Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Visit to Desert Memorial Park

During our recent visit to Palm Springs for the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival we made a visit to Desert Memorial Park.

The memorial park is technically in Cathedral City, where it's maintained by the Palm Springs Cemetery District.

It's a relatively small cemetery, and we came across all of the gravestones seen below in a short walk.

I found it especially moving to pay my respects at the final resting place of Frank Sinatra, given how important his music has been to me throughout my life.

William Powell, an all-time favorite actor, is also buried here, along with his wife, Diana Lewis Powell, nicknamed "Mousie."

The Powells had a 27-year age difference between them but were blessed with a happy marriage for 44 years, until William Powell's death at the age of 91.

The desert sun, wind, and heat have all taken a significant toll on many gravestones at this cemetery; indeed, some can no longer be read. This is the gravesite of the great choreographer Busby Berkeley:

Andrea Leeds, who was Oscar nominated for the marvelous STAGE DOOR (1937):

Composer James Van Heusen, whose gravestone reads "Swinging on a Star":

And Frederick Loewe, whose marker alludes to his score for GIGI (1958), saying "Thank Heaven for Frederick Loewe":

TV composer Earle Hagen:

Brad Dexter of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960):

Cameron Mitchell, especially appreciated by me as Uncle Buck on TV's THE HIGH CHAPARRAL:

The marker for Marjorie Rambeau is quite faded:

Betty Hutton:

Marian Marsh, a delightful actress in pre-Codes such as BEAUTY AND THE BOSS (1932):

It was a lovely setting to reflect on how each of these talented people have enriched our lives, and they'll continue to do so as long as movies and music exist.


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