Graves of the Stars

Permanent Californians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of CaliforniaPermanent Californians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of California by Judi Culbertson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Fatty Arbuckle to Daryl Zanuck, many of the legends of Hollywood can be found between these covers. The rough maps guide you to the cemeteries of the stars, but once inside, directions can be a bit vague. (This is true of all the “Permanent Citizens” series, which were published before the advent of GPS.) Leave yourself lots of time to wander.

Unlike most of the other books in this series, this one doesn’t limit itself to a single city — which is, perhaps, much of its trouble. Permanent Californians covers two enormous Forest Lawns (Glendale and Hollywood Hills), along with Westwood (where Marilyn is buried), Holy Cross (last address of Bela Lugosi), and Hollywood Forever (back when it was still called Hollywood Memorial Park), before moving north to Colma, San Francisco, Oakland, a handful of Mission cemeteries, and some miscellaneous graves (Jack London, Luther Burbank, John Muir). There’s too much ground here to cover in depth. Despite that, the book is a whole lot more helpful than asking the officials at Forest Lawn where you can leave flowers for Walt Disney.

Unfortunately out of print and expensive when you can find it, this book truly is a bible, especially if you’re living in Los Angeles. Copies occasionally turn up on Amazon: Permanent Californians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of California

View all my reviews

This review initially appeared in Morbid Curiosity #5.

About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. Scribner published my favorite essays from Morbid Curiosity magazine as Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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15 Responses to Graves of the Stars

  1. Pingback: Cemetery of the Week #14: the Original Forest Lawn | Cemetery Travel

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  11. I have the London and Paris books but sometimes find them tough to follow (though I have tried). And my grandmother is interred in the wall niche directly behind Walt Disney’s grave at Forest Lawn Glendale, so I’d be happy to point his grave out to you!

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      In general, directions in cemetery guides are all hard to follow. I love that some websites now are putting up GPS directions to specific graves. It’s a lot of work for them, but it will make my life much easier. :-)

  12. Pingback: Colma, Before the Graveyards | Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World

  13. Pingback: Cemetery of the Week #109: Holy Cross Cemetery | Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World

  14. Pingback: Cemetery of the Week #116: Wyatt Earp’s gravesite | Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World

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