Saturday, September 06, 2014

A Visit to Westwood Village Memorial Park - The Musicians

Last spring my friend Aurora arrived in town a few days early for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival. We spent the Sunday before the festival enjoying dinner with Robby and attending the last evening of the Noir City Film Festival; earlier that day we visited two Los Angeles cemeteries which are the final resting place for many Classic Era filmmakers, as well as many notable musicians and writers.

I've occasionally visited faraway cemeteries such as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., the Granary Burying Ground in Boston, the Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia, and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts, but I'd never toured any local cemeteries until Aurora suggested it. I have to say it was quite interesting, so much so that we plan to do it again in the future. It's nice to now have a mental picture of these places when I come across the names in my reading.

I recently organized my photos from last April and will be sharing some of them here in a few posts.

Westwood Village Memorial Park is hidden away out of sight behind office buildings on Wilshire Boulevard, and it's not easy to find! One of my clients told me she likes to go there for walks when she's working in the area, and I can see why. It's small enough one can easily walk through it, and it's also nicely maintained.

There's no need to take a map to Westwood; there are so many famous names buried there that it's possible there are more recognizable names than not!

Today we'll take a look at a few of the musical talents buried at Westwood. There are even more than shown here; for instance, I didn't come across Peggy Lee's grave. Click on any photo to enlarge it for a closer look.

Composer Harry Warren and family:

Mel Torme:

Dean Martin:

Oscar Levant:

Buddy Rich:

Les Brown:

Coming next: A look at comedians buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park.

The Los Angeles public TV station KCET has published a very good article, "Eternity With the In Crowd," which tells more about this unique cemetery: "This unassuming, lovely place gives off the feel of a friendly studio commissary, of lives well lived and then some."


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