Like its neighbor Hillside Memorial Park, Holy Cross Cemetery contains the graves of many of Hollywood's biggest stars, including Bing Crosby, Loretta Young, Ray Bolger, Jimmy Durante, Fred MacMurray, Rosalind Russell, Lawrence Welk, Charles Boyer, Bela Lugosi, Rita Hayworth, Jack Haley, Jackie Coogan, Pat O'Brien, Dennis Day, Louella Parsons, Spike Jones, Sharon Tate, Joan Davis, Edmond O'Brien, Mary Astor, ZaSu Pitts, John Ford, Mario Lanza, Joe Flynn, Richard Arlen, MacDonald Carey, comic actor John Candy, and more recently, Mary Frann, Vince Edwards and Audrey Meadows.
Like Hillside, it's a beautiful memorial park; indeed, one of the most attractive in Los Angeles, skillfully landscaped, accented with white statuary, and dotted with small ponds, waterfalls, and serene grottos. But where nearby Hillside is a Jewish cemetery, Holy Cross is Roman Catholic.
When you drive through the large gates of the park (off Slauson Avenue), you will immediately come to a three way fork in the road. To find the grotto that contains most of the movie stars' graves, follow the road to your far left, up the hill. The grotto is on the left hand side (west), near the top of the hill. It is marked by a rugged volcanic-stone archway containing a small altar and white statues of St. Bernadette and the Virgin Mary (recreating the famous apparition scene from Lourdes). There is also a small pond and waterfall in front of the grotto.
It is here, on the sloping hillside lawn in front of this grotto, that you will find many of the graves of Hollywood's most famous. There are round, numbered metal markers in the grass, allowing you to easily pinpoint most graves - a convenience not found at some other cemeteries. (The large number on these markers designates the grave number. The smaller number up above, designates the tier - or row - number.)
Superstar Bing Crosby's (1901-1977) modest grave (between markers #125 & #126) is located four rows back (south) from the grotto and ten graves from the western edge. Bing is buried next to his first wife, his mother and his father. Renowned as both singer and actor, Bing starred in such hits as "Going My Way," "The Country Girl," "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," "Holiday Inn," and countless "Road pictures." with buddy Bob Hope. He also recorded what was to become the biggest-selling record of all time: "White Christmas." The headstone contains a cross, the insignia IHS, and the words:
on the small photos to see enlarged versions of the images.]
final resting place of actor Bela Lugosi
famous as Hollywood's "Count Dracula,"
is located just five spaces to the right (east) of Bing Crosby's grave:
four rows back (south) from the grotto, and
about 15 graves from the western edge, between markers #126 & #127.
Just three rows below Bela is the grave of Jack Haley (1899-1979), who played "The Tin Man" pining for a heart in the beloved classic "The Wizard of Oz." Besides that memorable role, he also starred with Shirley Temple in "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," and in numerous supporting roles.
(Coincidentally, there is another member of that classic movie's all-star cast buried here at Holy Cross: that of Ray Bolger, "The Scarecrow," is buried in a crypt inside the main mausoleum up on the hill).
a detailed map of this Grotto area, just click
Hayworth starred opposite such superstars as Fred Astaire
in "You'll Never Get Rich" (1941), James Cagney
in "The Strawberry Blonde" (1941), Tyrone Power
in "Blood and Sand" (1941), Gene Kelly in "Cover
Girl" (1944), Frank Sinatra in "Pal Joey."
(1957), and John Wayne in "Circus World" (1964).
a few spots to the right of Rita Hayworth's spot are the graves of Jack Wrather
(who owned both the Queen Mary and the Disneyland Hotel)
and his wife, actress Bonita Granville (1923-1988)
in graves #20 & #21. At age 13, Bonita Granville had a memorable dramatic
role as the bad child spreading lies about her teachers in 1936's "These Three."
(she was nominated for an Oscar). As a teenager, portrayed spunky girl
Drew' in several movies of the late 1930's, and was also featured in the
WW2 movie "Hitler's Children," and a number of Andy Hardy
films. But she never became a major star as an adult. If you've ever
been to Disneyland Hotel, you've probably seen the fancy restaurant called
"Granville's." That restaurant was named after Bonita (as was
the 'Bonita Tower' at the hotel complex.)
Right above the Wrather's is the grave of veteran actor MacDonald Carey (1913-1994). His movie career spanned five decades (including Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt"), and he made countless TV appearances. but he was probably best known for his role as 'Doctor Tom Horton' which he played for almost 30 years on the TV soap opera "Days of Our Lives."
a detailed map of this Grotto area, just click
Now, walk up to the front of the Grotto and then to your left (west), along the face of the grotto, and you'll discover another small (western) lawn - called St. Anne's section. Here, near marker #156, you'll find the grave of Sharon Tate (Polanski) (1943-1969) and her unborn child, both murdered by the Charles Manson gang in 1969. Her husband, Roman Polanski, was the director of the movie "Chinatown," and now lives in exile in Europe. Her headstone is located eight rows from the lawn's western edge, and three markers south of the lawn's northern edge. It reads:
A little farther north in this St. Anne section, near marker #194, you'll discover the grave of French actor Charles Boyer (1899-1978), perhaps best known for his 1944 role in "Gaslight" (in which he tried to convince Ingrid Bergman's character that she was going insane). His grave is just one row back from the lawn's western edge, and eight graves in from the lawn's northern edge. His headstone reads:
Boyer, Rita Hayworth, Jimmy
Durante and Bing Crosby
all share the honor of having their footprints immortalized in the famous
forecourt outside of Grauman's
Chinese Theatre, as does Rosalind Russell.)
Loretta Young, Audrey Meadows, Jimmy Durante,
Jackie Cooper, Pat O'Brien,
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