A very small cemetery devoid of statuary and angels, wedged between high-rising buildings.
Yet, this densely pack memorial park is crammed with Hollywood Notables. The biggest tourist draw
is Marilyn Monroe.
We got there early, so I was
able to get a clear shot of her crypt, but by the time we left, the tourists
were stand three deep, completely blocking your view.
The slot to one side of Marilyn is vacant because it belongs to Hugh Hefner. The slot above her is also empty
but once belong to Richard F. Poncher. He once told his wife, “When I croak, if you don't put
me upside down over Marilyn, I'll haunt you the rest of your life." So, he was flipped in his coffin and placed in the crypt over Marilyn. However, after 23 years, his wife sold the crypt for $4.6 million to pay off her $1.6
million mortgage on their Beverly Hills home. Poncher has been moved to a different
location, but I bet he is still face down in his coffin.
The only mausoleum, belongs to
The Armand Hammer Family.
There are a few markers from the 20's and earlier.
The below 1906 marker was the oldest one I found.
There are several crypt alcoves like the one Marilyn is in and a few locked rooms like the one below.
Harry S Warren was an Academy Award winning composer and lyricist. His plaque shows the first few
notes of You’ll Never Know (Just How Much
I Love You).
Actor Lemmon, one of
Monroe’s co-stars in Some Like it Hot,
simply reads, “Jack Lemmon in.”
Karl Malden who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for A Streetcar Named Desire and One-Eyed Jacks, has a marker that plaintly states, " Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-grandfather."
Walter Matthau who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Fortune Cookie, also has a marker that makes no mention of his career. The same for Carroll O'Conner (All in the Family) and Farrah Fawcett (Charlie's Angels).
Darryl Zanuck and his wife Virginia had novelettes carved on
Cornel Wilde, nominated for Best Actor Academy Award in 1945.
Here’s a curiosity, Wikipedia says, “Kornél Lajos Weisz (his given name)was born in 1912 in Previdza, Hungary
(now Slovakia), although his year and place of birth are usually and
inaccurately given as 1915 in New York City.” Yet, his grave maker says, 1915.
Since he was buried 22 years before Wikipedia was born his children didn’t get
to read the footnote:“United States Census 1930;
Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1576; Page: 9B; Enumeration District:
1009; Image: 1057.0. This record dated April 9, 1930, gives Wilde's birthplace
as Hungary and his birth year as approximately 1912. Furthermore it indicates
his immigration to the U.S. in 1920.”
Viola Kates Stimpson was a 1920’s dancer/chorus girl who
returned to college in 1951 and became a classroom teacher for the LA public
schools until her retirement in 1971 when she returned to acting doing numerous
commercials, and small television and films roles.
Harry J. Essex, Screenwriter
of Creature From the Black Lagoon.
Jim Backus a radio, television, film and voice actor. He’s
best remembered as Thurston Howell the 3rd from Gilligan’s Island.
Kate Coscarelli was a best-selling fiction writer who died at
72 from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Loretta King Hadler starred in Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster.
Woodman of the World have been in most cemeteries I've visited.
This memorial park, founded in 1905, is smaller than a city
block but it’s jam-packed with plain folks and Hollywood Greats.
Founded in 1850 on
six acres and originally called Atlanta Cemetery it was expanded to 48 acres
and renamed in 1872 becoming the city’s first park.
Garden Cemeteries become popular
in the late 1800’s. They were a place where people gathered to spend a Sunday
afternoon, picnicking with family and friends.
Since Atlanta was a railroad
center, the Civil War brought thousands of ill and wounded to her doorstep for
The need to bury 7,000 causalities, lead to the rapid expansion of the main cemetery.
Just blocks from down
town, you get the view of more than one type of obelisk:
Victorians used the
size and expense of their final resting place to further advance their social
The Marsh family
mausoleum has two bronze urns cast at New York’s Gorham Foundry, the country’s
first art foundry.
Oakland has 55
mausoleums and thousands of memorials and statutes honoring the deceased.
Although he married twice and
had six children, he is the only one interred in this tomb. Most references
only talk to his real estate investments…they don’t mention his empire was
built by keeping the proceeds from selling a Plantation he had no legal
authority to control.
Jasper Newton Smith
This brick structure is a faux vault over a solider’s grave.
E. Taylor barrel vault
Tree motifs can be
found in most cemeteries, representing Woodmen of the World or Modern Woodmen
of America. An Insurance Society which provided grave markers.
Margaret Mitchell Marsh, author
of Gone With the Wind, is buried
Out in the Rain
Made by L.J.Mott Iron Works of
New York, this fountain is a replica of one unveiled at the 1876 U.S.
Centennial in Philadelphia. It cost the city $100 in 1913 but it’s restoration
in 2008 cost $10,000.
This image of Niobe, Greek mythology that personified grief, adorns the Gray plot. James R. Gray came to Atlanta in 1879 to practice law but ended up acquiring a controlling interest in the Atlanta Journal, serving as its president and editor until his death in 1881.
Dr. Fendall D.
Thurman and his bride Mary Glover Thurman arrived in Atlanta in 1855. His
dental practice made him one of the wealthiest pioneer families in the South.
Dr. Thurman died in 1896; their only child died at the age of five in 1865.
Mary lived alone with her maid and died a wealthy woman at the age of 87 in
1916. She was known as the Angle of Atlanta for giving her trophy flowers to
The Angle of Atlanta
One of the more unusually graves
belongs to Bobby Jones. First and only amateur golfer to win the grand slam:
the U.S.Open, the U.S.Amateur, the British Open and the British Amateur, all in
1930. His family made the plot into a putting green complete with a cup to putt
into. Golfers often pay tribute to him on their way to and from the Masters,
leaving signed golf balls or tees.
Although this feels like a Victorian
sculpture, it is a modern memorial from a loving husband, Gerald Fazzari to the
wife, Deborah Landis, he lost to breast cancer: