An easy afternoon trip while you’re in Hollywood is the Forever Cemetery (originally the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery) on Santa Monica Blvd just behind Paramount Pictures studio lot. Here you’ll find the graves of many celebrities including Douglas Fairbanks, Estelle Getty and Jayne Mansfield.
Just inside the entrance and to the left is the tomb of the DeMille family, including Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille was one of the most influential directors in the industry and is known for epic films like The Ten Commandments and Cleopatra. It was cool that the entire family is entombed there, but super creepy that there are even spots on either side named for members that haven’t even died yet, including his granddaughter, Cecilia DeMille Presley.
Past their tomb is a massive lake with fountains and some graves have had benches placed next to them so you can sit and feed the ducks and geese. The structure in the center entombs William Clark Jr., the founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Once on the other side it was easy to spot Johnny Ramone, the co-founder and guitarist for The Ramones.
The Cathedral Mausoleum is a really beautiful structure inside and recently they began entombing people on the outside as well. One of the most recent is Mickey Rooney who passed just this April. Walking through the inside, our footsteps echoed as we passed huge family crypts as well as shadow boxes with cremated urns and memorabilia depicting the personalities. We found ourselves getting lost finding out who each person was, but once I realised I had wandered off and was alone I definitely wanted to hurry and find my friends as I felt the weight of those stories around me.
Some more upbeat wanderings…