FAMOUS GRAVE TOUR – Woodlawn (Glenn Ford, Barbara Billingsley, etc.)


Welcome to Hollywood Graveyard, where we
set out to remember and celebrate the lives of those who lived to entertain u,s
by visiting their final resting places. Today we head out to Santa Monica to
explore Woodlawn Cemetery, where we’ll find such stars as Glenn Ford, Barbara
Billingsley, and Harvey Korman, and many more. Join us, won’t you? Woodland Cemetery
is owned and operated by the city of Santa Monica, and has served the
community for over a century. It’s a relatively small Cemetery located just
about a mile from beautiful Santa Monica beach and pier. The centerpiece of the
cemetery is the historic mausoleum. Built in 1922 it was one of the first public
mausoleums in Southern California. Its architecture was inspired by early
Spanish California. The corridors feature marble imported from Italy, and are
decorated with statues, stained-glass windows, and paintings by renowned
muralist Hugo Ballin, who is entombed herein. Much of the mausoleum is kept
quite dimly lit, which makes for pretty dramatic lighting and a somewhat eerie
ambiance, if that’s your thing. But the low lighting also serves to allow the
stained-glass windows to shine in all their colorful glory. The mausoleum has three floors, mostly wall crypts but also a number of
columbaria with glass front niches. On the grounds are two sections dedicated
to fraternal orders. Across from the mausoleum is the Elks section. The
Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks was founded in the 1860s in New
York, with lodges now across the country. It’s an organization that strives to
serve people and communities through benevolent programs. A number of
Hollywood stars were or are Elks, including Clint Eastwood and Jack Benny. Behind the mausoleum is another section dedicated to a Fraternal Order:
Freemasonry. Stars like Gene Autry and Harry Houdini were Masons. The graves in
this section are arranged in such a way that when viewed from high above they
form the Masonic symbol. There are also a number of war memorials across the
grounds. There’s one here to the Civil War. And next to the mausoleum is this
Commemorative Wall, honoring the local fallen from all the wars from World War
One, World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Iraq. Woodlawn has a number of community events and programs throughout the year,
for Memorial Day, Dia de los Muertos, and even Living History Tours. Speaking of tours, let’s get on with ours. Our first stop is just in from the
entrance on the right, in section 1. A few rows from the road is Henry Cuesta.
If you’re a fan of Lawrence Welk you’ll recognize Cuesta as the oft-featured clarinet player on Welk’s show, a role he played for a decade. [music] He was a popular performer with other artists like Benny Goodman and Mel Torme. Continuing up Delaware Avenue we stop just before Eternal Meadow, at section 17
on the left. About three-quarters of the way in as a small tree in bench in front
of which we find actress Cathy Downs. She is perhaps best remembered for playing
the title role in the 1946 film My Darling Clementine, alongside Henry Fonda
and Victor Mature. She became quite popular in the late 40s, but her career slowed in the 50s, landing roles in smaller B and sci-fi films, like The Amazing Colossal Man. She was just 50 when she died of cancer. Let’s cross to
the next section East, section 18. Two rows in, further north, is the grave of
Bud Duncan. The diminutive silent film star, who stood at just 4’11,
performed in hundreds of silent comedies, often alongside Lloyd Hamilton. Their one readers became known as
“Ham and Bud Comedies.” Back toward the road, a few rows up, near the middle of this lawn is the grave of
Audra Lindley. Her cremains are interred here with her father, Bert, though there is no marker for her. Audra was an actress, best remembered as Mrs. Roper on the 70s sitcom, Three’s Company, and it’s
spin-off, The Ropers. The role earned her a Golden Globe nomination. “All I wanted was for Stanley to take me out
someplace romantic, you know, maybe a few cocktails, a candlelight dinner, dancing, and then maybe afterwards… well that isn’t too much to ask on your 25th
anniversary, is it?” “Not at all.” “I would have settled for the afterwards.” She also had roles in
shows like Friends and Cybil. Straight toward the fence, near a small tree and bench, is the grave of Edward Brophy. He was a character actor, often playing dumb
cops or mobsters, in films like, The Whole Town’s Talking, and in the Falcon series of the 40s. He also provided the voice of Timothy Q Mouse in Disney’s Dumbo. Southeast along this same row we find a
star of another kind – a woman who literally flew among the stars. Astronaut
Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, in 1983, becoming a true role model for women and girls the world over.
She later taught physics at UCSD, inspiring a whole new generation to
embrace the study of science and reach for the stars. Turning right onto Palm
Avenue we stop right near the corner. Next to the road are the Doty twins,
Winston and Weston. They were child actors in the 20s, seem in a Little
Rascals short, and the 1924 version of Peter Pan.
