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Sat. Nov. 24 to Fri. Nov. 30- Pierce Brothers Cemetery, Dearly Departed Tour

Saturday- We were out the door by 9:00, heading south on the 405 to the city. Our first destination was Pierce Brother Westwood Village Memorial Park. The cemetery is hidden behind towering high-rises that line Wilshire Blvd. We easily found the park, although the guide book states that it is hard to find! I know, a cemetery! Where else are you going to get within 6 feet, or less, to so many really great stars!

Cemetery entrance sign Pierce Brothers Cemetary

Although this is a small cemetery, it is the resting place of many of the Hollywood stars we knew in our youth. We were able to drive directly into the park. I had researched the cemetery before we left home, so we knew whose graves we were looking for and basically where they are located. We started in the back of the park. Sorry, I must have some water spots on the camera lens, but the pictures which are out of the sun are better!

Rodney Dangerfield- "There goes the neighborhood"006-001

Rodney Dangerfield’s head stone says” Here goes the neighborhood”. Merv Griffin’s headstone says, “I will not be right back after this message!” Next to him is George C. Scott, whose grave is not marked!

004-001 005-001

Farrah Fawcet and Merv Griffin .


Walter Mathow and Jack Lemon are close to each other.


Here is Karl Malden. Jdvar Hazy  who endowed the Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport.


Peggy Lee and James Coburn have benches above their graves instead of headstones.


Archie Bunker and Columbo! Next we moved on to some of the crypts. The most famous resident is:

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe. On the right side of the flowers is a note from her fan club, who keep flowers on her crypt all the time. Hugh Hefner bought the crypt to the left for an obscene amount of money. The wife of the man who was in the crypt above Marilyn had her husband moved and sold the crypt for 800,000! Every August on the anniversary of her death, there are a lot of flowers delivered.


Next was Dean Martin and Burt Lancaster. Dean had a crypt, but Burt has a small stone over his grave. He must have been cremated.

 Buddy RichJonathan Harris from Lost in Space

Buddy Rich and Jonathan Harris( Zachary Smith on Lost in Space)

Christopher GeorgeTruman Capote

Christopher George and Truman Capote.


Heather O'roark from PoltergistDominique Dunne

Heather O’Rourke and Dominique Dunne, both from Poltergeist. Both died way too young! Dominique Dunne was killed by her ex-boyfriend.

Mel TormeArmand Hammer Family Crypt

The wonderful crooner, Mel Torme(“chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…. )  and the Armand Hammer family crypt.


011-001EVa Gabor

Ray Bradbury( who was not on our list, we just happened to stumble on his grave)  and Eva Gabor. ( Green Acres). She is not that far from Eddie Albert, her co-star!

Don Knots

Barney Fife!

Natalie WoodBob Craine and wife Ingrid

Natalie Wood and Bob Crane, with his wife Ingid, who was Col. Klink’s secretary!

Eddie AlbertCornel Wilde

Eddie Albert and Cornel Wilde

Donna ReedJim Backus- Mr. Howell and Mr. Magoo

Donna Reed and Thurston Howell the third / Mr. Magoo( Jim Backus)!

Sabastian CabotCarl Wilson- Beach Boys

Carl Wilson( Beach Boys) and Sebastian Cabot, Brian Keith was also there, but somehow we missed him!

So much for the cemetery, but our macabre day was not done! We left there to head across Wilshire Blvd, to Sunset Strip to go to the Dearly Departed Tour!  First we went in search of lunch. We first found where the tour started, then we drove over a block, parked and looked for a place to eat. We stopped in at Joe’s Pizza, a chain. It was the worst pizza we have ever had! As we walked away, I noticed that we were walking on Lucy’s star!

Lucy's star on Hollywood BLVD

We found a place to park in a Catholic Church parking lot ( $5) and walked about a block to the start of the tour.

Our vanBrian Donnelly our guide

This is our tour van and guide, Brian Donnelly. Brian was a hoot! Our problem was that we were seated on the passenger side of the van, not on the drivers side, so I could not get a lot of pictures! Oh well! Here is what I was able to capture from my side.

Hollywood sign

Here is the Hollywood sign, which is undergoing a facelift!

Scientology Celebrity Center

This is the Scientology Celebrity  Center. It is in an old hotel and takes up over 1 block. All the apartment buildings around it belong to the center and there are numerous security camera’s everywhere!

Capitol Records building

The Capitol records, round building. Built to resemble a stack of 45’s.

Palladium Theater

The Palladium Theater. Donnie and Marie are doing a Christmas Show there.

Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel.

George Burns initials in driveway of his and Gracies house

George Burns put his initials into his driveway!

Simon Cowell's house

Simon Cowells house. It has a front parking area, with another gate in front of the house. Can’t see it the picture, but the front door opened and closed while we were sitting in front of the house.

Hustler porn star handprints

In front of Hustler Magazine, they have the ‘porn’ stars put their handprints in the cement.

Where John Belushi diedBungalo #3 where John Belushi died

Number 3 bungalow at the Marmount Hotel where John Belushi died.

