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The two-hour tour evokes the storied past and navigates the labyrinth of the present as it highlights the various historic tales, scandals and mysteries that remain a part of Hollywood lore. The tour begins with an introduction that focuses on the diversity of the cemetery and how it has evolved over the past several decades. Attendees then take a journey around the pond and into the life stories of numerous luminaries, including Griffith J. Griffith, who gave the city Griffith Park--and in 1903 gave his wife a bullet to the head. Surprisingly she survived the attack and Griffith served only two years in San Quentin for the crime.
Showbiz names on the tour literally run the gamut from A to Z, with award-winning director John Huston being only feet away from Maila Nurmi, known to the world as "Vampira" from Ed Wood¹s "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Legendary director Cecil B. De Mille also rests only a short distance away from bit player Virginia Rappe, whose only fame came through her death three days after Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's ultimately tragic weekend party in San Francisco.
Other stars featured include Fay Wray, Janet Gaynor, Cecil B. De Mille, Marion Davies, Tyrone Power and Columbia Pictures founder Harry Cohn. The tour also includes three "cenotaphs" or memorials for stars whose remains are interred elsewhere including Jayne Mansfield, Hattie McDaniel and Johnny Ramone.
Later the tour explores the Cathedral Mausoleum, which houses silent screen star Rudolph Valentino. According to tour guide Bible, "In all of the years I’ve been giving this tour, his grave remains the most popular and asked about one in the entire cemetery." The Cathedral Mausoleum also includes tragic silent vamp Barbara La Marr, slain film director William Desmond Taylor and actors Peter Finch and Peter Lorre.
After the Cathedral Mausoleum, the tour visits the newly installed cenotaph for “Toto” the canine star from The Wizard of Oz and the grave sites of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr., Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, "Golden Girl" Estelle Getty and finally Mel Blanc whose grave fittingly reads "That¹s All Folks!"
"Karie Bible combines charm, eloquence, wit and in-depth knowledge
of subject in her delightful tour of the beautifully maintained Forever
Hollywood cemetery located on Santa Monica at N. Gower, adjacent to the
Paramount Studios. Her diminutive stature is in stark contrast with
the size of some of the shrines to Ego that are on display, although
curiously, some of the more famous cemetery residents are commemorated
in rather more humble headstones. The tour makes for a fascinating and
pleasant stroll in the LA afternoon sunshine, and the price represents
an absolute steal."
- Tim Hall, In Flight Concierge Air New Zealand
“Lovely and gothic”
- LA MetroMix
: All tours begin at the flower shop by
the entrance. Parking is available on the grounds. Please bring your
printed confirmation and valid ID to Karie Bible to redeem tickets.
Wearing sunblock and a hat and bringing bottled water are suggested.
Please wear comfortable shoes for the tour.
Up to 4 people on a golf cart can be arranged for anyone with a disability or difficulty in walking, however, please email email@example.com
a few days in advance in order for a cart to be reserved.
Tipping your charming tour guide is recommended and greatly appreciated.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038