The two died tragically at the age of 20 in the 1934 New Year’s Flood. Massive
rainfalls caused 20-foot walls of water to rush into LA,
destroying hundreds of homes and claiming dozens of lives, including the
Dotys. Let’s cross the street to Section 3M. Straight in from the curve in
the road we find the grave of romantic leading man Paul Henreid. He was an actor,
perhaps best remembered for portraying Victor Laszlo in the 1942 classic
Casablanca. He can also be seen alongside Bette Davis in Now, Voyager. “Shall we just
have a cigarette on it?” “Yes.” Though not a communist, he was one of the
Hollywood stars who protested the excesses of the House Un-American
Activities Committee in Washington. This got him semi-blacklisted. He then
reinvented himself and his career as a successful director. A few more rows in
we find actor Doug McClure. He is best remembered for playing Trampas in the
long-running western series, The Virginian, in over 200 episodes. He often
found himself in western and cowboy roles, like in Barbary Coast, and
Out of This World. Further along Myrtle Avenue we reach section 11 the lawn north of the mausoleum. A few spaces in from the road is the grave of Edwina
Booth, whose real name was Constance. She was a rising star in the very early
days of Hollywood talkies, in the late 20s. In 1931 she landed the lead role as
The White Goddess in Trader Horn. The film shot on location in Africa, and due
to the fairly unregulated and inexperienced practices of the era,
filming became quite nightmarish for Edwina. She contracted malaria and
suffered sunstroke during the months long shoot. The film was a success, but
Edwina returned home much worse for the wear, and required years to fully recover.
Some rumors even floated about that she had died. In a highly publicized lawsuit
she sued MGM for reckless endangerment. The suit was settled out of court for
$35,000, but her career never recovered from the MGM debacle, and after a few
low-budget roles in 1932 she never worked in film again. Let’s head now into the mausoleum. Immediately right of the entrance is the Library of Living Memories. Here we find the niche of Janos Prohaska. If there was a monster, alien,
bear, or gorilla on film or television in the 60s and 70s,
odds are Janos Prohaska was the man in the costume. He was an actor and animal
imitator who specialized in these costumed characters, playing bears and
gorillas in shows like like The Andy Williams Show and
Gilligan’s Island. He played Clyde the Chimp on Bikini Beach, as well as a
number of alien creatures on Star Trek. He died in a plane crash at the age of
54 while working on Primal Man. At the end of the main corridor is the
Sanctuary of Devotion. Above eye-level we find the niche of William Tuttle. He was
one of Hollywood’s great makeup artists, providing makeup and prosthetic effects
for nearly 400 productions over his career. His films include Logan’s Run,
Singin’ in the Rain, Forbidden Planet, and Young Frankenstein. He also made his mark
on television creating some of the Twilight Zone’s most iconic creatures. Just around the corner is the crypt of Hal Smith, perhaps best known for playing
the hilarious town drunk, Otis, on The Andy Griffith Show in the
60s. He had a large number of roles as a voice actor as well perhaps, most notably
as Owl in the Winnie the Pooh films. back Back the way we came we take the small set of
stairs then immediately right to find wall W on the left. Low on the wall is
the niche of actor William Haines. He was a leading man and top box-office star in
the late 20s and early 30s, with hits like Show People, alongside Marion Davies,
and Way Out West. Haines is considered Hollywood’s first openly gay star,
unheard of in an era when it was still very much taboo. He was given an
ultimatum by MGM boss Louie B Meyer: to end his relationship with partner
Jimmie Shields and enter a lavender marriage with a woman, or his acting
career was finished. Haines chose love over Hollywood, and his contract was
terminated. But his relationship with Shields would go on to last nearly 50
years, and now beyond as they rest here side by side. Close friend Joan Crawford called them the happiest married couple in Hollywood. At the next corridor down we turn left to wall P on the right. Most of the way
down at eye level is the crypt of actor George Bancroft. He found his greatest
successes in the late 20s in films like The Docks of New York, and Thunderbolt,
which earned him an Oscar nomination in 1929. In the 30s he found himself
slipping into supporting roles like in Stagecoach. He left Hollywood in the 40s
to become a rancher. Bancroft is entombed next to his wife, Octavia, who had a few
roles in silent films of the 20s. Let’s make our way to the next corridor down. The left wall is J. The first crypt high on this wall is actually an
unmarked community crypt, which houses the remains of a number of notable individuals. Hugo Ballin was a renowned artist
