My father gave me a copy of his American Airlines in-flight magazine a while ago, and there was an article about a group of celebrity grave spotting enthusiasts called Hollywood Underground. The article wasn’t that informative, but I’ve been enjoying their website with guides to seeing your favorite celebrities’ resting places around LA. The next time I’m in California, I’ll be sure to visit a cemetery or two.
A lot of big names are buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, which is predictably the least accessible to the public. Non-family members are barred from entering masoleums and private areas where celebrities like George Burns, Gracie Allen, Humphrey Bogart and Nat King Cole are buried, and cameras ensure that fans are booted out.
Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills is also dotted with stars, and is entirely open to the public. Recently departed actor John Ritter, cowboy Gene Autry, actress Bette Davis, and Ozzie and Harriett Nelson of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” are buried there.
Hollywood Forever cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard seems like a lovely place to pay a visit. It was recently restored by a new owner and features a fountain and spacious lawns. Luminaries such as director Cecil de Mille, actors Tyrone Power and Rudolph Valentino, and rock stars Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone can be found there.
The large catholic cemetary Holy Cross in Culver City has some worthwhile graves. It’s a large active cemetary though and a nearby funeral might offer a stark reality check for your dead celebrity tourism. Among the names at Holy Cross are famed vampire actor Bela Lugosi, singing and dancing sensation Bing Crosby, and the late great comedian John Candy. Tragically murdered Sharon Tate and beloved actress Ann Miller also reside there.
Rather than trying to sit outside Hyde or The Ivy to catch a glimpse of some underfed girl with fake hair, you can pay your respects to the celebrities of generations past. They seem much more deserving.