Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale is a privately owned cemetery (one in a chain of many throughout California) in Glendale and home to the last resting place of dozens of once-famous actors, actresses, and others. Forest Lawn is a place that inspires joy in remembering those who have passed via an environment that transcends joy. The cemetery was founded with this key element in mind, an idea that has evolved through beautiful landscaping, magnificent art, and hundreds of statues throughout each of the cemeteries.
History Image: Forest Lawn Facebook page
Founded in 1906 by California businessmen, Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale was the vision of one Dr. Hubert Eaton, a devout Christian who aimed to inspire people to see the joy in the after life rather than the common sadness and depression. He created the chain of Forest Lawn Cemeteries to emulate his vision; each of the cemeteries has adopted a no-upright markers policy and are filled with magnificent fountains, graceful, towering trees, beautiful statues, serene fountains, and “memorial architecture.” The land Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale is built on was once called Providencia Ranch; it was a popular filming location for some of the earliest movies ever filmed.
Art & Architecture
In 1957, Glendale’s Forest Lawn Museum was founded and hosted exhibits showcasing the works of such luminaries as Matisse, Rembrandt, and Goya. The permanent collection features work representing countries around the world. “Song of the Angels”, an oil painting on canvas created in 1881 by William Bouguereau, is a major attractions. There is also an exceptional collection of 1000-plus stained glass pieces dating back to 1200 a.d., mostly from Germany and France. Sculptures of bronze from the west, historical artifacts from the United States, replicas of Bible-related coins, and scores of paintings also comprise the art collection at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Another of the most popular attractions is the Easter Island statue, found on a boat using it as stabling ballast. Replicas of the British crown jewels also bring thousands of visitors to the museum.
Statuary and Art
Art & Architecture Image: Forest Lawn Facebook page
Statuary and art throughout Forest Lawn Cemetery is also a rare and surprising find. Some of the greatest works of Michelangelo are replicated exactly and showcased throughout the grounds. These include La Pieta, David, and Moses. One of the largest paintings in the world, Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, is also replicated in stained glass and put on display. The Resurrection and The Crucifixion are more notable displays. The varied architecture seen throughout the museum and other cemetery buildings represents a vast array of styles, most notably Old World. Marble and original bronze statuary, stained glass from the 13th century, and a large collection of rare coins are part of the cemetery’s cache of are architecture and art.
Famous People Buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale
Famous People Buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale Image: Bogdan Migulski (flickr)
Among the more than quarter-million people laid to rest, there are numerous famous people buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale, more so than the Hollywood Hills location. Mega-star Michael Jackson was interred in a private grave at Forest Lawn Cemetery in 2009: he joins scores of well-known people including Walt Disney, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy. Marilyn Monroe, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Jimmy Stewart are also at Forest Lawn, dispersed across the sweeping 300-acre property which overlooks Universal Studios.
Forest Lawn Cemetery Hollywood Hills
Forest Lawn Cemetery Hollywood Hills Image: Forest Lawn Facebook page
Composers, directors, producers, actors, actresses, fashion designers and more have been interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills since its inception in the early 1900s. Though it is a cemetery, the grounds are commonly used for hosting many specials events, attended mostly by high-profile people. Some of the biggest attractions include Lincoln Terrrance featuring a statue of President Augustus St Gaudens, the Court of Liberty showcasing statues of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and several sculptures inside the Plaza of Mesoamerican Heritage.
Top image: Forest Lawn Facebook page