Ronnie Van Zant

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).

Trivia:

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?

Frances Bavier

Frances Bavier

( 1902 – 1989 )

An American stage and television actress, she was originally from New York Theater, starting out in Vaudeville, then moved to Broadway. She received an Emmy in 1967 for her work on The Andy Griffith Show, and logged more years on that series than any other actor. According to several accounts, she was the opposite of her character, Aunt Bee, feeling like her talents were being wasted. I choose to believe that Aunt Bee had to be in her somewhere for her to such a great job with that role.

She is buried in Silar City, NC, at The Oakwood Cemetery.

Trivia:

Maybe it’s me, but I often noticed during The Andy Griffith Show, that she didn’t rally use an accent from the south……. see if you notice!

Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

( 1928 – 2008 )

Legendary musician, guitarist, vocalist……Born Elias Bates McDaniel in McComb Mississippi, and raised in Chicago, He influenced more big acts than I can name here. He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his many contributions to R & B and Rock music. If you want some blues, listen to Bo.

He is buried in Rosemary Hill Cemetery, Bronson, Florida.

Trivia:

He co-wrote the song “Love is Strange”, sung by Mickey and Sylvia, a hit (that doesn’t sound like the blues to me) in 1957.

Trey Wilson

Trey Wilson

( 1948 – 1989 )

An american character actor, Trey Wilson was gone way too soon. Incredible in Raising Arizona as Nathan Arizona, He should have won an Oscar for that role.  A veteran of 30 films, He was awesome in Great Balls of Fire as Sam Phillips. He was only 40 when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1989.

He is buried in Forest Park Cemetery , Houston, Texas.

Billie Burke

Billie Burke

( 1884 – 1970 )

You probably remember her as  “Glinda”, the Good Witch of the North in “The Wizard of Oz” but Billie Burke was much,much more……. She was in about 80 movies, silent and sound, 25 or so Plays on Broadway, and also did radio and television. Her husband was Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., of Ziegfeld Follies fame…….

She is buried in Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, NY.

Trivia:

Other notables buried there-

Harry Davenport ( He played Dr. Meade in “Gone With the Wind”)

Lou Gehrig (“The Iron Horse” Baseball Player)

Robert De Niro, Sr. (Artist and father of Robert De Niro) check out his work, if you love art……

Tommy Dorsey (Big Band leader)

There are a lot more if you are a History/Arts buff.

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

( 1942 – 1969 )

The founder of the Rolling Stones, he was a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, harmonica, and keyboards). Originally the leader of the Stones, he was eventually overshadowed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. His steady drug use caused his role in the band to slowly diminish, and He was asked to leave the band in June, 1969. He drowned in his pool a month later in July.

27 is way too young, makes you wonder how good he could have been.

He is buried in Cheltenham Cemetery and Crematorium  in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

Trivia:

He got co-writing credit for the “Rice Krispies” Jingle in 1963.

Vernon Dalhart

Vernon Dalhart

( 1883 – 1948 )

Born Marion Try Slaughter, he was a popular American singer/songwriter and a major influence on country music. He is in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, and if you want to hear some EARLY country music, listen to his stuff on youtube. It’s raw!! Hank Williams , Molly O’Day, and Kitty Wells are considered early, early country music in the forties, but Vernon was popular in the Twenties……He recorded under other names, and some think he had more recordings than any one else in history, and that he sold millions of records, but who knows for sure.

He was definitely there at the ground floor of country music and influenced a lot of singers.

He is buried in the Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Trivia:

 In the book Terms of Endearment, Author Larry McMurtry named a character after Vernon Dalhart. In the movie version, it was misspelled Vernon Dahlart. No one is sure if the misspelling was intentional or not.

General Tom Thumb  and P.T. Barnum are buried in the same cemetery.

Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks

(1906 – 1985)

Louise was an American dancer and actress. Her first film was an uncredited role in 1925, and she made several silents in America and Europe. She was a wild child for sure, read her autobiography. It’s called “Lulu in Hollywood”, quite a commentary and quite a life. Pandora’s Box is one of her best known films, and remember, this is the silent era, it explores modern sexual mores and even lesbianism. She was quite a girl, and lived her life the way she wanted. After her fall from films, she worked at Saks Fifth Avenue for a while. Beautiful, beautiful lady, that has been re-discovered and has quite a following today. There is even a “Louise Brooks Society”.

She died in 1985 and is buried at the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

Olive Thomas

Olive Thomas

(1894 – 1920)

Olive started out as an illustrator’s model, then became a Ziegfeld Girl. In 1916 she made the first of over twenty movies in a four year career. She was married to actor/director Jack Pickford, the younger brother of super famous Mary Pickford. She died at age 25 from drinking mercury bichloride by mistake that had been prescribed to husband Jack.(It was topically applied to treat sores from syphilis ). The label being in French might have caused some confusion also.

Some claimed it was suicide, but evidence points to a horrible mistake.  Her death was considered one of the first major scandals in Hollywood, because at the time, rumors ran rampant about how she died. She was a legendary beauty in Hollywood, even Alberto Vargas immortalized her in one of his pin-up paintings.

She is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, NY

Trivia:

Miles Davis  and Bat Masterson are buried there too……lots of other famous people there if you get the chance to look it up.

Agnes Moorehead

Agnes Moorehead

(1900 – 1974)

American character actress. One of the original Mercury Theater Players, she was Margo Lane to Orson Welles’ Lamont Cranston, A.K.A  “The Shadow”. She was in many movies as well as a performer on radio throughout her career. Her best known role might be “Endora”, Samantha’s mother, on Bewitched.  She Had one Prime Time Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards  to go with her four Academy Award and six Emmy Nominations. She died of cancer in 1974, and was one of the 46 members of the company of actors and crew of the production of “The Conqueror” (John Wayne and Susan Hayward among them) that were exposed radiation from nuclear testing in the desert.

She is buried in the Mausoleum at Dayton Memorial Park, in Dayton, Ohio.