Gloria Stuart

Gloria Stuart

(1910 -2010)

Gloria Stewart( she changed it to Stuart) was an American actress and artist. Most people remember her now as the iconic “Old Rose” in  the movie  “Titanic”, but she had been acting since about 1932. Kate Winslet is a stunner of course, but I think Gloria could have held her own with any beauty in her heyday. She was in about 79 movies and television shows, and was a star in her own right, not too long after the real Titanic sank(about 20 years or so!)

Read about her life and you will see someone who lived a rich, rewarding existence. She was cremated, so no grave to visit, but Obscurely Famous none the less!

Trivia:

At 87, she was the oldest person ever nominated for an Academy Award(for “Titanic” of course)

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

(1926 – 1962)

Norma Jean Baker was an American actress, singer, and model. She is so Iconic, I could go on for days about her so let’s just say this: She was so beautiful, it takes your breath away(take a look at pictures of her without makeup or just relaxing) and yet had a tragic quality of a person just trying to survive like the rest of us. Not saying she didn’t have to be tough to make it in the industry she was in, but it had obviously consumed her when she died at age 36.

She is buried in Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.

Trivia:

One of the biggest movie stars of all time, she was never even nominated for an Academy Award…….

She was the very first Playmate for Playboy Magazine.

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger

(1979 – 2008)

Heath Andrew Ledger was an Australian actor and director. Incredibly gifted, he was a star at 20, and gone by age 28. His roles in The Patriot, Monsters Ball, Brokeback Mountain, to name a few, are priceless. His performance in The Lords of Dogtown is also so good sometimes you forget it’s him.

Then there is The Dark Night. Unforgettable , scary, tragic, unreal. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously for this role. What he might of done is something to ponder, but I guess we should appreciate how brightly his star burned while he was here. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at the site of his Grandparent’s grave in Perth, Australia, at the Karrakatta Cemetery and Crematorium.

Trivia:

Most of his acclaimed performances were done with an American accent, further proof of his talent.

Lillian Lorraine

Lillian Lorraine

(1892 – 1955)

Lillian was an entertainer, considered one of the greatest beauties of the Broadway Stage before WW 1. Known as one of the most popular “Ziegfeld Girls”, it didn’t hurt that she became Florenz Ziegfeld’s mistress and the resulting affair broke up his marriage. A fixture for 3 or 4 years in the “Ziegfeld Follies”, her personal life was scandalous. Drinking, blackmail, affairs, a shadowy connection to the mob(reportedly to Arnold Rothstein, the man that fixed the 1919 World series, called the Black Sox Scandal), helped her burn out but she still found time to act in 10 silent films.

Her life should be a movie!

Originally buried in a pauper’s grave in the Calvary Cemetrery(Queens),She is now buried in Saint Raymonds Cemetery in the Bronx, NY. Singer Billie Holiday is buried in the same cemetery , as well as singer Frankie Lymon, and actress Lois Nettleton.

Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin

Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin

( 1805 – 1871 )

A French Magician, he is widely considered the father of modern style conjuring. So good was he as an entertainer that Napoleon III used him to prove French magic was powerful and quell a rebellion in French Algeria.

His real name was Jean Eugene Robert, and when he married Josephe Cecilia Houdin, he got a special dispensation from the French Government to use HER last name. Hmmmmm……Oh well, He was great magician, one of, if not the, most famous of his time.

He is buried in Blois, Department de Loir-et-Cher

Centre, France

Trivia-

A Magician named Eric Weiss from Hungary was so impressed with Houdin that he changed his name…… to Harry Houdini…..Even so, later, Houdini , disillusioned with Houdin, wrote a book called “The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin” because he believed that Houdin took credit for other performer’s innovations.

Leslie Nielson

Leslie Nielson

( 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.

Phil Lynott

Phil Lynott

( 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.

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?

Billie Holliday

Billie Holiday

( 1915 – 1959 )

Born Eleanora Fagan, “Lady day”  was an American Jazz Singer and song writer. “God Bless the Child”, “Lady Sings the Blues”, Fine and Mellow” are classics.   Also, Listen to “Strange Fruit”………

A life of prostitution(Her mother was a prostitute, and brought her daughter in at the age of 14) , drugs, alcohol. cut her life short at the age of 44, and if ever anyone lived the blues, it was her.

But her voice…… Silk. Listen to her recordings if you want to hear a magic voice.

Diana Ross portrayed her in the 1972 movie “Lady Sings the Blues”

She is buried in The Bronx, NY, at St. Raymonds Cemetery .

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!