Many of our literary forebears have monuments we can visit, where we can thank them for their inspiration. (Check my cemetery column here for details.) Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of many of our favorite horror movie actors and directors. Too many of them do not have grave sites, whether they were buried in unmarked graves or their ashes were scattered – or I couldn’t determine the disposition of their remains. I wish we could find some appropriate way to honor them.
What follows is a listing of actors gathered from the Horror Writers Association Facebook page and conversations with my local HWA chapter and others. I’ve included burial places, when known.
Part 1 of this list appeared yesterday. If I’ve missed anyone that should be included in this list, please drop a comment below and I’ll put together a Part 3.
William Marshall was a Shakespearean actor who starred in the Blaxploitation movies BLACKULA and its sequel, SCREAM, BLACKULA, SCREAM. After he died in 2003 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease, Marshall was cremated.
Brooke McCarter played Paul in LOST BOYS and also appeared in an episode of the Twilight Zone reboot. He died in 2015 in Tampa, Florida of liver failure. His gravesite is unknown.
Mercedes McCambridge enjoyed a long career in character roles, but became a cult heroine after she provided the voice of Pazuzu in THE EXORCIST. She died in La Jolla, California in 2004 at the age of 87. Her ashes were scattered at sea.
Roddy McDowell was a child actor who worked into old age, starring in more genre movies than I can list, including THE HAUNTING OF HELL HOUSE and FRIGHT NIGHT. He died at home of cancer at the age of 70. His ashes were scattered at sea.
Darren McGavin will be remembered forever for playing journalist Carl Kolchak, THE NIGHT STALKER. After his death of natural causes at the age of 83, McGavin was buried at Hollywood Forever in Burbank, California in 2006.
Vic Morrow died during the filming of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE in 1982. He was buried at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California. His grave marker says, “I loved him as Dad.”
Paul Naschy was a Spanish actor who made his debut as a werewolf in FRANKENSTEIN’S BLOODY TERROR in 1968. He died in 2009 at the age of 75 and was buried in the Burgos Municipal Cemetery in Castille, Spain.
The original Horror Hostess Vampira set the bar for all who followed. Maila Nurmi may be best remembered as Bela Lugosi’s reanimated wife in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. When she died in 2008 at the age of 85, friends arranged for her to be buried at Hollywood Forever in Burbank, California.
Blond child actress Heather O’Rourke starred in the POLTERGEIST movies as Carol Anne. She died at the age of 12 of a bowel obstruction before the final movie was released. She is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Although Russian-born Maria Ouspenskaya is best remembered for playing the gypsy fortune teller opposite Lon Chaney Jr. in THE WOLF MAN, she was twice nominated for Academy Awards. She died after suffering a stroke in 1943 and was buried in Forest Lawn, Glendale.
After Bill Paxton climbed up on the bar in NEAR DARK, vampires would never be the same. He also featured in ALIENS and PREDATOR 2, among many others. He died unexpectedly at the age of 61 of complications following heart surgery. Paxton was buried in the Court of Liberty at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.
Anthony Perkins created the career-defining role of Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. He died of AIDS-related pneumonia at age 60 in 1992. Perkins was cremated and his ashes kept on an altar at his residence in the Hollywood Hills. His urn is inscribed, “Don’t Fence Me In.”
Born in Poland, Ingrid Pitt was interned in a Nazi concentration camp as a child. After the war, she moved to England. Her breakout role was THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, followed by COUNTESS DRACULA, and THE WICKER MAN. She is buried in the Richmond and East Sheen Cemeteries, in London, England.
From THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL to THE ABOMINABLE DR PHIBES to Roger Corman’s Poe movies, Vincent Price was always elegant and at least slightly mad. His ashes were scattered off Point Dume, California.
Claude Rains played the iconic INVISIBLE MAN twice. The 1966 remake was his final movie role. When he died of an abdominal hemorrhage at the age of 77, Rains was buried in Red Hill Cemetery, Mountonborough, New Hampshire. His monument says, “Soul, once living, lives forever.”
Basil Rathbone played Baron Wolf von Frankenstein in SON OF FRANKENSTEIN and returned to horror in Roger Corman’s TALES OF TERROR. Rathbone died of a heart attack in 1967 and was buried in the mausoleum at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.
