Archive for Wizard of Oz

Bert Lahr

Posted in Union Field Cemetery with tags , on December 27, 2016 by Cade

lahr1August 13, 1895 – December 4, 1967

Tony Award-winning comedian/actor, Bert Lahr, dropped out of school to join a vaudeville troupe. It was on the stage that he spent most of his career. But it was on film – one film, in particular – where he found his greatest and most notable success. Lahr brought his humor and bravado to the role of the Cowardly Lion in the classic The Wizard of Oz and generations have loved him for it.

Irving Lahrheim was New York through and through. He was born there. He died there. And he performed practically the entire time in between. He had a long, successful career on Broadway working alongside such greats as Flo Ziegfeld and Ethel Merman and notably originated the role of Estragon in the first American production of Waiting for Godot. He dabbled in film and television, but it was Oz that would be his biggest hit. Warned about Hollywood’s penchant for type-casting, Lahr famously responded, “Yeah, but how many parts are there for lions?”

Lahr died of cancer – which he didn’t know he had – at the age of 72, while filming his last movie, The Night They Raided Minksy’s.


Union Field Cemetery – Queens, NY


Specific Location

Follow the Main Road all the way to the back of the cemetery until it turns left (Central Ave.). Past the residential area, there will eventually be a series of numbered paths on your right. Take Path 5 and Bert’s family plot will be the fourth one on your right.



Frank Morgan

Posted in Green-Wood Cemetery with tags , on November 13, 2016 by Cade

morgan1June 1, 1890 – September 18, 1949

Francis Wuppermann was an Oscar-nominated character actor who enjoyed immense success over the course of his 35 year career. Working under the stage name Frank Morgan, he was signed to a lifetime contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios and worked prolifically for them for more than 2 decades. He appeared in several movies each year for MGM, but is most widely recognized for his multiple roles – including the titular character – in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. His performance as Oz remains one of the most beloved of all-time, but even great and powerful wizards aren’t immune to vices. And, rumor has it, Morgan liked to tote around briefcases of booze while he was at work. So, there’s that.

Frank Morgan died of a heart attack at the age of 59 a few years before Oz was rebroadcast on television for the first time, leading to it becoming the classic it is today.


Green-Wood Cemetery – Brooklyn, NY


Specific Location

Section 168; Closer to the cemetery’s Ft. Hamilton gate, the Wuppermann family plot is located on Grape Avenue, just to the North of the intersection with Lychnis Path


Jack Haley

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery (CA) with tags , on March 15, 2013 by Cade


August 10, 1898 – June 6, 1979

I’m not going to say that Jack Haley wouldn’t have had a career if Buddy Ebsen didn’t almost die from a reaction to aluminum-based make-up…but he certainly wouldn’t have been AS famous.  Probably.  I don’t know.  Jack had a pretty decent career as a song-and-dance man/comedian.  He starred in such musicals as Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Poor Little Rich Girl.  But none of them came close to as big as his accidental role as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.  It’s true, though, he did replace TV’s Jed Clampett in the iconic role when Ebsen had a serious reaction to the metallic paint in the costume and make-up.  The rest is history.

Jack died of a heart attack in 1979 and is buried in the same cemetery as fellow Ozian, Ray Bolger.


Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

The Grotto, L100, 2, 7 rows down from the Grotto on the main lawn section (3 rows below Bing and Bela.)


Ray Bolger

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery (CA) with tags , on March 7, 2013 by Cade


January 10, 1904 – January 15, 1987

Song and dance man, Ray Bolger, had quite the stage and film career going when he stumbled upon a little role as a scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.  Total career killer that one.

Seriously, though, Bolger was immensely talented and any lack of recognition of his work outside of Oz is strictly on us.  We suck.


Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

bolger - june 28 2009

Specific Location

Inside the mausoleum on the left side of the chapel, bottom row on the floor.


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


Judy Garland

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags , on February 19, 2013 by Cade


June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969

I grew up in Kansas.  I’ve heard every “Wizard of Oz” joke 17,000 times (you’re not original, people. Please stop.) I should hate the movie.  I should hate everything about it. But, I don’t.  I actually love it.

Judy Garland was born Frances Gumm in Grand Rapids, MN and was an entertainer from the start. Her family were vaudevillians and she and her sisters performed as The Gumm Sisters in a number of short films as girls. At some point – for any number of reasons depending on who you ask – they changed the name of their act to The Garland Sisters. Good move. And after that, the legendary name of Judy Garland would stick.

Judy starred in more than 40 films including the classics Meet Me in St. LouisIn the Good Old Summertime and, of course, The Wizard of Oz. She became an icon and had worldwide fame.

But, life was not great.  After years of combating personal demons such as nervous breakdowns, drug abuse, pleurisy, cirrhosis and co-starring with Mickey Rooney…Judy overdosed on barbiturates in her rented house in London just a few days after her 47th birthday.


Ferncliff Cemetery – Hartsdale, NY

garland, judy - may 02 2010

Specific Location

Ferncliff Mausoleum, Unit 9, Alcove HH, Crypt 31; Main entrance, up the stairs as you enter to the 2nd floor, Left at the top of the stairs to the end of the main hall, Left again, right at the next corridor, up a small flight of steps, Alcove HH is on your right, Judy’s crypt is on the bottom row.