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Mapping the Stars at LA's Famous Forest Lawn Memorial Park

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When the founder of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale first came to see the site in the 1910s, San Fernando Road was "an unpaved road where vehicles mired down when it rained and sank deep in dust when it didn't," writes Ralph Hancock in his book The Forest Lawn Story. One of the earliest West Coast sellers of the pre-need burial plot, Forest Lawn grew under the guidance of its founder Hubert Eaton into what has famously been referred to as "Disneyland for the dead." (Appropriate then that Walt Disney ended up there.) The lush grounds, the churches that are copies of churches elsewhere, the emphasis on fine art and sculptures were all Eaton's idea, as he sought to make his cemetery a place that took the edge off of death for the surviving friends and family of the deceased.

Eaton saw himself as The Builder, according to Hancock, and believed that it was his duty to make Forest Lawn a place where people could celebrate the lives of those who have died; he came down hard on tombstones, which he saw as gloomy, and set his sights on making the "memorial park" a place of beauty. His idea, says Hancock, was that after all the plots were sold out, the place could still make some money by opening to the public, who, for a fee, could come and enjoy Forest Lawn's "art and architectural treasures."

Eaton's philosophy was lampooned in Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One, but the popularity of the cemetery with the rich and famous says that, ridiculous or not, it's a desirable place to end up. Forest Lawn is known among celebrity grave-seekers as very unfriendly to snoopers hoping to find Michael Jackson's tomb or take a picture next to Walt Disney's grave. Celebrity grave-finding website Seeing Stars notes that not only does the staff not help out by providing maps or verbal directions, but "they can be downright hostile at times" to celebrity grave hunters. Maybe the next best thing to getting yelled at by a Forest Lawn staffer for trying to find Clark Gable's final real estate is this map, showing where the biggest stars in the cemetery are eternally resting.

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1. Walt Disney

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

According to Seeing Stars, Walt's ashes and headstones are in a private, gated garden, where they are hidden behind a Little Mermaid statue. Image via Meribona

2. Michael Jackson

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Michael Jackson needs no introduction, but it's always fun to do it anyway. So we'll just say that the star of Disney's Captain Eo, the crooning wizard who upsets Eddie Murphy and inflames the passions of Iman in the Egyptian-themed video for his jam "Remember the Time," is eternally resting in a very private section of the Holly Terrace that is not open to the public. Image via Taph Madison

3. Aimee Semple McPherson

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Aimee Semple McPherson was the founder of the Foursquare Church, whose Angelus Temple is still up and running in Echo Park. An evangelist and a Canadian, Sister Aimee (as she was known) died in 1944, and is buried on the Sunrise Slope near the Great Mausoleum. Her grave is marked by a large monument, not too common in Forest Lawn. Image via Meribona

4. Jimmy Stewart

Copy Link
1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Jimmy Stewart is more than just that guy from It's a Wonderful Life. He is also that guy from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, and many Hitchcock movies, like Rear Window and Vertigo, and a World War II veteran. He's buried in a plot close to the Wee Kirk O' the Heather church. Image via Meribona

5. Elizabeth Taylor

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

The star of Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the face of White Diamonds perfume: Elizabeth Taylor is a legend. Taylor was known as much for her long roster of film credits as she was for having been married eight times. (Her last marriage ceremony took place at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.) Taylor is buried behind the In Memoria statue of an angel in the part of the Great Mausoleum that is actually open to the public, not far from "The Last Supper" window. Image via Taph Madison

6. Nat King Cole

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

It's not even Christmas yet, but here we are talking about Nat King Cole. A singer all the year round, Cole also made many appearances on TV and in movies. After his death in 1965, he was put to rest in the Freedom Mausoleum, in the Sanct of Heritage. Image via Alan Light

7. Errol Flynn

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

8. Dorothy Dandridge

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

Maybe best known as the first black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (for 1954's Carmen Jones, a take on the opera Carmen), Dandridge was an actress, dancer, and singer. Her ashes are interred in a section of the Freedom Mausoleum called the Columbarium of Victory. Image via Wildhartlivie

9. Spencer Tracy

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Actor Spencer Tracy starred in such classics as the original Father of the Bride, Boys Town, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and Desk Set (alongside his long-time lover Katharine Hepburn). Tracy died in 1967 and is buried in a quiet garden corner near the Freedom Mausoleum that just says "Tracy" on a plaque on the wall. Image via Kafziel Complaint Department

10. Sam Cooke

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Pioneering soul singer/songwriter Sam Cooke sang "You Send Me," "A Change Is Gonna Come," and "Another Saturday Night." He also died under odd circumstances, wearing just a jacket and his shoes, in the manager's office of a hotel in what would be Vermont Vista in present-day South LA. He's buried in the super-private, walled Garden of Honor. Image via Taph Madison

11. L. Frank Baum

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

The fellow who brought us timeless American classic The Wizard of Oz was also an advocate for both women's suffrage and the extermination of Native Americans. Baum is buried to the west of the Great Mausoleum, in a spot marked by a hefty tombstone. Image via Gregorius24

