Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood is a long strip of huge skyscrapers, office buildings, and upscale luxury condominiums. Construction in this stretch is constant as more and bigger buildings get higher and more expensive. The corner of Wilshire and Westwood is considered the busiest intersection in Los Angeles. About 4-blocks east of this intersection is the corner of Glendon and Wilshire. It looks like every other corner along Wilshire Blvd. with massive office buildings on each corner . But directly behind the building on the northeast corner is Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #731, the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, or Cemetery to the Stars. The contrast of shiny marble, concrete,and glass buildings to this peaceful, green, and quiet cemetery is overwhelming. Not even one block off Wilshire Blvd. this cemetery is home to Marilyn Monroe’s crypt where Joe Dimaggio had a single red rose delivered daily. Marilyn is the headliner of this star-studded resting place. Recently, 2009, a widow sold her husbands crypt directly above Marilyn’s for $4.6 million on e-bay. I guess when your laid to rest for eternity it doesn’t mean your wife can’t make a few million by having you moved to a cheaper grave. For some reason it doesn’t sound kosher, but apparantly she needed the money and figured her husband wouldn’t care if he was buried in the backyard. The crypt on one side of Marilyn was purchased by Hugh Hefner…perfect. I was introduced to this peaceful place by Anita Lian who was a client and worked on Wilshire Blvd. We took a stroll before lunch and I was in disbelief that after being in LA for 40-years I had never even heard of this place…I guess it’s something you don’t advertise. On my first visit I visited the grave of Bob Crane of Hogan’s Heroes fame. I loved the show as a kid but had learned that Bob was a kinky sex junkie and died in a bizarre murder. As I was telling Anita the story she asked me to step off his grave, it was disrespectful to talk trash about someone while standing on his tombstone. I still chuckle to myself that I would bag on a guy while standing 6-feet above him. I’m waiting for Bob’s ghost to pay me a visit, that’s a freaky thought. On my second and last visit I took two of my managers, Marilyn Rangel and Rich Waisfisz. Marilyn was the head boss and she nor Rich had ever been to this site. Rich and I were strolling peacefully looking at the markers when we heard a screach of epic proportions…Rich & Craig, I want to go now. Marilyn had decided we should leave and rather than walking over to us she just screamed it out as all heads turned to her and birds flew out of the trees… all tranquility was lost. Didn’t bother Marilyn in the least. If your in the Westwood area I recommend taking the time to check this out. You feel as though you’ve gone back in time. There are markers from the early 1900’s as well as Farrah Fawcett and everyone in between. It is Hollywood’s great resting place, unless your wife decides to sell your space…there has gotta be something wrong about that…e-bay no less.
Here is a partial list of those put to rest at Westwood Village cemetery; Eddie Albert, Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote, James Coburn, Rodney Dangerfield, Marvin Davis, Richard Dawson ( another Hogan’s Heroes alumni), Peter Falk, Merv Griffin, Armad Hammer (his family tomb is the size of guest house), Janis Joplin, Gene Kelly, Don Knotts, Peter Lawford, Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau (original Odd Couple), Dean Martin, Natalie Wood (Wagner did it), Roy Orbison, Carroll O’Connor, Donna Reed, George C. Scott, Mel Tome, Burt Lancaster, Carl Wilson (Beach Boy), Darryl F. Zanuck and Frank Zappa. That is just some of the A-listers, there are hundreds more. When I go I don’t want to be buried there as I know my wife would move me to the backyard also if someone offered $46.00.