Oliver Reed starred in CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF as a young man, played Bill Sikes in OLIVER!, but really outdid himself as Urbain Grandier in Ken Russell’s THE DEVILS. Reed died in Malta in 1999 while filming GLADIATOR at the age of 61. He was buried in Bruhenny Graveyard in County Cork, Ireland, where his headstone was placed with a view of his favorite pub.
Michael Ripper worked for Hammer Horror for 25 years, playing character parts opposite Christopher Lee (9 times) and Peter Cushing (7 times). In all, Ripper appeared in 35 Hammer movies. He died at the age of 87 in 2000 and received a non-cemetery burial. I couldn’t find any more information.
German Robles’ performance in EL VAMPIRO is said to have influenced Christopher Lee’s DRACULA. Robles died in Mexico City in November 2015, but his burial site is unknown.
Lina Romay starred in 150 low-budget films directed by her partner Jess Franco. She debuted in LA MALIDICION DE FRANKENSTEIN but her first major role was in FEMALE VAMPIRE. She died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 57. Her ashes were given to family or friends.
George Romero, father of the modern zombie movie, is buried at the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery in Ontario, Canada. Romero died in his sleep while battling lung cancer in 2017. He was 77.
Zelda Rubenstein came to acting in her 40s, but found fame playing the psychic Tangina Barrons in the POLTERGEIST franchise. Rubenstein was one of the first celebrity AIDS spokespeople. She died of cardiac and pulmonary failure in 2010 at the age of 76. Her ashes were given to her family.
Remembered for playing Count Orloff in F.W. Murnau’s NOSFERATU: EINE SYMPHONIE DES GRAUNES, Max Schreck is buried in Wilmersdorfer Waldfriedhof Stahndorf in Brandenburg, Germany. He was 56 when he died in 1936.
Angus Scrimm gained fame playing the Tall Man in the PHANTASM movies. In 2016, Scrimm died at the age of 89 from prostate cancer. The location of his grave is unknown.
Creator of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and NIGHT GALLERY, Rod Serling died of complications from heart surgery at the age of 50. He was buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Interlaken, New York.
During World War II, French actress Simone Simon made CAT PEOPLE and its sequel CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE. After the war, she returned to France, where she died in 2005 at the age of 94. She is buried in the Cemetery of Chateau-Gombert in Provence. Her grave is marked with lovely ceramic flowers called immortelles.
Mexican actress Lupita Tovar starred in the Spanish-language version of DRACULA, which was filmed on the same sets as the Lugosi version in the evenings after the English version wrapped for the day. She was 20 at the time. She died of heart disease in 2016 at the age of 106. She was buried in Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California. (Thanks to Lisa Neff for the information!)
Long before he appeared in CASABLANCA, Conrad Veidt appeared in THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI and THE MAN WHO LAUGHED (whose title character inspired Bob Kane’s Joker). After Veidt’s death from a heart attack while golfing, his ashes were originally kept in the columbarium at Ferncliffe Cemetery in New York. After his wife’s death, remains of the two were commingled and enshrined at Golders Green Columbarium in London, England.
David Warbeck starred in Fulci’s THE BEYOND. His last movie was the vampire film RAZOR BLADE SMILE. He died of cancer in 1997 at the age of 55. The location of his grave is unknown.
The director of Universal’s FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, James Whale drowned himself in his swimming pool in 1957. His ashes reside in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.
As Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, Gene Wilder rewarded our love for the old Universal monsters with YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Wilder died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 and was cremated. The disposition of his remains is unknown.
Bob Wilkins, the host of Creature Features and other shows in Northern California, retired to Reno, Nevada, where he died of complications of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009. His burial site in unknown.
After featuring in DAMNATION ALLEY, WRATH OF KHAN, and THE TERMINATOR, Paul Winfield died of a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 64. He was buried in the Court of Liberty in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with his husband, Chuck Gillan Jr.
Director of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, the so-called worst movie ever made, Ed Wood died of a heart attack at the age of 54 in 1978. His ashes were scattered.
Natalie Wood drowned mysteriously during the filming of BRAINSTORM, which was finally released two years later in 1983. An investigation into her death has recently been reopened. She was buried in Westwood Memorial Park.
One of the first of the Hollywood Scream Queens, Fay Wray is best remembered for playing Ann Darrow in KING KONG. She died at the age of 96 in 2004 and is buried in Hollywood Forever under a very minimal black headstone.
Remember, if you catch an error or think of anyone I’ve missed, please let me know.
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