So Many Dead Stars, So Much Time: Our Adventure at Forest Lawn Glendale and Hollywood - Atlas Obscura
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So Many Dead Stars, So Much Time: Our Adventure at Forest Lawn Glendale and Hollywood

Obscura Society

Last weekend, Obscura Society LA gravehunted at the legendary Forest Lawn Cemetery Glendale and Hollywood. 
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Obscura Society
Our tour wouldn’t have been half what it was without our delightfully awesome tour guide, Jim. He knew Forest Lawn inside and out, and had some pretty amazing Hollywood stories to go along with it. He knew all the “inside scoops,” like how and why Clark Gable insisted on being buried next to his former wife, Carole Lombard, instead of his current wife at the time of his death. 
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Obscura Society
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Obscura Society
Here’s the crypt belonging to one of my favorite comedians ever and one of Hollywood’s most adored couples, George Burns and Gracie Allen. When George passed away in 1996, some 32 years after his beloved Gracie, he asked that he be buried under her because “Gracie always deserved top billing.”  Romance… even in a crypt.
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Obscura Society
Not only is Forest Lawn a dead celeb paradise, it is also home to some very cool (and weird) art and architecture. This picture is of a exact reproduction of Michelangelo’s David, sculpted exclusively for Forest Lawn and out of the same marble as the original in Italy. Also in Forest Lawn, you can find a multi-media presentation showcasing a reproduction of the Last Supper, “The  Crucifixion” - considered the world’s largest permanent religious painting, a giant mosaic of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and a 10 foot high statue of a thinking Abe Lincoln. 

Forest Lawn Cemetery - Obscura Society 

Behind this wilted rose and bronze plate (and, also, behind a concrete wall), sits the ashes of legendary actor Humphrey Bogart. And here’s the cool part…without Jim, our tour guide, we would have never been able to see Boogie’s final resting place. In order to access this section of the cemetery, you must be in possession of a golden key (that’s actually what it says on the giant bronze door) and lucky for us, Jim was the lucky possessor of such a key. Also in this section laid Mary Pickford and Sammy Davis Jr. 
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Obscura Society
Excuse the shoddy photography (it was taken by me, while the rest of the pics were taken by our official photographer, Maggie), but this pic was too cool not to share. Yes, it’s the memorial and grave site for one Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. Her memorial is located inside the Great Mausoleum, but fully available to the public. Up until several weeks ago, the memorial stood without a name on it. No one knew who’s final resting place it was. Finally, they carved the name Elizabeth Taylor on it, so now every visitor knows what greatness they are standing in front of. 
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Obscura Society
You maybe asking yourself  ”Penn & Teller? Wait.. they’re still alive, right?” And you would be correct. They are still alive. They had a cenotaph, a marker without a grave, placed as a tribute to their famous card trick, the 3 of clubs, and have called it the payoff for the “mother of all card tricks.” 
Check out the rest of the photos from our awesome adventure here: 

PHOTOS

Forest Lawn Cemetery Photos - Obscura Society
DO IT YOURSELF
Both Forest Lawn Glendale and Hollywood are open to the viewing public everyday from 8 am to 5 pm. 
 
Word to the wise: Both parks are very large and requires driving to each nearly every section. In addition, gravehunting, while not prohibited, is not exactly smiled upon either. Please proceed with a bit of caution.
Check out Forest Lawn’s websites for directions and more information: 
Special thank yous go out to Jim Dougan for being a most awesome tour guide, Tam O’Shanters in Glendale for great sandwiches, and Forest Lawn Glendale and Hollywood, for not kicking us out. 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO JOINED US!

The Obscura Society is the real-world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura. Join us on our next adventure!

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PREVIOUSLY: 

Bunny Bumping & Freeze-Dried Friends at the Bunny Museum - Los Angeles
Seeking Hidden Symbolism at Green-Wood Cemetery - New York City
Coney Island Grand Guignol - New York City
Neptune Society Columbarium - San Francisco