Sunday- We were out the door a little before 10 AM. Again, we drove south on the 405 to Wilkshire Blvd. This time we stopped on Rodeo Dr.

Rodeo DriveRodeo Drive

Rodeo drive, west view then east view.

Beverly Hills sign on Santa Monica BLVD .

We could not get a decent picture yesterday of the BH sign, so we stopped today and took one! This is from Santa Monica Blvd. north.

Santa hanging from palm trees

In Beverly Hills, Santa hangs out in palm trees!

Bungalow @ Beverly Hills Hotel

We cruised by the Beverly Hills hotel. This is one of the bungalows. Below is the actual hotel.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Beverly Hills Farmers Market

From the hotel we went to the Beverly Hills Farmers Market. It is held every Sunday. Sorry, did not see any ‘stars’, just fruits and veggies!

We drove south on Santa Monica Blvd. to Santa Monica, straight to the Santa Monica pier.

Entrance to Santa Monica Pier

We drove through this arch, down a steep hill, onto the pier. The pier is wooden. We made a left turn into the parking lot, right on the pier. This is a parking lot below the pier, but we never figured out how to get to it! It was $3 per hour to park, max $12. We stayed about 1 1/2 hours. We wanted  a seafood lunch. There were only two seafood restaurants. One was a dive, with bad reviews on Yelp, so we ended up at Bubba Gump. Where we ate lunch!

It would not have been our first choice, but it ended up being our only choice. Our waiter was a comedian.  He did a Bubba Gump quiz for a prize. First question, what was Bubba’s girlfriends name? (Jessy) What rank was Lt. Dan? (Duh!) Finally, Bubba ran across country, ran around a light house in Maine and ran back to California. Where did he end up? ( The Santa Monica pier) We high five’s on that answer and we won two glasses of water!

Our lunch was very good! They have a very different menu than the restaurant in Breckenridge. Bob had the shrimp and sausage and I had the coconut shrimp.

After lunch,we wandered down the pier. There were performers singing and selling their CD’s, a magician, and this dog.

A cool dog!

He dumped off the hat just as I went to take his picture! These birds were also there.

Cool birds.

Amusement park on the pier in Santa Monica

An old fashioned amusement park.

Amusement park on pier at Santa Monica

Noodle sculpture

This noodle sculpture.  Of course, there is a fishing pier which goes around the bottom of the end of the pier.

Fishing pier at the end of the Santa Monica pier

Here is the view of Santa Monica, to the north, from the pier.

Santa Monica beach fom the pier

To the south:

Southern view of Santa Monica from pier

There is a trapeze school on the pier. We were amazed that there was someone even thinking about giving it a try!

NY trapeze school.

Next to the pier, on the beach, there was a protest against the war, and supportive of the troops, in the sand.

War protest on the beach @ Santa Monica Pier

What pier and amusement park would be complete without a Merry-Go-Round? This is a famous one, made of wood! It was built in 1930’s and was in the film The Sting.

Merry -go -round

Finally, the Santa Monica pier is the official end of Old Route 66!

End of the trail

From the pier, we drove back into town. We tried to find a parking place so that we could walk the 3rd Street Promenade, but no luck. There was no street parking open and all the parking garages were closed, as they were full.

So after driving around, we said the heck with this a drove up Ocean Blvd. Ocean Blvd, goes parallel to the ocean, with Rt. 1, below.  The drive is very nice. There is a park on the left, overlooking the ocean.  Below, looking north.

Ocean Blvd. Santa Monica

Now looking south:

Santa Monica Ocean Blvd, north viewThis This picture is from the park, looking down onto the beach.

Beach view in Santa Monica

We continued on, going north to Topanga Canyon Road. We turned right and drove north over this curving, two lane road, through the canyon. There are a lot of ‘free spirits’ who live on this road!

We reached an overlook and stopped to take these pictures. This first one is looking down over the canyon.

Tapanga Canyon view

While looking, I spotted what looked like the hospital. So Bob took out his phone, and using the smart phone, confirmed that I was right. ( Gee those new glasses work!). So I took the picture. With cropping, it came out pretty well!

West Hills Hospital from top of Tapanga Canyon overlook

The hospital is the round building, the other two buildings are the doctor’s offices.

We returned home, arriving about 2:30, and took a nap. We went to Ralph’s grocery shopping. We were appalled at what we paid for groceries! We did not go to Walmart, since it is Thanksgiving weekend. We will not make that mistake again! We paid about $30 more for our groceries!

Monday- Another day at work. Nothing much happened.

Tuesday- Bob had an interview at Home Depot. This interview was still a preliminary interview. He felt that the interview went well.

Wednesday-  It started raining today and is supposed to rain until next week.  At 5PM I walked across the street for a Physical Therapy appointment. Very different; much more new age!

Thursday- Pretty busy at work. Still raining.  I had an interesting person who works for a studio for a patient, but due to HIPPA I can’t say anything about him. Although I will say he was really very nice! Might be as close as I get to any celebrities.

Friday- Bob picked me up at 5, and we went to dinner at Maggiano’s.  Still raining!

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