For tourists visiting Hollywood, it can be frustratingly difficult to spot celebrities “in the wild,” so to speak. Sure, a traveler can get lucky and occasionally see a world-famous star patronizing a local restaurant or store, just like a regular person, but this is dicey at best and based purely on coincidence. Those much-hyped tours of the stars’ homes are no good either, since generally, the hedges and iron gates of the famous are all that one can see from the vantage point of a tour bus. So where is a star-spotter to go in Tinseltown? One good suggestion is the Westwood Village Memorial Park, final resting place of countless showbiz notables, ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Dean Martin to Frank Zappa. Internet adventurer Adam The Woo recently stopped by Westwood Village, and he has filed a video report entitled “The ‘Secret’ Hidden Celebrity Cemetery.” That intriguing title alludes to the fact that the cemetery, although storied in Hollywood lore, is not obvious from the street. “Right here,” the host says, “among all of these buildings is a very minute, secretive cemetery that a lot of people do not realize exists.”
Once inside, the host displays all kinds of interesting and bizarre graves belonging to Hollywood’s elite. Truman Capote is buried here, right next to best friend Joanne Carson, ex-wife of Johnny. Remember Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon from 1968’s The Odd Couple and other films? They’re both at Westwood now, though not in adjacent graves.
Oddities abound. The grave of Roy Orbison is unmarked, but Don Knotts has an elaborate headstone depicting some of his most famous roles. Rodney Dangerfield has a joke (“There Goes The Neighborhood”) on his marker. For some arcane reason, pinup queen Bettie Page will spend eternity next door to Allan Melvin, voice of Magilla Gorilla. Monroe’s grave, naturally, is the main attraction at Westwood and the subject of numerous urban legends. So many fans have smeared lipstick on her grave that it is permanently stained. The video actually captures a lonely cemetery employee dutifully cleaning Monroe’s final resting place. It’s all part of the routine at this strange place.