It seems only fitting that a city famous for its movie stars also has a place famous for laying those movie stars to rest. Westwood Memorial Park, located in the Westwood Village area of Los Angeles, serves as the final resting place for some of Hollywood's brightest and most famous actors and actresses.
Although not an extravagant parcel of land considering the residents, Westwood Memorial Park still draws out fans that wish to be just a little bit closer to their beloved stars. Visits to the park are made that much more memorable by a staff that is friendly, courteous, and well aware of the reasons for why some people decide to pay the park a visit.
The curious layout of the park makes it very accessible to park visitors, who can actually and easily drive their cars into the park and station them near the particular area they wish to visit. There is essentially one road that takes visitors in and out of the park. The circular road goes around the central section, which measures about 150 yards by 100 yards, and is the area where most of the "famous people" are buried. Various other sanctuaries are located outside of the central area, and also serve as the final resting place for other celebrities. The park itself does not provide maps that indicate the location of specific graves or grave sites, however most visitors find that the staff is very willing to help identify and locate a specific site if need be.
The park was initially known only to locals, especially considering its location and the difficulty involved in actually getting to and finding the cemetery. However, when famed baseball player Joe DiMaggio decided that the park would be the final resting place of one of Hollywood's most famous actresses, Marilyn Monroe, the park was suddenly thrust into popularity and notoriety. Soon, Westwood Memorial Park became the "place to be".
Besides Marilyn Monroe, dozens of other well-known celebrities call the park their home for eternity. Natalie Wood, famous for her roles in West Side Story and Miracle on 34th Street, was buried here after she drowned in a boating accident in 1981. Singer and songwriter Roy Orbison, Beach Boy Carl Wilson, and author Truman Capote are also buried at Westwood Memorial Park, as are Heather O'Rourke from Poltergeist, "The Velvet Fog" himself Mel Torme, Don Knotts, and Dean Martin.
By far the most famous resident at 1218 Glendon Avenue in Westwood, California is the blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, who was famous for her work in Hollywood as well for her relationships. Curiously enough, Marilyn Monroe is not buried in the central area of the park. Her burial site, which is actually in the area around the central burial site where the crypts and mausoleums are located, is relatively plain considering her fame and status. Still, the site is relatively easy to find - just look for the grave with the stains of lipstick left by fans that have paid Marilyn a visit.