whose murals can be seen in the Griffith Observatory, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and even right here in this mausoleum. His wife Mabel was a silent film actress, perhaps best known for her
role alongside Tom Mix in Riders of the Purple Sage in 1925. Olaf Hytten was a
Scottish actor seen in some 300 productions, including The Ghost of
Frankenstein. He died of a heart attack sitting in his car in the 20th
Century Fox lot. And also here is Jay Belasco, an actor of mainly silent film whose career hit a wall after his arrest for drug possession in 1920. In the next corridor down we find wall C on the left. At the bottom is the crypt of Beverly
Hills’ favorite Granny, Irene Ryan. She played “Granny” Daisy Moses on the
beloved 60s TV series The Beverly Hillbillies, in nearly 300 episodes. “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth to this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to
the proposition that all men are created equal.” “By dingy, that’s a dandy speech! I’m proud of ya!” “I didn’t write it. That was written by Abraham Lincoln, the
president that whooped the south.” “The south was not whooped.” “Granny, General Lee surrendered to
General Grant.” “He did not!” “General Lee figured that Grant was a blacksmith, and he handed him his sword so he could sharpen it. And don’t you ever forget it!” The role was originally going to go to Bea Benaderet, but when Irene showed up she blew everyone away with her feisty performance. Despite achieving her greatest notoriety later in life, Irene’s career spanned decades even before television, on vaudeville and
radio. Back up this hallway on the left is the Columbarium of Faith. Just below the window is the niche of Henry Kutner. He was a writer, mainly of sci-fi, fantasy,
and horror. He often collaborated with his wife C. L. Moore, whom he met through an
HP Lovecraft literary circle. He’s revered by many in the sci-fi world,
including Ray Bradbury. But his frequent use of pseudonyms may have kept him from
the notoriety he deserved. Several of his stories were made into teleplays,
including his story “What You Need” for The Twilight Zone. High in the corner to
the right is actress Ilka Gruning. She was born in Vienna and her career began
in Europe in silent films like Peer Gynt in 1919. But like so many of her
generation she was forced to flee Europe at the rise of the Nazi Party in the 30s.
Her work in the States landed her a small role in Casablanca as Mrs. Leuchtag.
She worked regularly in Hollywood but by the 50s decided to try and go
back to Germany, but found it not to be the same country she had left. She
appeared in just one role there before returning to America. Let’s head to the
other end of this corridor, to the Columbarium of Hope. Left, by the entrance,
is the niche of William Bishop. His career began on Broadway before moving
on to television and film. Se starred as Steve Connors on the 50
sitcom It’s a Great Life. He also starred in a number of Western
films, including Top Gun – no not that one, that one. He was just 41 when he died of cancer. Let’s make our way up to the second level. The corridor to the left is Unity. Low on the right wall, near the end, is Harvey Korman, one of Hollywood’s favorite funnymen.
He will forever be remembered for his hilarious performances on The Carol
Burnett Show in the 60s and 70s. In fact, one legendary sketch with Tim Conway had
him laughing so hard, he actually wet himself on live TV. “I’ll just give you a little shot here. We’ll be right with ya…” He was nominated for seven Emmys for his
work on the show, winning four times. He also had memorable roles in a number of
Mel Brooks films, including as Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles. At the other end of this corridor is the Cherish Columbarium. Here is the niche of
renowned sculptor Robert Graham. His first major commission was the gateway
to the Los Angeles Coliseum for the 1984 Olympics, which features two enormous
nude headless statues, male and female, meant to symbolize the contestants. He
also crafted the Great Bronze Doors at the Los Angeles Cathedral, a small
replica of which is actually featured right here on his urn. He was married to
actress Angelica Houston. Let’s head down to the basement…
and here we are in the basement. The right-hand corridor is Twilight. On the right is the crypt of
Glenn Ford. He was an actor and leading man of Hollywood’s golden age, perhaps
best remembered for his role alongside screen goddess Rita Hayworth in the 1946
film Gilda. “I hate you too, Johnny. I hate you so much that
I think I’m gonna die from it. Darling. I think I’m gonna die from it.” He won a Golden Globe for his role in
Pocketful of Miracles, and played Pa Kent in 1978’s
Superman. He was also notable for his many western
roles, considered the fastest gun in Hollywood Westerns. The next corridor down is Repose. On the left wall we find wrestler
Baron Michele Leone. With the advent of television Leone became one of pro wrestling’s first major stars.
