Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars

Part IV
6300 Forest Lawn Drive,
Los Angeles, CA. / (323) 254-7251 or (818) 984-1711

[This is a multi-page article. Click here to go to page one.]

OK, now head back to the Liberace sarcophagus. While facing it, , turn to your right (and slightly behind you) and you'll see an opening and walkway leading south. Go through that doorway, down some steps, and you'll come out in another garden area south of the main Courts of Remembrance area.

Now, look across its grassy lawn diagonally (to the southeast), and you'll see the doorway to another columbarium: the Columbarium of Valor. (See the photo to the upper left)

Inside, you'll find the niche of veteran character actor Leon Ames (1902-1993) - who was usually cast in the movies as someone's dignified father.

He starred as Judy Garland's father in "Meet Me in St. Louis", as Doris Day's father in the musicals "On Moonlight Bay" & "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," and as the father of Janet Leigh, June Allyson & Elizabeth Taylor in "Little Women". He also appeared as a paternal figure in the movies "Peyton Place," "Son of Lassie" and "Peggy Sue Got Married."

Leon Ames was cremated and his ashes are in niche-G #64429. When you walk in the door, his niche is on the wall facing you, three spaces to the left of the statue's head. [See a Map]

Also in this room is actor McLean Stevenson (1929-1996), the gentle comic actor who played 'Colonel Henry Blake' on the popular TV sitcom "M*A*S*H." He also starred as the father of two teenage girls in another TV sitcom, "Hello, Larry."

His niche (#G64660) is located on the right wall (when you are coming in the doorway), two spaces to the left of the right corner, but unfortunately it's also 11 spaces up from the bottom (three down from the top), which makes his marker difficult to read.

And just to the right of the doorway (when you're coming in) is another star, Brad Davis (1949-1991).

You may not recognize his name, but if you saw the popular 1978 film "Midnight Express," you'll remember him as 'Billy Hayes' the young man arrested for possession of drugs and sentenced to a nightmarish Turkish prison. Or you you may remember him as the American runner ' in 1981 movie "Chariots of Fire," or as Robert Kennedy in the TV miniseries "Robert Kennedy & His Times," or as 'Ol' George Johnson' in the original "Roots."

Alas, he died in 1991 at age 41, of AIDS. Davis, who (according to his wife) was heterosexual, contracted the virus back in the 70's earlier from a dirty heroin needle. His tragic story is told in the book "After Midnight: The Life and Death of Brad Davis'' by his widow, Susan Bluestein Davis.

His niche (#G64054) is located on the north wall, three spaces in from the doorway, and four spaces up from the bottom. Click on the photo to the right to see the room. [Click here to see a map of the room]

Back outside, walk all the way back out to the front entrance of the Court of Remembrance, to the Bette Davis sarcophagus. Facing Bette Davis, turn right and walk south (past the second sarcophagus) to the very end of the wall of crypts, and then turn left (east) and go around the corner.

On your left hand side, the wall of crypts continues, and here you'll find the grave of  singer Lou Rawls (1933-2006).

Looking at the wall, you'll notice immediately that it is a mostly white marble wall, but that there is a large rectangle of dark green (almost black) marble about ten spaces in from the corner. Lou Rawls' crypt is a white marble one, but right on the (left) edge of the dark green marble rows, and three spaces up from the bottom. It has a large, very nice marker, so you can't miss it.

Lou Rawls is probably best known today for the song "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine", which topped the charts back in 1976. He also had a big hit with the song "Lady Love". Its hard to forget Lou's smooth baritone voice, once you've heard it. Rawls was surprisingly versatile, earning Grammy nominations in the diverse categories of Pop, Jazz, R&B, and even Children's (for his contributions to the "Garfield" TV specials). He sold more than 40 million records over his lifetime and over 60 albums; he won three Grammy awards, five gold albums, one platinum album, and was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

[Click here to see a map of the Courts of Remembrance area.]

From Lou Rawls' crypt, look to your far right - across the lawn to the southeast - and you'll see another wall of crypts (at a right angle to Lou's wall) which faces the west. There, you will find the grave of another singer, who reached even greater heights on the pop charts during his brief life.

Andy Gibb (1958-1988) - the youngest brother of the Bee Gees, became an overnight sensation during the Disco era, at a time when his brothers' group was dominating the airwaves with their "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack.

Andy had a string of huge solo hits during the late 1970's, which included "Shadow Dancing," "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water," "Everlasting Love," and "I Just Want to Be Your Everything."

Alas, Andy left us far too early. Having abused drugs and alcohol heavily in the past, he swore off it when he had his 30th birthday, but it was too late. He died of a sudden heart infection just five days later.

Andy Gibb's wall crypt is located two spaces up from the bottom (right above Glen E. Miller), eight markers to the right (south) of where that wall turns a small corner (near its middle). The crypt number is #2534.

The simple bronze plaque reads:

March 5, 1958 - March 10, 1988.
"An Everlasting Love"

(That phrase at the bottom is the title of the 1978 hit song by Andy.)

Out on the grass in front of the Courts of Remembrance (east of the main steps, across the street), you can find funnyman Ernie Kovacs' (1919-1962) grave, near the center of the west lawn (in a grassy section across the road from the Bette Davis tomb, listed on the park map simply as "Remembrance").

But the grave of the comic genius is difficult to locate, semi-lost in a sea of other markers on the large, oval-shaped lawn.

A fan (Ron B.) recommends that the best way to find the spot is to walk toward the oval green lawn directly from the steps from the "Court of Remembrance", cross the street, step on the grass of this oval lawn - then just count 24 rows down and go to the very middle of that row.

If you find it, you'll see that it bears a reproduction of Ernie's signature, and the appropriate words: "nothing in moderation."

Ernie's wife, singer/actress Edie Adams, is buried two spaces to the left (with their daughter in between).

Also in a lawn grave, but across the road, to the southeast, is actor Lee Van Cleef (1925-1989), best known for his villainous roles in countless Westerns.

His best remembered role was as the heavy "Angel Eyes" in "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" (1966), opposite Clint Eastwood, and a host of other spaghetti Westerns. (He actually played a good guy for a change in "For a Few Dollars More".)

The location on the lawn is tricky to describe (perhaps 25 yards southwest of Lou Rawls), so click here to see the location on a map.

On the lawn to the north of the Court of Remembrance, in the Homeward section (Lot 4690, Space 1), is the (currently unmarked) grave of actor Michael Ansara (1922–2013), who starred as the noble Apache chief 'Cochise' in the hit 1950s TV Western, "Broken Arrow".  (You can see a clip from it here.)

However, today he may be best remembered for his role in the "Star Trek" TV series as the Klingon leader, 'Kang'.  He first appeared in the original ST series, but also showed up later (with Kang now a Klingon elder) in both "Deep Space 9" and "Voyager".

He and actress Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie") were married for 17 years.  They had a son, Michael, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2001.

Now, let's leave the Court of Remembrance, and move on to another part of the park...

Continue the virtual tour of Forest Lawn Hollywood


and discover the graves of stars like Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel,
Telly Savalas, William Conrad and John Ritter...

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