Hollywood Forever Cemetery might seem an odd place to some. After all, burial grounds usually thought of as tourist attractions. But Hollywood Forever Cemetery is more than just a place for tourists to gather around and look at the final resting place of their favorite stars. It’s a way for the friends and families of celebrities to honor lost ones who were close friends as well as stars.
Naturally, Hollywood Forever Cemetery filled with countless legends, including actors, musicians, and directors. On the surface, it’s a respectful way to honor those who made it their job to entertain others. But beneath this facade, Hollywood Forever Cemetery also hides a dark past. Previous owners have viewed the cemetery as little more than a way to make money. And have engaged in all sorts of scandals including money laundering and tax evasion, among others. Still, Hollywood Forever Cemetery remains a great place for people to pay respect to the Hollywood stars they’ve looked up to all their lives. As well as a way for those in showbusiness laid to rest alongside fellow acting enthusiasts.
In today’s video, we’re going to unpack the dark history surrounding Hollywood Forever Cemetery. As well as take a look at some of the most famous celebrities who’ve laid to rest in its grounds. Make sure you stick around, though, because we’re going to reveal one odd outlier whose final resting place is in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A famous gangster who died just as violently as he lived!
Judy Garland and Terry
Judy Garland not originally buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. But her close remaining family members had her remains moved to a special pavilion, called the Judy Garland Pavilion, so they could “bring her home to her Hollywood.” Her children, Liza Minelli, Joe Luft, and Lorna Luft all felt that this is what their mother wanted. And held a tearful ceremony as her remains laid at their final resting place.
Another member of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is Terry. The dog most famous for portraying Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Terry actually buried on her family’s ranch after her death. But unfortunately the site excavated due to construction in 1958. And her grave lost forever. Thankfully, some people at Hollywood Forever Cemetery determined to give Terry the memorial she deserved. And erected a bronze statue in her honor.
Bugsy Siegel is one of the most bizarre and most interesting people laid to rest in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A notorious mobster may not seem the most intuitive choice for a cemetery of Hollywood celebrities. But he actually highly influential. He actually a huge reason why the Las Vegas Strip was built in the first place. And his handsome, charismatic nature meant he became a huge celebrity despite his work as a gambler, prohibition smuggler, and hitman.
Siegel was also a favorite among many Hollywood celebrities. And became close friends with many stars, including Clark Gable and Cary Grant. Like many mobsters, his wealth and influence likely helped many stars find fame. Which was a huge reason for his popularity. He was eventually shot and killed, and later buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Mickey Rooney was highly beloved for his various talents, including acting, singing, dancing, and comedy. He had a charismatic stage presence, and was beloved by millions of fans. In real life, however, he struggled with alcohol addiction and financial difficulties. He also remarried a total of eight times, and had tumultuous relationships.
Rooney was one of the greatest Hollywood stars to have ever lived. And he worked in over three hundred films, including Babes in Arms, Boys Town, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He lived and breathed show business, having appeared in his first short film at the tender age of seven. He continued to act right up until his death. His final film appearance was Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which was released after his death. He was laid to rest at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where he rests beside many former co-stars, including Judy Garland.
Burt Reynolds is a huge cultural icon of America, and his rugged good looks also meant he was a huge sex symbol. While he often graced the screen as an actor, appearing in films and television shows like Gunsmoke, Smokey and the Bandit, and, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, he also earned fame for his work as a director and producer. He won several Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards for his work, and was even nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film Boogie Nights.
Burt Reynolds had a long and prolific career that lasted from 1958 to 2018, and he spent his last days doing what he loved by continuing to work in showbusiness. Sadly, he died on September 6th, 2018, when he was 82 years old.
Hattie McDaniel famously played the role of Mammy in the award-winning film Gone With the Wind. Her stunning performance made her the first black actor to ever win an Oscar. And she’s delighted to receive Best Supporting Actress for Gone with the Wind in 1940. Sadly, however, her legacy marred by terrible racism. Firstly, she’s not even allowed to sit with her fellow actors at the Oscars ceremony due to racial discrimination.
Before her death, she expressed a desire to laid to rest at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which known as Hollywood Memorial Park at the time. She denied her wish, however, because even the cemetery racially segregated, and instead buried in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles.
More recently, however, newer owners have tried to right past wrongs. They erected a memorial dedicated to Hattie McDaniel as a way to honor one of her final wishes.
Unfortunately, Hollywood Forever Cemetery has still gone through many other trials and tribulations. Make sure you stick around until the very end, because we’re going to reveal the horrific mismanagement that led to several scandals. And if you’re enjoying this video so far, please take a moment to like this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!
While most people wouldn’t be able to recognize Mel Blanc’s face, they’d be able to recognize his voice anywhere. This legendary actor was the voice behind Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and most other characters from Looney Tunes. He also voice acted characters on The Flintstones, and The Jetsons, among other shows. He was one of the most versatile voice actors out there, and aspiring voice actors all over the world look up to him to this day. He’s so good at his job with nicknamed “The man of a thousand voices.”
Mel Blanc was also a well-known radio show personality, which is actually how he got his start before working as a voice actor during the golden age of Hollywood.
Many of the celebrities on this list were famous actors, but the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is also the final resting place for many musicians. In fact, two members of the famous punk band The Ramones, Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone, both laid to rest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Surprisingly, the two do not buried next to one another. But they are one of the most popular graves that tourist visited.
Charles Chaplin Jr.
Charles Chaplin Jr. was born to two famous actors, Lita Grey and, of course, Charlie Chaplin. He had a hard time following in his father’s footsteps, but made a name for himself during the 1950s, when he became renowned for his own acting work. He appeared in a total of 13 films, but died at age 42 of a pulmonary embolism. He buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with his grandmother, Lillian Carrillo Curry Grey.
Rudolph Valentino is one of those legendary celebrities who died at a tragically young age. This Italian actor did most of his acting work in America, and well known for his work in silent films such as The Sheik, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and The Eagle. He was a sex symbol during the 1920s, and his death at age 31 so sudden and unexpected that it caused mass hysteria. He hospitalized and found to be suffering from appendicitis and gastric ulcers. While the doctors operated immediately, they were unable to save him, and fans all over the world wept at his death. Today, he is one of the most famous celebrities at the cemetery. Not for his life’s work, but because his grave is said to haunted by a woman cloaked in black that wanders around his burial site at night.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Dark Past
Despite the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s popularity and fame, it suffered from a dark and tragic past. It originally 100 acres large when it founded in 1899, and it first named Hollywood Cemetery. A large portion of this cemetery purchased by RKO Studios, and a man named Jules Roth put a 51 percent stake on the property in 1939. However, he grossly mismanaged funds. He claimed to purchase a boat in order to scatter ashes, but instead used the funds to purchase a party boat. Later, it discovered that his office filled with urns whose ashes he had not scattered. He spent most of his time partying and spending lavish amounts of money, and the cemetery fell into disrepair. He also refused to allow people of color to buried on the site.
New owners took over the cemetery, but they later arrested for money laundering and other illegal practices just to keep the cemetery afloat. Thankfully, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is in good hands now, and remains a popular attraction for Hollywood tourists.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery has had a lot of scandals throughout the years, but it seems to be on its feet now. Do you think that the cemetery is a good way to honor celebrities who’ve passed away, or do you think it’s more of a tourist trap? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!