Valhalla Memorial Park: Stars' Graves



Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars

Pierce Bros.

10621 Victory Boulevard,
North Hollywood, CA. / (818) 763-9121

There are only a handful of celebrities buried here at Valhalla.

The most notable is Oliver Hardy, half of the famous comedy team "Laurel & Hardy."

(His slimmer partner in comedy, Stan Laurel, is buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.)

But you can also find Bea Benaderet (1906-1966) here, the actress who played the mother on TV's "Petticoat Junction", 'Cousin Pearl' on "The Beverly Hillbillies," and did the voice of 'Betty Rubble' on "The Flintstones".

Her wall crypt is in the Mausoleum of Hope, on the west side of the park. But if you look for her as Bea Benaderet, you probably won't find her. Her marker reads "Twombly" in large letters at the top, with her name in smaller letters on the left side.

(Her 'Uncle Joe' on "Petticoat Junction" is buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.)

Another familiar sitcom star is buried here at Valhalla. If you're a fan of "The Andy Griffith Show," you'll remember 'Miss Crump,' Opie's teacher, who was also Andy's girlfriend, 'Helen'. The actress' real name was Aneta Corsaut (1933-1995), I haven't found her grave yet, but I'm told that it's "in the north central area of the cemetery." Few realize she also had a key role as Steve McQueen's girlfriend in the 1958 horror classic "The Blob."

( In case you're wondering about other Mayberry citizens, 'Otis' (the town drunk) is buried out at Woodlawn in Santa Monica. 'Floyd the barber' is buried in the huge National military cemetery near UCLA.  And 'Barney' is buried at Pierce Bros Westwood.

The rest are out-of-state: Both 'Aunt Bea' and Andy are buried, appropriately enough, in North Carolina. 'Goober' is buried in Alabama, while 'Gomer' was cremated in Hawaii.

Plus, the most famous pro-wrestler of wrestling's Golden Age is also here.

The flamboyant "Gorgeous George" Wagner (1915-1963), can be found in plot 6657, near the northeast side of the fountain.

Also buried here is the voice of "Jiminy Cricket." in Walt Disney's animated film "Pinocchio" : Cliff ("Ukulele Ike") Edwards (1895-1971). His endearing rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star." still echoes today through the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland. His grave is on the far north side of the cemetery, under a tree, northeast of the fountain.

And so is actress Gail Russell (1924-1961), wife of actor Guy Madison ("Wild Bill Hiccock"), and co-star of several John Wayne movies, including "Wake of the Red Witch." (1948) and. "Angel and the Badman" (1947). Her grave is somewhere on the northeast side of the cemetery.

"The Last Stooge," Curly-Joe De Rita (1909-1993) can also be found here. When the original "Curly" Howard (of the Three Stooges) died, he was replaced in the trio by his brother Shemp. When Shemp died, he was replaced by Joe Besser ("Oooh, you crazy!"). Finally, when Joe Besser left the group, he was replaced by "Curly Joe " De Rita, who stayed with the trio until it dissolved (with the death of leader Moe Howard). His grave is located near the southern entrance, on the east side of the lawn there.

Finally, there's the famous, white-haired psychic Criswell (his full name: Charles Criswell King, 1907-1982), known for his early TV show "Criswell Predicts." In fact, the marker on his wall crypt reads "Criswell Predicts." above his name. One of his other claims to fame was that he narrated what many believe to be the worst movie of all time: "Plan 9 From Outer Space." His wall crypt is located north of Bea Benaderet's.

I've only paid one visit to Valhalla, and I can tell you that locating graves there isn't easy. The only one I managed to find on that brief visit was Oliver Hardy (1892-1957). His grave is located in a section south of the huge fountain.

Look for the curb number 1069, which is right next to a low stone wall with the words "Garden of Hope" on the wall. Behind this wall is a small urn garden filled with tiny markers, where Oliver's remains are buried. His small marker is four rows up from the bottom, and five markers to the right (of the left wall). But Olly also has a large plaque on the inside (garden side) of the low stone wall, which is more impressive than his actual marker.

Hours: Daily: 7:30 AM to Sunset.

Getting there: Valhalla is located just east of Western Costume Company and south of the Burbank Airport in the San Fernando Valley, a few miles north of Universal Studios Hollywood. / From Universal Studios, take Lankershim Boulevard northwest (about a mile and a quarter) to Vineland Avenue. Turn right (north), on Vineland, and go about two miles north to Victory Boulevard. Turn right (east) on Victory about six blocks, and the Valhalla will be on your left (north) side.

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