12. Sammy Davis Jr.

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Definitely the funnest member of the Rat Pack, Sammy Davis Jr. was known to refer to himself as "the only black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed, Jewish entertainer in the world." He died in 1990 and is buried in the Garden of Honor, which is basically never open to the public. Image via Taph Madison

13. Jean Harlow

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Made famous by a role in Howard Hughes's Hell's Angels, Harlow was THE platinum blonde bombshell, rocketing to the peak of her fame in the 1930s. Harlow's signature feature, her white-blond hair, was achieved with great literal pain, via weekly treatments that sometimes used actual bleach and ammonia, which most people know now create a toxic gas when combined. She died at 26 in 1937 under mysterious circumstances and is buried in the first wing of the Sanctuary of the Benediction. Image via Taph Madison

14. Theda Bara

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Theda Bara may not have been a household name since, like, 1915, but she created a whole type of screen star in the early days of film: the vamp—"a woman so cruelly attractive that she could ensnare any man, exploit him, trample him, and walk away with an enormous grin on her face." She's buried in the Great Mausoleum, in the Columbarium of Memory. Image via Taph Madison

15. Clark Gable

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Clark Gable (and his giant ears) was once one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. Famous for his role in Gone With the Wind, he died in 1960 and is buried next to his third wife, Carole Lombard, in the Sanctuary of Trust of the Great Mausoleum. Image via Taph Madison

16. Carole Lombard

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Carole Lombard was a comedian, an in-demand actress during the 1930s, and the third wife of Clark Gable. She died when a plane she was riding in crashed into the side of a mountain in Nevada. She's buried right next to Gable. Image via Taph Madison

17. Louis L'Amour

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

A prolific writer of Westerns, Louis L'Amour was the first novelist to be given a Congressional Medal of Honor. Many of his novels and short stories became films starring guys like John Wayne, Sam Elliott, and Tom Selleck. L'Amour died in 1988 and his grave is visible from the western side of the walkway leading to the Great Mausoleum from the nearby parking lot. Image via Meribona

18. William Wrigley Jr.

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

The chewing gum mogul William Wrigley Jr. owned the Chicago Cubs, Catalina Island, and the Pasadena mansion that's now used as the headquarters for the Tournament of Roses Parade. Wrigley died in 1932 and was buried on Catalina Island (the memorial where he was buried still stands on the island), but was moved to Glendale in 1947. Some say that his body was moved out of wartime fears that his grave would be bombed, but the move didn't happen until after the war was over, so that doesn't seem too likely. He's buried in the Great Mausoleum, in the Sanctuary of Gratitude.

19. George Burns and Gracie Allen

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1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

The husband-and-wife comedy duo behind the long-running George Burns and Gracie Allen Show died more than 30 years apart, but are buried next to each other. (Burns was said to visit Allen's grave every month after her death.) Their shared tomb in the Freedom Mausoleum's Sanctuary of Heritage reads "Gracie Allen. George Burns. Together Again." Image via Wildhartlivie

20. Clara Bow

Copy Link
1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205
(800) 204-3131
Visit Website

Actress Clara Bow embodied flapper ideals and was an incredibly busy actress through the 1920s. She started to fall out of favor in the 1930s, and the addition of sound to films showcased her then-undesirable Brooklyn accent. She eventually left Hollywood and moved to Nevada with her husband, Rex Bell, also an actor. She's buried in the Freedom Mausoleum's Sanctuary of Heritage. Image via Taph Madison

1. Walt Disney

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

According to Seeing Stars, Walt's ashes and headstones are in a private, gated garden, where they are hidden behind a Little Mermaid statue. Image via Meribona

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

2. Michael Jackson

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Michael Jackson needs no introduction, but it's always fun to do it anyway. So we'll just say that the star of Disney's Captain Eo, the crooning wizard who upsets Eddie Murphy and inflames the passions of Iman in the Egyptian-themed video for his jam "Remember the Time," is eternally resting in a very private section of the Holly Terrace that is not open to the public. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

3. Aimee Semple McPherson

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Aimee Semple McPherson was the founder of the Foursquare Church, whose Angelus Temple is still up and running in Echo Park. An evangelist and a Canadian, Sister Aimee (as she was known) died in 1944, and is buried on the Sunrise Slope near the Great Mausoleum. Her grave is marked by a large monument, not too common in Forest Lawn. Image via Meribona

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

4. Jimmy Stewart

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Jimmy Stewart is more than just that guy from It's a Wonderful Life. He is also that guy from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, and many Hitchcock movies, like Rear Window and Vertigo, and a World War II veteran. He's buried in a plot close to the Wee Kirk O' the Heather church. Image via Meribona

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

5. Elizabeth Taylor

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

The star of Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the face of White Diamonds perfume: Elizabeth Taylor is a legend. Taylor was known as much for her long roster of film credits as she was for having been married eight times. (Her last marriage ceremony took place at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.) Taylor is buried behind the In Memoria statue of an angel in the part of the Great Mausoleum that is actually open to the public, not far from "The Last Supper" window. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

