Westwood Memorial Park

Sep 19, 2010 by Lisa Newton

If you happen to like cemeteries, you’re not alone. As a child, I remember walking around old cemeteries looking at the headstones. My mother is also a fan of the names, people, years of birth and death, and any other information that can be gleamed from a headstone.

With that being said, I’m well versed in wandering around cemeteries; but I’m not used to seeing the graves of celebrities–which you’ll in spades at the Westwood Memorial Park.

Established in 1905, by the State of California the then Sunset Cemetery has its earliest burials dating back to the 1880’s. With the growth of Westwood, the cemetery’s name was changed to Westwood Memorial Park in 1926. At that time the cemetery only had ground burials and it wasn’t until 1952 that the first of the current ten mausoleums was built on the cemetery property.

It’s amazing that sitting in the heart of the city, surrounded by high rise office buildings sits a small, important, and well-groomed cemetery that’s also steeped in local history.

Billy Wilder (June 1906 – March 2002), “I’m a writer but then nobody’s perfect”

Carroll O’Conner (August, 1924 – June, 2001) and family:

In 1995, O’Connor’s son Hugh, committed suicide after a long battle with drug addiction. Following his son’s death, O’Connor appeared in public service announcements for Partnership for a Drug Free America, and spent the rest of his life working to raise awareness about drug addiction.

O’Connor also successfully lobbied to get the State of California to pass legislation allowing family members of an addicted person or anyone injured by a drug dealer’s actions, including employers, to sue for reimbursement for medical treatment and rehabilitation costs. The law, known as the Drug Dealer Civil Liability Act in California, went into effect in 1997.

Eleven other states followed with similar legislation, which has been referred to as The Hugh O’Connor Memorial Law. Source: Wikipedia

Jack Lemmon (February, 1925 – June, 2001) “in”

Rodney Dangerfield (November, 1921 – October, 2004) “There goes the neighborhood”

Merv Griffin (July 6, 1925 – August 12, 2007) “I will not be back right after this message”

As mentioned, a significant part of the Westwood Memorial Park is its ten mausoleums

The photos above are just a few of the celebrities that are buried at Westwood Memorial’s Park, whose list partly includes:

Marilyn Monroe, Mel Tormé, Truman Capote, Ariel Durant, Dean Martin, Walter Matthau, and George C. Scott.

If you want to visit Westwood Memorial Park, it’s open daily until sunset. Its entrance is via Glendon Avenue, right off of Wilshire Boulevard.

For a complete list of the celebrities buried here, Wikipedia has it. I prefer to wonder around and see and find what I may regarding the various graves. But if you prefer a map, here’s the link that features a few of the celebrities that are ensconced and buried at Westwood Memorial Park.

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One Response to “Westwood Memorial Park”

  1. Jaymes says:

    I have always enjoyed walking through cemeteries too. My sister and I still do it when I back home to Texas. Thanks for this post, have heard about this cemetery but did not know where it was located. I can see me strolling around here soon. I am like you Lisa, I had rather just find the celebrities myself!!

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