The 60-acre Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of those great, uniquely Los Angeles places with its beautiful grounds, monuments to forgotten and famous film stars, and movie screenings in the summer packed with hipsters. The LA Times's Larry Harnisch talked to Hollywood Forever tour guide Karie Bible (real name) to uncover her secrets:
-- She was born on Halloween and gives tours in a "1940s-style black dress, retro sunglasses and lacy black parasol," because she is really freaking good at her job.
-- As a kid, she was fascinated by Civil War battlefields and horror films: "I didn't like Barbie, but I loved Bela Lugosi andBoris Karloff."
-- Every year on August 23, the anniversary of Rudolph Valentino's death, she dresses up as a Lady in Black--there were multiple Ladies in Black known to visit Valentino's crypt religiously.
-- In fact, Valentino's grave (he died in 1926) is still "the most celebrated, visited and talked-about." People like to kiss it and leave lipstick prints. She compares his death to Michael Jackson's for the Justin Bieber crowd.
-- She's constantly researching, which includes interviewing the families of the cemetery's dead film stars.
-- She once ran into Anjelica Huston "tending the grave of her father, John."
-- People sometimes leave plastic fangs at the headstone of actress Maila Nurmi, better known as Vampira.
-- She's not just a celebrity-worshiper: "I really endeavor to humanize these people," she said. "They're not just tabloid fodder. They are real flesh-and-blood people who lived and walked the earth and mattered."
-- Visitors trust Kenneth Anger more than they trust her sometimes: "I had a lady on my tour who kept correcting me in front of everybody. She'd say, 'That's not what's was written in "Hollywood Babylon."'"
· Cemetery tour guide loves her dead-end job [LAT]