Visiting Westwood Village Cemetery for the Graves of Marilyn Monroe and Other Celebs

Every time I go to Los Angeles, I search for celebrities and come up emptyhanded. So this time, I decided to stalk a group of celebs who couldn’t run away – the ones buried underground.

Inappropriate? Nah, just a case of Hollywood fever. When I was told I could visit the final resting place of Marilyn Monroe, I had to go pay my respects.

It turns out that Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery is not only home to Monroe, but numerous other celebs as well.

westwood village cemetery

Visiting Marilyn Monroe’s grave site

Westwood Village is a fairly small cemetery, so Marilyn isn’t hard to find. As you enter the grounds, she’s tucked off in the left corner, not underground, but in an above-ground crypt.

Surprisingly, there were only a handful of tourists in the entire cemetery, none around Marilyn as we approached. It was quiet and classy – appropriate for Marilyn, I think.

Her resting place, as you might expect, displayed the evidence of dozens of kisses from fans. Here’s a fascinating fact: The name plate on the grave has to be replaced periodically, because the lipstick kiss marks that fans leave on it cause oxidation and wear over time!

Marilyn Monroe grave burial resting place westwood

Marilyn Monroe’s grave is considered one of the most popular and sought-after celebrity grave sites in America, and for good reason. She’s a legend whose influence on popular culture through her movies and public appearances was massive.

Marilyn has been here since August 8, 1962, three days after her untimely death. Part of the reason her grave was placed at Westwood because the park was small and off the beaten path. Of course, that’s no longer the case, as tourists flock here to pay respects to some of their favorite celebrity icons.

Interestingly, before his death, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner bought the plot right next to Marilyn Monroe’s grave. “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up,” Hefner told the LA Times after shelling out $75,000 for the space.

Other celebrities buried at Westwood Village

You don’t have to walk far in Westwood Village to stumble across other celeb graves. Mel Torme, Eva Gabor, Don Knotts and Truman Capote rest right near the front entrance.

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Mel Torme grave westwood cemetery

Walk a little further and you may encounter Rodney Dangerfield, Dean Martin, Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon. As a music junkie, I was excited to see Minnie Riperton and Carl Wilson. Roy Orbison and Frank Zappa are here too, but unmarked.

Natalie Wood grave

Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery visiting information

The Westwood Village Cemetery in Los Angeles is located at 1218 Glendon Avenue, just a half-block off busy Wilshire Blvd. Hidden behind a couple of buildings, you’d never find this place if you weren’t specifically looking for it. The full name of the place is “Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary.”

If you’re searching for a particular celeb, Seeing Stars has a fantastic map of the grounds. I wish I’d looked at that before I visited, because I ended up missing a lot of famous people!

 

RELATED LINKS ABOUT CELEBRITY GRAVESITES:

The Hollywood Reporter says that graves at Westwood can go for as much as $2 million. Holy cow!

Here’s how to visit Elvis Presley’s grave at Graceland for free!

A report about my trip to Andy Warhol’s grave in Pittsburgh, which is live-streamed 24/7 online!

Westwood doesn’t have a prominent website, but you can check out their Wikipedia page.

Here’s a post about quirky and fun Palm Springs activities, including a visit to the graves of Sonny Bono and Frank Sinatra.

Have you ever visited a celebrity grave?

28 Comments

  1. Great post Scott – made me laugh ‘I see dead people’ haha. I went to the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and saw Edith Piaffe’s but went there to see Oscar Wilde’s and it was absolutely COVERED in lipstick kisses despite warnings not to graffiti – something quite emotional about it all.

  2. I’m not a big fan of cemetery’s, but if I ever make it to LA I think I will visit a few of the famous ones.

  3. If you want to see celebs in LA go to Larchmont (I saw Orlando Bloom and John Krakowski there). Then there is the Grove and Mr. Chow. I’ve never visited a celebrity grave but I’ve seen a lot of live celebs by chance. The best one ever was Robert Downey Jr.- swoon.

  4. I have been to LA once, and at the end of the week, I was complaining that I hadn’t seen a single celebrity. Not even one on the D list! Then I saw George Clooney. I never need to see another celebrity again 🙂

  5. Curious how Marilyn Monroe’s grave is all kissed… lol I don’t think I’ve ever visited a celebrity grave (with the exception of JFK’s eternal flame), but I think it would be cool to see a few.

  6. I’ve been to Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris and just recently we saw Evita’s in Buenos Aires. I would prefer to see live celebs (I was sitting two chairs away from John Cusack at a hotel bar in Buenos Aires – much more exciting, let me tell you) but graves are pretty cool too!

  7. Definitely a place to catch up on Hollywood celebrities. Like Renee, cemeteries aren’t my favorite place either. However, I’ve visited some back in the South with my dad and it’s fascinating to see really old graves of people back in the 1700s and 1800s!

  8. Very cool! I’ve been to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (just across town) for movie nights and the annual Dia de los Muertos festival. Some old school movie stars like Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and Jayne Mansfield are buried there.

  9. I’m not a fan of cemeteries either, but I was able to go to Pere Lachaise in Paris to see Jim Morrison and I would definitely go to Westwood too. This is quite the unique story, Scott…way to go. BTW, I LOVED Minnie Riperton….that voice….phenomenal. At least, I get to see her daughter (Maya Rudolph) on tv every now and again and when I do, I smile.

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