In 1952 he was part of pro wrestling’s first $100,000 gate, when he faced Lou
Thesz in a title bout. Despite losing that bout he remained one of the sport’s
biggest draws and was renowned, with the likes of gorgeous George, for his
showmanship and in-ring prowess. He died at 79 from injuries sustained from being
struck by a car while crossing the street. That’ll do it for the mausoleum,
let’s head out back. Straight east of the southeast corner of the mausoleum,
halfway into section 13, is the grave of E C Segar. He was a cartoonist best known
as the creator of Popeye. The infamous sailor man who eats spinach for strength
made his first appearance in 1929’s comic strip Thimble Theater. In 1933 Max Fleischer’s studio began producing Popeye short films for Paramount. The cartoons
became immensely popular. “I’m Popeye the sailor man. I’m Popeye the sailor man. I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me spinach. I’m Popeye the sailor man.” Soon Popeye would pop up
in just about every medium, from books to TV, film, and video games. Heading south, just past the tiny brick wall,
is section 13S. Here we find Cliff Osmond. He was an
actor who appeared in a number of Billy Wilder comedies, including The Fortune Cookie, and The Front Page. He guest-starred in many TV shows of the
60s and 70s, like Here’s Lucy, and All in the Family. He was also a screenwriter,
pending teleplays for the streets of San Francisco, and Serpico. One row back is Ted Bessell. He played Donald Hollinger on the 60s sitcom, That Girl. The role earned him an Emmy nomination. He had a number of minor
roles in other sitcoms before moving into directing, helming episodes of The
Tracey Ullman Show, which won him an Emmy. Southwest is block 12. Right before
block 7, straight south of the mausoleum, is an upright Mortensen marker. Right
next to that we find the grave of one of television’s favorite moms,
Barbara Billingsley. She played June Cleaver on the popular 60
sitcom Leave It to Beaver, and the sequel The New Leave It to Beaver in the 80s. “Leave it to Beaver. Starring Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, and Jerry Mathers as the beaver.” She also had a role in the hilarious 1980 film, Airplane! Back across the street north, let’s head to the Elks section. West of the sidewalk that leads to the Elks
monument, right near a tree, is the grave of Hughie Mack. He was actually working as
an undertaker in Brooklyn when he was discovered sleeping on a bench by a
couple of Vitagraph producers. They were on the outlook for another rotund
funny man for their films, and thought Mack might be perfect. They offered him a
job and he relocated to California to begin making silent comedies with Vitagraph. He performed in some 200 productions in the teens and 20s, becoming a favorite Vitagraph regular. He died of heart disease at just 42. Continuing southwest along Rose Avenue,
we reach section 5 on the left. Right at the border of sections 5 and 5s,
most of the way to the fence, is the approximate location of the unmarked
grave of Charles Bickford, an actor best known for supporting roles. He was
nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar three times, for The Song of
Bernadette, The Farmer’s Daughter, and Johnny Belinda. He also played John Granger in The Virginian. Have you ever been to Venice? “Ah, Venice.” No, not that Venice. The one right here in
Southern California. Well, our next stop was not a star, but he
did contribute to the LA experience. Abbot Kinney was a developer who, in 1905,
attempted to recreate Italy’s Venice right here in Southern California, with
man-made canals. The idea didn’t quite stick, however, and over the decades most
of the canals were eventually replaced by roads, but the name did stick and a
handful of canals do remain to this day. Venice Beach has also become a popular
tourist destination. Finally we continue along Rose Avenue to section 2 on the right. Almost all the way to the fence, in a ways from the road, we find Leo Carrillo. He was an actor and conservationist, perhaps best known as Pancho in the Cisco Kid. Prior to that he worked as a political cartoonist and
also performed on Broadway. And for 18 years he served on the California beach
and Parks Commission. As a result of his efforts to preserve California’s natural
and historic wonders, a stretch of beach in Malibu bears his name: Leo Carrillo State Park. And that concludes our tour. What are some of your favorite memories
of the stars we visited today? Share them in the comments below, and be sure to like, share, and subscribe, for more famous grave tours. Thanks for watching, we’ll
see you on the next one. If you know LA you know we love all
things green and eco-friendly – from our grocery bags to our cars, and now, yes, even our graves. In recent years Woodlawn developed Eternal Meadow, a green burial section in the cemetery. Green burial is designed to have minimal impact on the environment. Traditional burials can seep thousands of gallons of toxic embalming fluid into the ground, and often include imperishable metal caskets and concrete burial vaults. With green burial there is no embalming, only wood or wicker caskets, organic burial shrouds, and biodegradable urns. And the ground only features
sustainable native grasses and flowers. If you’re a fan of Ask a Mortician,
you’ve probably heard about natural burial. Well, here it is. So if you want to save the planet even after you’re dead, call Woodlawn.

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