Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars


Part IV
(formerly "Hollywood Memorial Park")
6000 Santa Monica Boulevard,
Hollywood, CA. / (213) 469-1181



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Back outside, you will see a beautiful lake just north of the Cathedral Mausoleum - indisputably the loveliest part of the park. The large Grecian tomb in the center of the lake belongs to philanthropist William A. Clark Jr., who founded the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and donated the Clark Library on the UCLA campus. But located around the periphery of the lake are the graves of more famous Hollywood types.                                                      (Click here to see a map of the lake area.)

First, find the Douras mausoleum. There are several small, free-standing family mausoleums here by the lake. The Douras mausoleum is located near the water, on the lake's east side (slightly to your right, if you're standing on the steps of the large Hollywood Cathedral Museum and looking towards the lake). There are two celebrities buried inside the Douras mausoleum.

One is Marion Davies (1897-1961), the actress and longtime mistress of tycoon William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon who was the inspiration for the classic movie "Citizen Kane." Marion Davies (real name: Marion Cecelia Douras) had her footprints immortalized in the cement outside of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.


Also inside the same Douras mausoleum is the actor who played "Dagwood Bumstead" in all of those old "Blondie" film comedies, Arthur Lake (1905-1987). (His wife, Patricia, was supposedly Ms. Davies' niece - some say Patricia was actually the love child of Davies and Hearst, which would have made him Marion Davies' son-in-law.)

The "Blondie" movie series, with Penny Singleton* as the comic-strip blonde, ran for 12 years, producing 28 movies, starting with just plain "Blondie" in 1938 and ending with "Beware of Blondie" in 1950. Lake and Singleton also played the same roles, of Blondie & Dagwood, on a radio series from 1939 to 1950. He even played Dagwood on the "Blondie" TV series!

(* Penny Singleton is buried at San Fernando Mission cemetery.)






Just eight yards away from the front of the Douras mausoleum (to the southwest), is the large, white marble memorial to one of the most celebrated stars buried here at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, actor Tyrone Power (1914-1958).

One of the great swashbuckling heroes of the Golden Age of movies, Power starred in such adventure films as "Blood & Sand" (1941), "The Black Swan" (1942), "The Razors Edge" (1946) and "Jesse James" (1939).

Tyrone's funeral was held in the small chapel here at Hollywood Forever, in 1958. It was attended by such celebrities as Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Yul Brynner and Loretta Young. Fellow actor Caesar Romero delivered the eulogy, and thousands of fans massed on the lawn outside the chapel.

[Click on the small markers
to see larger versions.]




Now, go back and face the front of the Douras mausoleum. On the lawn to your left, near the mausoleum's upper left corner, is the simple grave of Hannah Chaplin (1866-1928), the mother of comic genius Charlie Chaplin.

As dramatized the 1993 movie "Chaplin," Hannah was mentally ill, and had to be confined to an asylum in London while Charlie was still a child. After he achieved stardom in Hollywood, Chaplin brought his mother out to California. In that film, Hannah was played by none other than Hannah's real-life granddaughter, Charlie Chaplin's daughter, actress Geraldine Chaplin. Only in Hollywood, folks...

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





Roscoe "Fatty" ArbuckleVirginia RappeNext, follow the edge of the lake farther north, around a small bend, and you'll discover the grave of Virginia Rappe (1895-1921).

A young starlet in the Silent era, who appeared with Valentino in one early film, she was the center of the biggest scandal to ever rock Hollywood.

She died during an apparent orgy attended by silent screen comic Fatty Arbuckle.

The star was accused of violent rape causing her death, and was brought to trial.

Although Arbuckle was found innocent (in fact, the jury apologized to him), the scandal ruined Arbuckle's motion picture career.  He had portrayed a naïve, almost childlike character in his movies, so any association with that kind of sordidness was the kiss of death back in the 1920s.





From Virginia Rappe's grave, walk north along the edge of the lake until you come to a protruding area filled with rushes (see a map). Here, at the water's edge, is the headstone of Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967), the blonde sex-symbol who, in her time, rivaled Marilyn Monroe.

Jayne died tragically in an auto accident in 1967, after appearing in such movies as "Promises, Promises" and "The Girl Can't Help It." The headstone bore a small black and white photo of Ms. Mansfield, but some lunatic defaced the grave and virtually obliterated the photo. Fortunately, the new owners of Hollywood Forever recently replaced the portrait with a small, full-length, color photo of Jayne.

Ironically, Jayne isn't really buried here - she's actually buried in Pennsylvania. The marker is a cenotaph. (Her actual grave bears the same epitaph - but an earlier birth date: 1933.)


             


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Copyright © 2014-Gary Wayne
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