( 1926 – 2010 )
You remember him as a brilliant comedic actor, but Canadian born Leslie Nielson was in over 100 films and 150 Television programs in his career, many of them dramatic roles. “Forbidden Planet” and “The Poseidon Adventure” were two great roles for their time. He is forever Frank Drebin, but the serious roles are there all though his career, and if comedy is really as hard as they say, He made it look easy. We should all appreciate his work- He was one of a kind.
He is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
As one final bit of humor, he chose “Let ‘er rip” to be on his tombstone……. Ya gotta love a guy that is after laughs till the very end.
Edward John Trelawny
( 1792 – 1881 )
An Adventurer, Trelawny seems to have stepped out of on of Byron or Shelley’s Poems. A contemporary and friend of both , he made the arrangements for both of their funerals. He lead an incredible life, was a biographer and novelist in his own right, but seems to have been lost in the shuffle with the stiff competition of Byron and Shelley(no wonder!). “Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron” is an excellent contemporary first hand look at their lives that he wrote . He out lived all of the romantic poets, dying in 1881. He had purchased the plot beside of Shelley in 1822 to be buried beside him and his ashes were. On his stone is an excerpt from Shelley’s poem, “Epitaph”.
There are six or so biographies about him, but not too many people seem to know who he was…… Truly, obscurely famous…..
He is buried at Campo Cestio in Rome, Italy.
( 1922 – 1950 )
“Turiddu” was his nickname, and he was a Sicilian bandit and folk figure. His life has a lot of mystery because of all of the misinformation, but it is still an awesome story. If you have ever read “The Godfather” novel, you’ll know what a masterpiece it is. Somehow, Mario Puzo wove the story of Salvatore Giuliano into the part where Michael Corleone hides in Sicily. It is as good a read, if not better, than the original Godfather novel.(My opinion anyway!). He is a legend in Sicily, a tragic story of idealism and desperation, even more interesting because he was betrayed and killed(Officially by Law enforcement, widely believed to have been killed by his best friend and cousin Gaspare Pisciotta, pictured with him) when he was only 27.
He is buried in the Comune di Montelepre Cimitero Comunale
( 1949 – 1986 )
Founding member of the band “Thin Lizzy”, Phil Lynott was born in England, but raised in Ireland, and considered himself to be Irish. If you aren’t familiar with their music, I’ll bet you remember the song “The Boys are Back in Town”, it’s a standard of seventies rock, but there was a lot more to the band than that one song. He was a great songwriter and charismatic performer, but he also wrote poetry, having two books published of his work before he died. Like a lot of Rock stars, he fell victim to the party life, and his last years were clouded with Alcohol and heroin.
He died in Dublin, Ireland and was buried in St. Fintan’s Cemetery.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
( 1792 – 1822 )
One of the major English Romantic Poets, and is considered one of the finest lyric poets in the English language, and talk about a free thinker…….. One of his first published works was “The Necessity of Atheism” (and this was 200 years ago!), and it got him expelled from school at 18. He believed in free love, as in living together and all that, again, in an era when you could get in trouble for blasphemy and sedition. Evidently he was way ahead of his time.
His works are too many to list, but try these, if you want to read some of his genius:
When Soft Voices Die
His body is buried in Campo Cestio , Rome.
John Keats and Edward Trelawny are buried there too……. Keats being another, along with Byron, of the great Romantic Poets of the Era. Trelawny was an adventurer and friend, whose lived his life as if he stepped out of their poems.
His Heart is buried close to his wife in St. Peter Churchyard, Bournemouth, Dorset, England, and she was Mary Shelley, the Author of “Frankenstein”.
Ronnie Van Zant
( 1948 – 1977 )
Musician, he was the lead singer and founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd………Great southern rock rock band, he co wrote a lot of their hits.
Along with three others, He was killed when the band’s chartered flight crashed in west Mississippi . Band members Allen Collins and Leon Wilkeson are also buried in the same cemetery, Jacksonville Memory Gardens, in Jacksonville, Florida(They were not killed in the crash, but died later).
When I was there, I asked a worker, who I couldn’t understand because I don’t speak Spanish, if there were any other famous people there…… We walked across the cemetery and he pointed at a stone, a fellow named Leonard Skinner……… Turned out to be the man they named the band after, how cool is that?