Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars


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

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

From the cemetery's main entrance, use the map to drive to the northeast corner of the park, where you'll find the Court of Freedom, with its large mosaic, and a 13-foot high statue of George Washington. Walk in the main doors of the Freedom Mausoleum here, turn right, then stop at the first hallway on your left: the Sanctuary of Heritage.

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


Here, clustered on the same right wall of this one small corridor, you'll find the tombs of six superstars: Alan Ladd (#203582), Jeanette MacDonald (#203642), Nat King Cole (#203692), George Burns and his wife Gracie Allen (#203602), and Clara Bow (#203484), all located on the same right (south) wall of the same corridor. To be sure you've found the right corridor, look for the bust of Alan Ladd to the left of his tomb.

(Click here too see a detailed map of this corridor.)


The crypt of actor Alan Ladd (1913-1964) is located two spaces in from the main hallway and two spaces up from the floor.

Ladd starred in the classic western "Shane," as well numerous other films in the 40's & 50's, including "This Gun For Hire," "Two Years Before the Mast," "Whispering Smith," and "The Glass Key."

(His son, producer Alan Ladd Jr., won an Oscar for "Braveheart.")


Directly below him is the crypt of Clara Bow (1907-1965), the silent screen actress known as "The It Girl."

A superstar of the silent screen, Clara Bow was the personification of the Roaring 20's flapper girl and Hollywood's first sex symbol.

With the advent of talkies, her popularity waned.

She married cowboy star Rex Bell (who went on to become the Lt. Governor of Nevada) and retired from the movies at age 26.




Just to the left of these two, and at the very top, is the crypt of the "Unforgettable." singer Nat King Cole (1919-1965), father of singer Natalie Cole.

The sweet-voiced Mr. Cole won 28 gold records for a string of hits that included "Ramblin' Rose," "Mona Lisa," and the ever-popular "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...").

(Click here too see a detailed map of this corridor.)




Directly below Nat is the crypt of singer / actress Jeanette MacDonald (1903-1965), who starred alongside Nelson Eddy in a series of popular musical comedies such as "Rose Marie" and "Naughty Marietta." (Click here to read about Nelson's grave). But she also had hit movies that didn't include Nelson, such as "San Francisco," where she starred opposite Clark Gable.




Just to the left of Nat and Jeanette (and two over from Alan Ladd) is the crypt of beloved comic George Burns (1896-1996) and the other half of the popular "Burns & Allen" comedy team, his wife Gracie Allen (1902-1964). The two starred together on the radio and in movies until Gracie's death.

George had a great deal of success on his own later in life, as the nation's most popular senior citizen, starring in films such as "Oh, God" and living to the ripe old age of 100. But he never remarried.

As always, George gave Gracie "top billing."

Their epitaph reads "Together Again."

Back out in the main hallway, head back past the main door to the first corridor on the left (west) past the entrance (the Columbarium of Victory.) On the back wall of this room, a few spaces to the right of the central statue, is the small niche containing the ashes of Dorothy Dandridge (1923-1965). Her life was the subject of a 1999 TV movie, "Dorothy Dandridge," starring Halle Berry in the title role.

Dorothy was the first African-American actress to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress (for the 1954 production of "Carmen Jones.")

A singer a well as an actress, she also starred as 'Bess' in "Porgy & Bess." Alas, her Hollywood potential was restricted by the prejudiced times; she went bankrupt and died of a barbiturate overdose at age 41.

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



Now, go down the stairs to the bottom floor of this mausoleum , and you can find the tombs of several other notables, including two members of America's favorite comedy teams.

(click here to see a map of the lower floor)


One is Larry Fine (1902-1975), one of of the original Three Stooges (Larry, Moe & Curly) - he was the balding one with the frazzled hair around the edges. Between 1930 and 1966, Larry appeared in over 200 movies and "The Three Stooges" television show, virtually always as a Stooge, somewhat playing the straight man to Moe and Curly's more outrageous behavior.

(For you Stoogeophiles out there, Moe is buried at Hillside, and Curly is buried at Home of Peace.)

You can find Larry's crypt (#22247) downstairs, in the Sanctuary of Liberation, a corridor on the west side of the lower mausoleum, at its far south end. His crypt is about four in from the hallway, on the bottom row.

The other two are are members of the Marx Brothers. Not Groucho (he's at Eden) or Harpo (he was cremated), but Chico Marx (1887-1961), the brother who played the piano and liked to fake a thick Italian accent. You'll also find the lesser-known Gummo Marx (1893-1977).

You can find Chico's crypt (#22018) in the Sanctuary of Worship, the next corridor south of Larry Fine's. His crypt is on the right side of that corridor (as you face it the corridor from the hallway), 2 spaces in from the hallway, but rather high up (about six spaces up, just above the crypt of one Virginia M. Heidanus.)

Gummo's crypt (#21057) is directly across the hallway on the east side, in the Sanctuary of Brotherhood; the crypt is three spaces in from the hallway and three up from the bottom.

(click here to see a map of the lower floor of the Freedom Mausoleum)


A lesser-known star today, but a major personality in his own time, is also buried down here: silent screen star Francis X. Bushman (1883-1966). His crypt (#21408), can be found in the Sanctuary of Gratitude, the last corridor on the north side of the building, on the west side of the hall. His crypt is three spaces in from the hall and four spaces up from the bottom. Bushman was one of the silver screen's first matinee idols. He began his work in the silents, churning out almost 100 films before 1927 (including the original "Ben-Hur") and another 25 after sound arrived.



It's now time to visit some of the outdoor graves (where Walt Disney, Spencer Tracy & Jimmy Stewart are buried) and continue our virtual tour of Forest Lawn Glendale.

             

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