Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars

Part II
6001 W. Centinela Avenue,
Culver City, CA. / (310) 641-0707

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Surprisingly, another star of TV's "Bonanza" is also buried here, "Ben Cartwright" himself, Lorne Greene (1915-1987).

He is the one of the few stars at Hillside who is buried outside, in an actual grave (rather than above-ground, in a crypt or tomb).

To find Lorne's grave, when you're facing Michael Landon's room, just walk to your right (south) and follow the sidewalk along the back side of the mausoleum. You will find a grassy strip of lawn & graves behind the mausoleum (to your left). Lorne Greene's headstone is located near the center of this green lawn, it reads:

The world's best-loved father.
The great voice of Canada - finally stilled. But silenced never.
The dear voice of our living husband, father, and grandfather
will sing in our hearts forever.

A 1994 addition to Hillside was singer/actress Dinah Shore (1916-1994). Dinah was best known as a charming personality on her long-running TV talk show, but she also starred opposite Danny Kaye in his first movie, 1944's "Up in Arms."

You can find her crypt (V-147) in the Court of Books (Isaiah), just a few steps away from Lorne Greene's grave. When facing Lorne's grave, simply turn around and walk towards the wall of crypts; Dinah's tomb is located one row up from the bottom, two spaces to the right of the stained-glass doors leading into a courtyard.

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

Also on this same wall, in between Dinah and Michael Landon, in a bottom row crypt (V-136), is noted author Irving Wallace (1916-1990).

He sold over 250 million copies of 16 novels, many of which were made into movies, including "The Man," "The Chapman Report," "The Prize" and "The Seven Minutes."

A little farther along the wall (between Michael Landon and Irving Wallace) is the wall crypt of Max Factor (1887-1938), the most famous makeup artist in Hollywood, and his equally famous son of the same name, Max Factor Jr. (1904-1996), founders of Max Factor cosmetics.

Their  Max Factor Museum in Hollywood (housed in their original Art Deco salon) was closed the same year Max Jr. died, but the historic building is now home to the new Hollywood History Museum.

Mr. Factor even got his name in the city's unofficial anthem, "Hooray for Hollywood", with the lyrics:

      "But if you think that you can an actor
       See Mr. Factor, he'd make a monkey look good..."

Also on the same wall, just above eye-level, is the crypt of Hall of Famer Hammerin' Hank Greenberg (1911-1986), one of baseball's all-time greats. A lifelong Detroit Tiger, Greenberg led the majors in home runs for three years, led the league in RBI for three years, and was twice named the AL's Most Valuable Player (MVP).

He appeared in four World Series, slugged 58 home runs in 1938 (just short of Babe Ruth's record), and scored 144 runs that same year. He hit .348 and drove in 183 RBI in 1937. In the middle of a pennant race, he refused to play on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement - but his team went on to win the pennant, and Hank hit a home run in that year's World Series.

Out on the grass lawn in front of Hank Greenberg (and slightly to his left), is the grave of a man whose last name, Mellinger, you might not recognize. 

But you'll probably recognize his first name: "Frederick". Yes, as you might have guessed, this is the founder of "Frederick's of Hollywood", the renown vendor of what was once considered rather scandalous lingerie for ladies. 

At a time when most women's underwear was plain and simple, Frederick Mellinger built an empire on the simple idea of selling sexy undies, starting at a time (back in 1947) when such things were very hard to come by.

The original store was actually in Hollywood, a giant, garish purple building right on Hollywood Boulevard, which even contained a small museum of celebrity lingerie.

Frederick's left that flagship building in 2005, but by then, there were branches of Frederick's of Hollywood in most  local malls (there were 11 stores in the L.A. area alone).

Eventually, Frederick's closed all of its mall stores (outsold by rival Victoria's Secret, which used the same sexy formula, but in a more tasteful fashion), and is now based entirely out of its online website. (But that's appropriate, since Frederick Mellinger originally began by selling his flashy goods via catalog mail order.)

Nearby is producer/actor Sheldon Leonard (1907-1997), in lawn grave 6-1000-B, who started out as a coin-flipping tough guy in the movies. You may remember him as 'Nick the Bartender' in the Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life," or as a gambling mobster in "Guys & Dolls")

But he found his real success as a TV producer, giving us memorable shows such as "I Spy," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Real McCoys", "My Favorite Martian", "The Andy Griffith Show," "Mayberry RFD" and "Gomer Pyle, USMC."

