a Los Angeles Has an Obsession with Death: Travel Guide.

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Los Angeles Has an Obsession with Death
You Will Love It! A Travel Guide

California has an obsession with death with over-the-top cemeteries. an L.A. County Coroner gift shop, etc. This image shows very old above ground graves in a cemetery, with Hollywood-like effects.

"Los Angeles has an obsession with death," you say? "Prove it."

No worries. Exhibit I > Los Angeles County Coroner Gift Shop

Los Angeles County Coroner Gift Shop

Best sellers as I write (2018) are the crime scene towel and the body outline beach towel.

Worry not, though.

Body outline tank shirts are still in stock and L.A. County Coroner garment body bags now sell for just $19.75.

Exhibit II > Hollywood Forever Cemetery Outdoor Film Series

Cinespia Hollywood Forever Film Series

Time Out: Cinespia Hollywood Forever Film Lineup

Hollywood Forever, I trust, asks its patrons not to use the headstones for backrests.

Hollywood Forever (formally Hollywood Memorial Park) hosts many of the most iconic personalities of the Golden Age of Film and continues to put celebrities into the ground.

Some include >

  • Douglas Fairbanks
  • Jayne Mansfield
  • Peter Lorre
  • George Harrison
  • Norma Talmadge
  • Dee Dee Ramone
  • Johnny Ramone (Check out his gravestone. Johnny did not go quietly into the night.)
  • Estelle Getty
  • Joan Hackett
  • Marion Davies
  • Tyrone Power
  • Rudolph Valentino
  • John Huston

6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles. Convenient to Hollywood and Vine.

Exhibit III > Dearly Departed Tour

Dearly depart on LA's Dearly Departed tour >

LA's Dearly Departed Tours

A respectful Interlude

Alfred Hitchcock had his remains scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

Exhibit IV > Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Forest Lawn turbocharged cemetery marketing to a new level turning itself into a major tourist attraction. Forest Lawn became a combination of cemetery and amusement park.

In case you have any doubts left about just how creative and wacky Southern Californians can be, Forest Lawn will appease your concerns.

Yes, indeed. Your doubts will completely vanish.

  • A depiction of the Last Supper far larger than life that towers over you? Certainly.
  • A huge—I mean HUGE—painting of the Crucifixion and Resurrection? Go big or go home.
  • Large doses of faux Michelangelo? You got it.
  • In your face fountains to your heart's content? No problem.
  • Mausoleums fit for a Caesar? Maximus!

Not nearly as shocking today as it once was Forest Lawn attracted considerable jokes and satire over time, including the 1960s film "The Loved One." Savage that was.

Although it has been the blunt of many jokes, in my opinion Forest Lawn it is not at all that terribly tasteless.

Forest Lawn's manicured lawns and lack of headstones (there is a small ground-level marker over each grave) make for a park like setting. This type of cemetery design has been widely copied, but no one does it better.

Forest Lawn remains THE place to be buried in the Los Angeles area.

Permanent guests include >

W.C. Fields
Michael Jackson
Mary Pickford
Jimmy Stewart
Walt Disney
Elizabeth Taylor
Humphrey Bogart
Nat King Cole
Clark Gable
Robert Young
Sammy Davis Junior
Chico Marx
Spencer Tracy
Errol Flynn
Dick Powell
Alan Ladd
And so very many others.

Forest Lawn even caters weddings. As an example, Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman married there. That one did not work out well.

Visiting Forest Lawn Glendale

Dignified funeral arrangement of white flowers with a few yellow ones plus green accents. Far more diginified than some of the activities surronding Southern California's seemingly obsession with death. Forest Lawn, etc.

With huge celebrities like Michael Jackson in the ground Forest Lawn aggressively discourages fan visits to the point of actually prohibiting access to some areas. No leaving of memorials at gravesites and all that.

As long as your breath can still fog a mirror, Forest Lawn is free, so come along. If not, make sure your cold dead hands crutch your purse or wallet. The few remaining plots here cost big time.

The alive and the living dead must restrict visiting to between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Some "attractions" are open just between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For more information and to confirm times and prices, check the Forest Lawn website for more information.

1712 Glendale Avenue, Glendale, near the border of Glendale and Los Angeles not far from Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles.

Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills

Forest Lawn, running out of plots to sell in Glendale, opened Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. The cemetery looks out on the Disney, Universal, and Warner Brothers studios in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley.

The Hollywood Hills location offers a patriotic motif with—in a bow to local demographics—Mexican culture featured.

Once the gates opened, the rich and famous have also flocked here, including,

Carrie Fisher
Andy Gibbs
Betty Davis
Lou Rawls
Telly Savalas
Debbie Reynolds
And again many more.

Although he was buried in Forest Lawn's Glendale location, this cemetery hosted Michael Jackson's funeral.

This cemetery is not featured as an exhibit because it's less in your face than its sister in Glendale.

6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles.

LA's "Secret" Celebrity Cemetery

Above: Excellent introduction to Westwood Village Memorial Park — a Los Angeles celebrity cemetery not even many locals know about. Note how to access cemetery.

Westwood Village Memorial Park hit the news big time in 1962 with the death of Mariyn Monroe.

Some others include >

  • Eve Arden
  • Jim Backus
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Les Brown
  • Vanessa Brown
  • Truman Capote
  • John Cassavetes
  • James Coburn
  • Jackie Collins
  • Ray Conniff
  • Ian Copeland
  • Rodney Dangerfield
  • Peter Falk
  • Farrah Fawcett
  • Eva Gabor
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • Merv Griffin
  • Hugh Hefner
  • Florence Henderson
  • Jim Hutton
  • Jack Klugman
  • Don Knotts
  • Burt Lancaster
  • Peggy Lee
  • Janet Leigh
  • Karl Malden
  • Dean Martin
  • Walter Matthau
  • Heather O'Rourke
  • Carroll O'Connor
  • Roy Orbison
  • Donna Reed
  • Buddy Rich
  • George C. Scott
  • Robert Stack
  • Mel Tormé
  • Romeo Vasquez
  • Joe Weider
  • Billy Wilder
  • Carl Wilson (Beach Boys)
  • Natalie Wood
  • Frank Zappa

Located at 1218 Glendon Avenue in Westwood Village in Los Angeles near UCLA. Enter via a lane off Wilshire Boulevard. As of this writing (2018) open from 8:00 to 5:00 daily.

May you live your time in Los Angeles to the fullest!

Go to >> Introduction to your LA visit

Go to >> Off the beaten track L.A.

Go to >> San Gabriel Valley: Monterey Park, Huntington Library, Pasadena

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