Hollywood Forever Cemetery


Among Hollywood's history, the Hollywood Cemetery was one of the earliest locations. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is at 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California. It is adjacent to the north wall, or back, of Paramount Studios, which, with RKO Studios, bought 40 acres (160,000 m2) by 1920. The Beth Olam Cemetery, in the southwestern section, is a dedicated Jewish burial ground. The cemetery was founded in 1899 on 100 acres as Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery. By the latter part of the 20th century it had become run down. Allegations of financial mismanagement caused the State of California to forbid the sale of plots. On the verge of closure in a bankruptcy proceeding, Tyler Cassity of Forever Enterprises purchased the now 62-acre (250,000 m2) property in 1998 for $375,000. They renamed it "Hollywood Forever," and restored and refurbished it. The cemetery is active. The longtime ban on the sale of plots was rescinded when the Forever Network restored the cemetery, and space for more graves remains. One of the most famous celebrities to be buried at, what was then the Hollywood Cemetery, was Rudolph Valentino. On August 23, 1926, silent film star Rudolpt Valentino uttered his last words in a stark hospital room. He slipped into a coma due to complications after surgery and left the world that worshiped him shortly after noon. News of Valentino's death hit his fans hard - many committed suicide to be with their beloved Rudy. His friends and colleagues were devastated. When a private funeral service was held for Rudy at St. Malachi's in New York, it was besieged by more than 15,000 overwrought women. Rudolph Valentino was laid to rest at Hollywood Memorial Park, where thousands of rose petals rained down on the funeral procession, courtesy of a small airplane. His body was carried to the Cathedral Mausoleum and placed in crypt number 1205, fittingly beside a romantic stained glass window. Four years later, at the unveiling of a monument in Valentino's honor, several people noticed a mysterious woman standing at the fringes of the crowd. She wore a black dressand a black veil that completely covered her face. Afterwards, she was always seen at the monument and at Valentino's grave on the anniversary of his death. Rumors began to spread about the identity of the mysterious lady in black. Some said she was Rudy Valentino's one true love; others claimed that it was just a fan imitating the 1930's movie "The Only Normal Man in Hollywood". In the film, a woman dressed completely in black visits Valentino's gravesite every year. Copycats soon began adorning themselves in black and making solemn trips to Rudy's final resting place. In 1939, three women in black were spotted at his grave. In 1940, a former Ziegfeld girl named Marian E. Watson gained press coverage when she announced that she was the original lady in black. She went on to spin an outlandish tale of how she secretly married Valentino and gave him two children. She is also reported as saying that Rudy proposed to her the night before he was hospitalized. No one believed a word of this, since Rudy was very involved with actress Pola Negri before his death.

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Hollywood Cemetery
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Hollywood Cemetery
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Hollywood Cemetery
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HOLLYWOOD CEMETERY UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Hollywood Forever CemeteryHollywood Cemetery
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1903
Hollywood Forever CemeteryHollywood Cemetery
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1910
Hollywood Forever CemeteryHollywood Cemetery
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1905
Hollywood Forever CemeteryHOLLYWOOD CEMETERY UNDER CONSTRUCTION
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1932
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Reception room at the Hollywood Cemetery
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Postcard of the Hollywood Cemetery
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Postcard of Hollywood Cemetery
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Postcard of the Hollywood Cemetery
Hollywood Forever CemeteryReception room at the Hollywood Cemetery
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1932
Hollywood Forever CemeteryPostcard of the Hollywood Cemetery
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1937
Hollywood Forever CemeteryPostcard of Hollywood Cemetery
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1937
Hollywood Forever CemeteryPostcard of the Hollywood Cemetery
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1937
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Aereial of Hollywood Cemetery on Santa Monica Blvd.
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Rudolpho Guglielmi Valentino's crypt at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  Also known as Rudolph Valentino
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Rudolph Valentino's casket being carried into the at Hollywood Cemetery
 
Hollywood Forever CemeteryAereial of Hollywood Cemetery on Santa Monica Blvd.
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1932
Hollywood Forever CemeteryRudolpho Guglielmi Valentino's crypt at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Also known as Rudolph Valentino
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1926
Hollywood Forever CemeteryRudolph Valentino's casket being carried into the at Hollywood Cemetery
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1926