Holy Cross Cemetery - part 3: Stars' Graves


Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars

Part III
5835 W. Slauson Avenue,
Culver City, CA. / (310) 670-7697

[This is page three of a four page article. Click here to go to the first page.]

Now it's time to leave the Grotto area and venture into other sections.

First, go east (as the crow flies) up the hill to the mammoth white building you'll see at the top of the hill. This is the main mausoleum, and we'll use it as a point of reference from now on. Park on the road in front of the mausoleum and go inside.

Inside, you will discover a Catholic chapel, with an abstract painting of the Resurrection above the altar; the walls are lined with countless marble crypts. But you can find the stars interred here if you know where to look.

[Click here to see a map of the mausoleum.]

In this central chapel area, face the altar and then go to the wall on your left. Near the west end of this wall, near the bottom row, is the wall crypt of actor and song & dance man Ray Bolger (1904-1987), who played "The Scarecrow" longing for a brain in the classic "The Wizard of Oz." Mr. Bolger was also featured in other films as well , such as "April in Paris" (with Doris Day) "The Harvey Girls." (with Judy Garland), and "Sweethearts" (with Nelson Eddy & Jeannette MacDonald).

(If you missed page one, "The Tin Man," Jack Haley, is also buried at Holy Cross. Click here to read page one.)

Click on the small photos to see an enlarged version of the image.

Back near the mausoleum's main entrance, there is a long, main hallway running to your left and right (when you're facing the altar.) Turn right and follow the hallway south until you come to the small side-room on your right (Room 7), where a stained glass window contains the words "Blessed are they who mourn...."

Here, on the left side of the room (when you face the window), you'll find the crypt of actor Fred MacMurray (1908-1991), famous as the patient father, Steve Douglas, in the long-running TV series "My Three Sons," and in feature movies such as "The Egg & I," "Double Indemnity," "The Caine Mutiny," and in several Disney comedies, including "The Shaggy Dog," "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "Son of Flubber."

[Click here to see a map of the mausoleum.]

In this very same side-room, just two spaces above Fred MacMurray (and one space from the top) is the crypt of wonderful comic actor John Candy (1950-1994), who died suddenly of a heart attack at age 43. John Candy got his start with the classic comedy troupe "SCTV," and went on to star in over 30 movies, playing the jolly fat man in such comedies as "Splash," "Spaceballs," "Only the Lonely," "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," "Uncle Buck," "Summer Rental," and "The Great Outdoors." His crypt is marked by a golden Sacred Heart, and his epitaph reads

"In Loving Memory
One Heart and One Soul
We Miss You Dearly"

Nearby, on the other side of the hallway, in another side-room (across from Room 6), is that maestro of demented music, Spike Jones (1911-1965). No one can forget his wacky, wild versions of "Cocktails for Two." and "Der Fuhrer's Face," punctuated by gunshots, honking horns and burps.

His crypt is located on the very top row, of the left side (when your back is to the hallway). His name on the marker reads as "Lindley A. Spike Jones."

Now retrace your steps back to the mausoleum's main entrance.

This time, turn left (when you're facing the altar), and walk down the long hallway (towards another copy of Michelangelo's "Pieta"), and turn to your left into a small white side-room with a stained glass window featuring the words "You indeed have sorrow now, but...."

This is room #16, and here you'll find the simple tomb of Spanish concert pianist and conductor José Iturbi (1895-1980), who appeared as himself in several romantic Hollywood musicals from the 1940's, including "Anchors Away." and "Music for Millions."

The popular 1945 musical "Anchors Away" opens with Iturbi conducting a Navy orchestra as they play the title tune, and the plot has Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly chasing Iturbi all over Hollywood trying to arrange an audition.

Jose Iturbi was the first first classical artist to sell a million records, and he was the first to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

[Click here to see a map of the mausoleum.]

Finally, before we go back outside, go back to the main entrance, to the chapel, and you'll find two celebrities interred in the chapel itself, up near the altar.

Just to the right side of the altar (when you are facing it) are the wall crypts of opera singer Mario Lanza and comic Joan Davis, which are right next to each other on the west-facing wall.

Mario Lanza (1921-1959) was the nation's favorite opera singer in the 1950's - appearing in a number of MGM musicals, such as "The Great Caruso." and  "The Student Prince" and selling millions of records to both classical and pop fans. (Coincidentally, he also starred in the 1949 movie "That Midnight Kiss" with none other than José Iturbi!) Mr. Lanza died a somewhat mysterious death in at age 37.

Joan Davis (1907-1961) was a very popular comic actress who appeared supporting roles in dozens of lightweight 20th Century Fox movies during the 30's & 40's, before moving on to a successful career on radio & TV. She is perhaps best remembered for her role in the 1950's TV sitcom, "I Married Joan,." in which she starred as Jim Backus' wife.

Wait! We're not finished yet.

Now it's time to leave the mausoleum and return to the outdoors, where we have more celebrity graves to discover.


Click here to go to the final page and find the graves of:

Rosalind Russell, Lawrence Welk, Vince Edwards, Dennis Day, Mary Frann, director John Ford, & singer Helen O'Connell.]

Continue the tour

[This is page three of a four page article. Click here to go to the first page.]

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