Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hollywood Forever

Forget about the many Hollywood celebrities buried in this cemetery, I just loved watching the peacocks stroll among the tombstones! This is one of Los Angeles's oldest memorial parks, founded in 1899. Originally part of it was a dedicated Jewish burial ground. Upon first entering this cemetery the only grave sites we saw were the ones of Jewish families. We were told by another couple wandering the grounds that if we wanted to view the graves of the Hollywood stars, directors and producers buried here, we had to purchase a map of  the grave sites for $5.00 at a nearby florist shop. We had just finished our tour of Paramount Studio and walked over to the cemetery from there (the cemetery is adjacent to the studios, on the backside of them) and it was well past our lunch time. The sun was also high in the sky and it did not appeal to us to wander around in an area were there was little shade. Certainly all the celebrity graves would not be located in one area, so there was a lot of territory to cover if we did not purchase a map. We took a few minutes to wander around  the memorial park without a map and found one celebrity tombstone.
Remember Mel Blanc? He was "the man of  1000 voices".  He once admitted that it really was 850 voices. Mel Blanc was a voice actor and comedian, creating the voices of such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Tweedy Bird, and many others. Also buried in this cemetery are Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille, Peter Lorre, Douglas Fairbanks, and many others. Contrary to popular opinion, Jayne Mansfield is not buried here but back in Pennsylvania. Her fan club put a cenotaph for her in this memorial park, complete with an inaccurate birth date on the gravestone. She never wanted her age to be known.

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