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
This review initially appeared in Morbid Curiosity #5.