Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars


Part III
1712 S. Glendale Avenue,
Glendale, CA. / (323) 254-3131

[This is the third page of a five page article. Click here to go to the first page.]

Back upstairs, step back outside the main entrance of the Freedom mausoleum, and you'll find the ashes of Walt Disney (1901-1966) in a tiny, individual garden just to your right as you exit the mausoleum - look for a small statue of the original Little Mermaid in the corner. If the small gate is open, enter and look at the north wall behind that mermaid statue, and you'll see Walt's headstone.



The man who gave us of Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, Disney Studios and a host of animated classics from "Snow White" to "Fantasia." won more Oscars than anyone else in history. (Despite his grave here, there have always been silly rumors that Walt had himself frozen after death. Not so.)



Now, walk farther west, to the huge statue of Washington, and on your right, you'll find the doorway to the Garden of Everlasting Peace (much larger than Walt's tiny garden), to the north side of the statue. Here you'll find the graves of two of Hollywood's greatest stars: Errol Flynn and Spencer Tracy.

(Click here to see a map of this general area around the Freedom Mausoleum.)



Errol Flynn (1909-1959) is buried against the northern wall of the garden, appropriately enough beneath the small statue of a woman.

For this handsome, swashbuckling star of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and "Captain Blood" was a legendary womanizer, whose antics with the fairer sex got him into legal trouble on more than one occasion. The expression "in like Flynn" was coined in his honor.


The grave of Spencer Tracy (1900-1967) is located within a small corner garden, in the southeast corner of this larger area (simply labeled "Tracy").

Spencer was one of the greatest actors of all time. Who can forget him as Father Flanagan in "Boys Town" or as the tortured soul in "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde"? Or his droll sense of humor in the comedies he made with Katharine Hepburn?

He won two Oscars, back-to-back, for "Captains Courageous" in 1937 and "Boys Town" in 1938, and was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar seven other times, including for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "Inherit the Wind," "The Old Man and  the Sea," "Judgment at Nuremberg," "San Francisco" and "Father of the Bride."


(Click here to see a map of this general area around the Freedom Mausoleum.)



In 1999 Clayton Moore (1914-1999), the actor who played The Lone Ranger, was is buried in the same section as Spencer Tracy and Erroll Flynn.

How do you find his grave? Well, there is a long lawn running between Spencer Tracy and Errol Flynn's grave. At the far northwest end of this lawn, you'll see a white statue of a naked woman, crouching over and clutching a cloth to her front. This, the largest statue in this small garden, reads "Morgenroth." You can't miss it. Now, if you stand on the sidewalk that runs in front of this statue, and then turn around so that your back is to the statue, you'll find the Lone Ranger's grave (lot #5492) along the edge of the grass in the first row of markers, just to your right, five spaces in from the lawn's right border.



Just west/northwest of this Garden of Everlasting Peace is a walled, private area known as the Garden of Honor.

It's a shame that the door is usually locked, so the public can't enter, because buried in the Garden of Honor are a host of some of Hollywood's biggest names, in including Sammy Davis Jr., actors Robert Taylor and Dick Powell, singer Sam Cooke, studio mogul Samuel Goldwyn, actress Joan Blondell and director George Cukor.

I've never been lucky enough to find the doors to this garden open, but some have.  Here are photos of the Sammy Davis's grave, courtesy of Phillip Senini, a fan who has been inside the walls:


Back outside, and down at the far west end of this group of gardens, in the Immortality section (see map), is baseball legend Casey Stengel (1890-1975). There is a very large bronze plaque erected to Casey on the outside of one of the vine-covered stone walls here, which is easy to spot - just to the left of the huge statue of Immortality.

(Click on the image for a bigger photo.)

Casey Stengel was one of the great characters of the game; known as "The Old Professor," he given to colorful comments such as

"All right, everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height." - or

"I'd always heard it couldn't be done, but sometimes it don't always work."

Best known as a manager, he led the New York Yankees to 10 pennants in 12 seasons, and to 7 World Series championships (including 5 in a row). He later managed the New York Mets from 1962 to 1965. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. (His actual grave is to the right and up a row from the wall plaque.)





Right nearby Casey, on the lawn, is the grave of actor Dan Dailey (1915-1978).

