As the star of the legendary film “The Wizard of Oz,” Judy Garland transported viewers into a technicolor wonderland that took them a long way from Kansas. She won an honorary Oscar for that role, and went on to star in other classics like “Strike Up the Band” (with fellow Hollywood Forever resident Mickey Rooney) and “Me and My Gal.”
Her star was so bright that Hollywood Forever maintains the Judy Garland Pavilion, an intimate mausoleum named after the Oscar and Grammy award winner.
The Sheik shone bright and hard, burning out at just 31 years old and inspiring mass mourning throughout America. Hailing from Italy, Valentino was rumored to be a gigolo before he found his way into silent pictures by way of a move to Los Angeles. He came to fame in “The Sheik,” the film that gave him his nickname, as well as the romantic drama “Camille.”
Cecil B. DeMille
As a director and producer, Cecil B. DeMille achieved a level of success that none before him, and only a few after, matched. He was the mind behind the Biblical epic “The Ten Commandments,” as well as classics such as “Sunset Blvd.” and “Samson and Delilah.” But it was “The Greatest Show on Earth” that set his star aflame as it won the Best Picture award at the 1953 Oscars.
As popular a face in Hollywood as it was possible to find during the Golden Age of cinema, Mickey Rooney starred in over 340 movies during his career. His controversial role as Mr. Yunioshi in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” featuring some unfortunate stereotypes, may be what many know him for today. But he acted right up until his 2014 death, and even appeared posthumously as a character called Grandpa in “Holy Hollywood.”
It seemed like Tyrone Power’s destiny was to become one of the great Hollywood attractions of his era. He was the third in a line of Tyrone Powers who set the stage, and later the celluloid, ablaze. And his roles in films like “Witness for the Prosecution” and “Rawhide” made him as renowned for his rugged good look as his acting exploits.
Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone
The music world didn’t know what had hit it when the Ramone brothers blazed a punkish trail through a stagnant music scene. Hits like “I Wanna be Sedated” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” put the brothers on the map before infighting in The Ramones led to the band’s unfortunate breakup.
The man who made Robin Hood a national hero in the film of the same name made an impact that stretches far beyond his appearances in silent films. Douglas Fairbanks co-founded United Artists alongside other visionaries, including Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, and the studio still churns out hits to this day.
Harold Llyod became as famous for his horn-rimmed glasses as he did for his acting ability during the silent film era, with those glasses giving him a mature look that his contemporaries lacked. Comedy was his trade, as you can see in such silent classics as “Safety Last!” and “The Freshman.”
Born László Löwenstein, Peter Lorre established himself as one of the first great character actors. Who could forget his semi-villainous role as Ugarte in “Casablanca” or the sleazy little slimeball Joel Cairo in “The Maltese Falcon?” The great character actors of today – such as Gary Oldman – owe a lot to the template that Lorre created.
Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole’s tragic death from cancer at the age of 45 deprived the world of one of the greatest jazz pianists and smoothest singers in history. He left his imprint in Hollywood, too, especially with the track “Almost Like Being in Love,” which found its way into the movie “Groundhog Day” almost 30 years after his passing.
The man behind Weary Willie, the famous sad-faced clown, was a star of the circus and vaudeville shows long before he found his way to cinema and television. He brought the Weary Willy character to “Playhouse 90” and “General Electric Theater.” But most remember him from his small role as himself in “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
“The Man of a Thousand Voices lived up to his name in a career that saw him as the star of hundreds of Looney Toons shows and shorts. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Yosemite Sam owe their voices, just like so many children owe some of their earliest memories, to the talented work of a man who could find a voice for every occasion.
Sometimes weary of his superstar status, Cary Grant once replied “So would I” when an interviewer told him that everybody in the world wanted to be Cary Grant. Dashing and debonair, Grant often plied his trade in romantic thrillers like “North by Northwest” and “To Catch a Thief.”
Enjoy Cemetery Tourism With Hollywood Forever
The stars of yesteryear are waiting for you at Hollywood Forever. The cemetery is the ideal place to pay respects those who helped build Hollywood into what it is today. As well as visiting the graves of those who inspired your love of music and cinema, you can enjoy special cultural events, such as outdoor screenings of classic films, within the grounds of the cemetery that homes the stars.