On the hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory", the main characters of Sheldon (Cooper) and Leonard (Hofstadter) were reportedly named after Sheldon Leonard, as a posthumous salute, because the show's writers were fans of his work.

Sheldon LeonardYou'll find Sheldon Leonard's grave on the grass here, just four spaces to the right of Lorne Greene.

But you may not immediately recognize it. It reads "Bershad" across the top, not "Leonard.." Sheldon's name is located on the marker, but is in small letters down in the lower left corner. (See the photo)

On the wall, opposite Sheldon Leonard, is none other than Eydie Gormé (1928-2013).

Most people will remember Eydie as part of the singing duo Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme (also known as  'Steve and Eydie').

The husband & wife team met onEydie Gorme "The Tonight Show" in 1953, and the duo were frequent guests on that talk show and others.  They also hosted their own TV show in the late '50s, called "The Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gorme Show".

(You can watch them as the hosts of "The Hollywood Palace", here.)

Eydie had a gold record solo hit in 1963 with "Blame It On the Bossa Nova", and in 1960 (before the Beatles arrived and changed American pop forever), the duo won the Grammy Award for best group album.

Her crypt is two spaces up from the bottom, and three to the left of some stained glass windows.

Another minor star buried nearby is Selma Diamond (1920-1985), whom you may remember as the gravelly-voiced 'Selma Hacker' in the popular sitcom "Night Court." She was also a major comedy writer in her time.

You'll find her in the Courts of the Book, Jacob-I-4004.

To the left of Dinah Shore's crypt, you'll notice a doorway leading into an interior courtyard. Walk through this doorway, go past an interior hallway, and turn left at the first outside corner. On the wall of crypts there to your left, you'll find Selma's crypt five spaces to the right of the corner and four spaces up from the bottom. (You'll be facing the same direction as when you are looking at Lorne Greene's grave.)

Back in the mausoleum, in the Columbarium of Hope, #513, you'll find the ashes of funnyman Allan Sherman (1924-1973) whose best-known recording was "Camp Granada" ("Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah...")

From Jack Benny's crypt, just turn around and walk away from Jack, and turn right at the first small room you come to. Allan's niche is on the back wall, in the row immediately above the box of white pebbles, and four spaces to the right of that box. (See the photo.)

"This has been a Mark Goodson / Bill Todman Production..."

For three decades, TV viewers heard that line at the end of many of their favorite game shows.

Out near the road, just outside the main front doors of the mausoleum, is the large brown marble sarcophagus of producer Mark Goodson (1915-1992), half of the famous Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions, who gave us a long list of popular TV game shows such as "The Price Is Right," "The Match Game," "Family Feud," "Concentration," "Beat the Clock," "To Tell The Truth," "What's My Line," and "I've Got A Secret."

Also in the mausoleum (but a bit more difficult to find) is famed television producer Aaron Spelling (1923-2006) He ruled the airwaves during the 1970's and 80's and beyond, giving us such classic shows as "Dynasty," "Charlie's Angels," "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," "Hart to Hart", "Hotel", "Starsky & Hutch", and more recently "Beverly Hills 90210" (which starred his daughter, Tori Spelling, as 'Donna'), "Melrose Place," "Twin Peaks," "Charmed" and "7th Heaven".

He holds the Guinness Book World Record for being the "Most Prolific TV Drama Producer", with over 3,842 hours of television production.

Given this TV empire, it's not surprising that In 1991, Aaron Spelling built a mansion on Mapleton Drive in Beverly Hills that exceeded anything you might see on Dynasty. The home spread out over 56,000 square-feet, boasting 123 rooms. It cost $47 million to build, and was listed in 2006 for $150 million.

Like Jack Benny and Mark Goodson, he is buried in a large, marble sarcophagus (but this one is gray, not brown). From inside the main entrance, turn left (the opposite direction from Jack Benny), walk to the end of the hall, turn right and walk to the end of the hall, turn left again and you'll find his crypt right next to doors leading to the outside.

Next, we go on discover the graves of Milton Berle, Shelley Winters, and others.


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