While he never achieved the status of Tracy or Flynn, he was a well-loved character actor in his own right, a former vaudevillian starring in a series of good-natured musicals in the 40's and 50's such as "My Blue Heaven" (with Betty Grable), and "There's No Business Like Show Business." (with Ethel Merman.)

He was nominated for an Oscar in 1949 for "When My Baby Smiles at Me." (TV viewers might remember him as 'the Governor' from a brief-lived 1970 sitcom called "The Governor & J.J.")

To find Dan's grave, from Casey Stengel's plaque, simply follow the wall out towards the street (away from the statue of Immortality); Dan's grave is right where the wall turns, just two spaces in from the road, and next to a "White" statue of a woman with nude children.





Back in your car, head back down the hill. On your right, in between the large statue of Michelangelo's David and the large statue of the Christus, you will find another  enclosed garden (similar to the Garden of Honor) called the Garden of Memory.

There are two small metal doors leading inside these walled gardens. One door is to the right of the Christus Statue. To find the other door, go to the David statue and walk into the garden to the right of the statue. There you'll find a large statue grouping called "The Mystery of Life." The second door to the Gardens of Memory is to the left of this sculpture. Alas, both doors are usually locked tight. It takes a special gold key, given only to property owners, to unlock the doors.

It is inside these walls that several major stars are buried, including Mary Pickford (1892-1979), Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), Warner Baxter, Judy Canova, Victor McLaglen, and well-known character actors S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall and Charlie Ruggles . Unfortunately, unless you're a property owner - or know someone who is - you can't get inside to see these stars' graves. (However, I've been told that some groundskeepers will sometimes let visitors inside if they ask politely.)

However, Mary Pickford's memorial is so large, and so close to the southeast wall that it is partially visible if you stand in just the right spot near the "Mystery of Life" sculpture. (Or at least it was. I'm told that the bushes have grown high enough to block the view now.) Here's a photo of her tomb. It's a fitting tribute to Hollywood's first superstar, who was the No. 1 box-office star in America 15 out of 17 years during the Silent Era,

(Click on the photo to see a larger image.)

(Her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, also has a large memorial. Click here to read about it.)

Here is a photo of Bogart's grave, courtesy of Phillip Senini:







On the lawn near these walled gardens (in the Ascension Garden area), you can visit the grave of actress Ethel Waters (1896-1977)

She started out as a blues & pop singer, then moved on to Broadway (where she won the New York Drama Critics Award for best actress) and then to Hollywood, where she appeared in films such as "Pinky" and "The Member of the Wedding." She escaped the housekeeper stereotype in "Cabin in the Sky" and in "Stage Door Canteen" (which won her an Oscar nomination.) However, she returned to the domestic role for the 1950's TV series "Beulah" (which was based on a similar radio series that had made Ethel Waters the first Black woman to have her own radio show.)

Always religious, she toured with Billy Graham's crusades in her later years, and one of her most popular songs was "His Eye Is on the Sparrow"; that is also the epitaph on her marker.

To find her grave, go to the large Christus statue, and right across the street you'll see the Gardens of Ascension. Walk in and turn to your right. As you walk along the sidewalk to the right, you'll pass several statues. Eventually, you'll see a statue of a woman holding a child; its pedestal reads "Time Flies, Sun Rises." Ethel's grave is in the first row below the sidewalk, about five spaces left of this statue.





Now, let's find Ted Knight's grave, the comic actor who was best known for playing 'Ted Baxter', the egotistical newsman on the classic "Mary Tyler Moore Show." Later, he starred as harried father and cartoonist, Henry Rush, in the 80's sit-com "Too Close For Comfort," and as 'Judge Smails' in the movie "Caddyshack."

Back in your car, continue northwest down this same road. Past the statue of David, past the Christus statue, you will come to a blue & white bas-relief sculpture (on your right side) of Christ being baptized, with the name "Llewellyn" below the monument. Park here.

On the other side of the road (your left side), you will see a white statue of a family, with the name "Shaw" below it. Ted is buried just to the left of this monument. Simply walk around to the left corner of this small monument, and you'll find Ted's marker on the grass, right next to the hedge and the short stone wall which surrounds this monument..


We'll now continue our virtual tour with a look at some of the stars' graves on the various lawns around Forest Lawn Glendale, including those of Jimmy Stewart and Robert Young, before heading down to the Great Mausoleum.

             

Click here to continue the tour



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