6. Nat King Cole

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

It's not even Christmas yet, but here we are talking about Nat King Cole. A singer all the year round, Cole also made many appearances on TV and in movies. After his death in 1965, he was put to rest in the Freedom Mausoleum, in the Sanct of Heritage. Image via Alan Light

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

7. Errol Flynn

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205
1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

8. Dorothy Dandridge

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Maybe best known as the first black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (for 1954's Carmen Jones, a take on the opera Carmen), Dandridge was an actress, dancer, and singer. Her ashes are interred in a section of the Freedom Mausoleum called the Columbarium of Victory. Image via Wildhartlivie

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

9. Spencer Tracy

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Actor Spencer Tracy starred in such classics as the original Father of the Bride, Boys Town, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and Desk Set (alongside his long-time lover Katharine Hepburn). Tracy died in 1967 and is buried in a quiet garden corner near the Freedom Mausoleum that just says "Tracy" on a plaque on the wall. Image via Kafziel Complaint Department

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

10. Sam Cooke

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Pioneering soul singer/songwriter Sam Cooke sang "You Send Me," "A Change Is Gonna Come," and "Another Saturday Night." He also died under odd circumstances, wearing just a jacket and his shoes, in the manager's office of a hotel in what would be Vermont Vista in present-day South LA. He's buried in the super-private, walled Garden of Honor. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

11. L. Frank Baum

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

The fellow who brought us timeless American classic The Wizard of Oz was also an advocate for both women's suffrage and the extermination of Native Americans. Baum is buried to the west of the Great Mausoleum, in a spot marked by a hefty tombstone. Image via Gregorius24

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

12. Sammy Davis Jr.

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Definitely the funnest member of the Rat Pack, Sammy Davis Jr. was known to refer to himself as "the only black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed, Jewish entertainer in the world." He died in 1990 and is buried in the Garden of Honor, which is basically never open to the public. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

13. Jean Harlow

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Made famous by a role in Howard Hughes's Hell's Angels, Harlow was THE platinum blonde bombshell, rocketing to the peak of her fame in the 1930s. Harlow's signature feature, her white-blond hair, was achieved with great literal pain, via weekly treatments that sometimes used actual bleach and ammonia, which most people know now create a toxic gas when combined. She died at 26 in 1937 under mysterious circumstances and is buried in the first wing of the Sanctuary of the Benediction. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

14. Theda Bara

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Theda Bara may not have been a household name since, like, 1915, but she created a whole type of screen star in the early days of film: the vamp—"a woman so cruelly attractive that she could ensnare any man, exploit him, trample him, and walk away with an enormous grin on her face." She's buried in the Great Mausoleum, in the Columbarium of Memory. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

15. Clark Gable

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Clark Gable (and his giant ears) was once one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. Famous for his role in Gone With the Wind, he died in 1960 and is buried next to his third wife, Carole Lombard, in the Sanctuary of Trust of the Great Mausoleum. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

16. Carole Lombard

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Carole Lombard was a comedian, an in-demand actress during the 1930s, and the third wife of Clark Gable. She died when a plane she was riding in crashed into the side of a mountain in Nevada. She's buried right next to Gable. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

17. Louis L'Amour

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

A prolific writer of Westerns, Louis L'Amour was the first novelist to be given a Congressional Medal of Honor. Many of his novels and short stories became films starring guys like John Wayne, Sam Elliott, and Tom Selleck. L'Amour died in 1988 and his grave is visible from the western side of the walkway leading to the Great Mausoleum from the nearby parking lot. Image via Meribona

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

18. William Wrigley Jr.

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

The chewing gum mogul William Wrigley Jr. owned the Chicago Cubs, Catalina Island, and the Pasadena mansion that's now used as the headquarters for the Tournament of Roses Parade. Wrigley died in 1932 and was buried on Catalina Island (the memorial where he was buried still stands on the island), but was moved to Glendale in 1947. Some say that his body was moved out of wartime fears that his grave would be bombed, but the move didn't happen until after the war was over, so that doesn't seem too likely. He's buried in the Great Mausoleum, in the Sanctuary of Gratitude.

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

19. George Burns and Gracie Allen

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

The husband-and-wife comedy duo behind the long-running George Burns and Gracie Allen Show died more than 30 years apart, but are buried next to each other. (Burns was said to visit Allen's grave every month after her death.) Their shared tomb in the Freedom Mausoleum's Sanctuary of Heritage reads "Gracie Allen. George Burns. Together Again." Image via Wildhartlivie

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205

20. Clara Bow

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Actress Clara Bow embodied flapper ideals and was an incredibly busy actress through the 1920s. She started to fall out of favor in the 1930s, and the addition of sound to films showcased her then-undesirable Brooklyn accent. She eventually left Hollywood and moved to Nevada with her husband, Rex Bell, also an actor. She's buried in the Freedom Mausoleum's Sanctuary of Heritage. Image via Taph Madison

1712 S Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91205