The Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California is full of dead celebrities, but surprisingly, several stars are buried in unmarked graves.
Frank Zappa died from prostate cancer in 1993 and is located in Westwood Memorial park Section D, plot #100. Zappa was innovative and provocative musician, who later in life was an outspoken critic in the 1980’s fight against labeling music recordings with warning stickers about the lyrics. He was very vocal about the implications of censorship.
George C. Scott, University of Missouri graduate, former marine, and brilliant actor died on September 22, 1999 at the age of 71 from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and is buried in an unmarked grave next to Walter Mattheau. Musing upon fame and death, Scott said, “Funny, isn’t it? One minute you’re standing in the wings. Next minute, you’re wearing them.”
Find a Grave has a good overview and images of George C. Scott’s plot.
It’s surprising that such a great actor would rest in an unmarked grave, but George was known to be unpredictable on set and declined appearances at the Academy Awards, which he referred to the ceremony as a “two hour meat parade.”
Roy Orbison died in 1988 from a heart attack at his mothers house, and is located at plot #97, unmarked, also in Westwood. Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in addition to his success, he also knew tragedy up close and personal. He was widowed early in his first marriage when his wife was killed in a motorcycle crash, and then two years later lost two of his sons, when they died in a house fire.
Pierce Brothers Westwood Cemetery is star studded for sure, Marilyn Monroe’s crypt is the most visited, but Don Knotts, Mel Torme, Farah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Hugh Heffner, Merv Griffin, and so many more. It’s tricky to find, tucked in and overshadowed by tall office buildings. From the Final Taxi blog:
We took I-10 to Wilshire Blvd. and went up two blocks to Glendon. After turning right and going about two blocks it dead ended and we thought we were lost but on going back we saw what looked like an alley between the overshadowing buildings. There was a small iron gate with the Pierce Brothers Memorial Park sign on it. Suddenly we were in a small park with beautiful trees and flowers. It was like finding a small oasis in the middle of the city.
Pierce Brothers is a small cemetery which is hidden between office buildings on one side, and housing on the other. It is rather small, about 2 acres in size, but don’t let that fool you. There are many plot, mausoleums, and memorial plaques inside that small area.
Florence Lawrence, who appeared in almost 300 films and is considered to be Hollywood’s first movie star, rested in an unmarked grave at Hollywood Forever Cemetery for decades before actor Roddy McDowell purchased a marker for her grave. She was severely burned in a studio fire in 1915 while trying to rescue a fellow performer. After she recovered from her injuries, work was harder to find. Lawrence killed herself in 1938 by taking a dose of poison.
It’s never too late to plant a tree or place a personalized garden stone in your loved one’s honor. Even if you are scattering ashes, adding a discreet memorial stone and creating a sacred space to remember can be beneficial for the survivors.
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Find A Grave , George C Scott
Final Taxi, visit to Westwood Cemetery
Find A Grave, Roy Orbison
Way cool post Lenette! Love it!