

cahn1June 18, 1913 – January 15, 1993

Sammy Cahn – born Samuel Cohen in New York City – was a Academy Award winning songwriter and lyricist. Known for popular songs like “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “All the Way,” “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” and “Come Fly With Me” (among countless others), he was famous for his collaborations with stars like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Doris Day. His songs were made popular on film, stage, radio and television. Cahn’s career netted dozens of awards and nominations including 26 Oscars, 5 Golden Globes and an Emmy. It was his relationship with Sinatra (along with frequent co-writer Jimmy Van Huesen) that arguably gained him his biggest successes. Old Blue Eyes had Cahn to thank for a good number of his biggest hits. Sammy Cahn died of a heart attack at the age of 79.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Section D; In the center of the large middle lawn section, Sammy is buried just a few rows south of Natalie Wood, and just a few spaces to the west of Donna Reed.

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James Coburn

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on November 18, 2013 by Cade

coburn1August 31, 1928 – November 18, 2002

Best known for “tough guy” roles throughout his 45 year career, Academy Award winner, James Harrison Coburn III, was the epitome of cool. His huge, toothy grin was unmistakable and his hip demeanor was more “Rat Pack” than ruffian – despite his ominous presence on both the large and small screens. He is probably best remembered for his many roles in westerns and other action films. He appeared alongside fellow screen-toughies Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape. Coburn suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for much of his later years. This limited the amount of work he was able to do.  Though, it seemed to bring out the best in him as he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in 1998’s Affliction. He died 2002 of a heart attack in his home at the age of 74.

Burial

Westwood Village Memorial Park – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

In the Garden of Serenity section at the south end of the park there are two fountains, as you enter the garden, the fountain on your right (to the west) has a marble bench on the other side of it, James’ ashes are interred in this bench. It’s exactly opposite of Peggy Lee‘s bench.

westwood_coburn