Celebrity spotting in L.A…have you tried the cemeteries?

by Lesley Bracker on January 29, 2010

Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA

Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA

[Flickr/Dave Rytell]

Celebrity spotting in Hollywood is never predictable – while you probably will see a celebrity (or two) at some point during your vacation, there are no sure-fire locales that can always be counted on to deliver up our precious celebs. Well…except for the cemeteries, that is.

Los Angeles happens to be the resting place for hundreds of our favorite icons, so why not stop by and pay your respects? Just think of all the names you can add to your celebrity-spotting repertoire: Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, and Clark Gable, just to name a few. Here are four historic cemeteries to spot Hollywood dignitaries of years past:

Hollywood Forever -  Founded in 1899, this cemetery is over 100 years old and listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. If you’re here in the summer, be sure to go for one of their movie nights! A short ride from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, you get to picnic in the park (yes, on top of the graves) and they screen a movie from Hollywood’s Golden Era, most likely starring one of their tenants like Clifton Webb or Peter Lorre. Also home to Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd

Westwood Memorial Park – This is the most centrally located and probably the most famous cemetery, because it’s Marilyn Monroe’s eternal resting spot. In the middle of Los Angeles, right next to UCLA, it’s also home to Truman Capote, Jack Lemmon, Walter Mathau, and Natalie Wood. A great daytime activity for guests staying at Hotel Palomar right down the road.  1218 Glendon Avenue

Hillside Memorial Park – If you have a longer than normal layover at LAX and are looking for something to do with 2 hours, grab a taxi and head over to Hillside Cemetery. Shelley Winters, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, and Al Jolson (who also has a statue) reside there. 6001 W. Centinela Avenue

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Its 300 acres makes it easy to get lost, so it’s a smart idea to have a plan and do some preliminary research in Google (celeb resting spots are usually available through a quick search). The Lawn is home to many notables such as Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Freddie Prinze and, most recently, Brittany Murphy. This is great spot for families staying at the nearby Magic Castle Hotel. After your visit, try some real, live, celeb spotting by getting tickets to Jimmy Kimmel or Ellen – an excellent way to tell your friends that  you “saw” someone famous! 6300 Forest Lawn Drive

- Lesley Bracker

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