Gallery of the Famous & Infamous

Death in its way is the ultimate equalizer.  Whether they lie behind grand tombs, beneath large stones or just have a brass plate to proclaim who they were, they are no more to our world than memories.  This gallery includes Edgar Allen Poe, Marilyn Monroe, Al Capone, Howard Hughes, Gene Tierney, Johnny Mercer, Bettie Page, Buffalo Bill Cody, the victims of Columbine Memorial and more.

The photos below are thumbnails. Click to open the full size photo gallery.

Edgar Allan Poe Original Grave Site
October 8, 1849 - November 17, 1875
Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, Baltimore, Maryland, May 2012

When Poe was originally buried in 1849, he was placed in an unmarked grave. Only a small block of sandstone marked it. Reports of Poe’s anonymous grave began to circulate, and by 1865, a movement had begun to provide a monument to Baltimore’s neglected poet. Over the years the grave was exhumed, moved and another marker was placed to mark his original resting spot.
Miss Bettie Page
April 22, 1923 - December 11, 2008
Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, November 2011

Queen of the Pin-ups, "I was never the girl next door."

A cult figure, Bettie Page, the brunette with kitschy bangs in saucy photos, who posed mostly for private collectors and specialty magazines. Later, her face would be printed on thousands of commercial products from playing cards to Zippo lighters for which she received no compensation until near the end of her life.
The Late Marilyn Monroe
Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, November 2011

Marilyn Monroe has, without a doubt, defined what it means to be a "blonde," both during her short career and since her sudden and untimely demise. Born as Norma Jean Mortensen on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, she died of a drug overdose in the same city on August 5, 1962. She has become a mythical icon since then. Monroe appeared in only 31 films but left behind an unforgettable legacy.
Joe Louis, The Brown Bomber
Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC
April 2013

Joseph Louis Barrow, better known as Joe Louis, was an American professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from 1937 to 1949. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, Louis was victorious in his first 27 fights, all but four won by knockout. Considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, he was only defeated three times in his career. He broke color barriers for black athletes, earning respect in the black and white communities.
Johnny Mercer Grave
November 18, 1909 - June 25, 1976
Bonaventure Cemetery
Savannah, Georgia
April 2004

The preeminent songwriter/singer of his time he wrote and recorded (among many others): Moon River, Something's Got to Give, Hooray for Hollywood, Autumn Leaves, That Old Black Magic, Charade and You Must have been a Beautiful Baby. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations and won four. Mercer was also a co-founder of Capitol Records
Victims of Columbine Memorial
Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary & Cemetery, Littleton, CO, July 2008

The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999, in Columbine, CO, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 additional students, with three other people being injured while attempting to escape the school. The pair, then, committed suicide.
Gene Tierney Grave
Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas, March 2008

Stunningly beautiful, as well as deeply troubled, Gene Tierney starred in the film classics: Laura, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Left Hand of God, and Advise and Consent. She received an Oscar nomination for Leave Her to Heaven. By 1953, Tierney's mental health problems were becoming harder for her to hide so she eventually left show business. Tierney married W. Howard Lee in 1960. She was widowed in 1981.
Gene Tierney, Lee Family Plot
Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas, March 2008

A wide shot of the Lee family plot. Miss Tierney married Texas oil baron W. Howard Lee, who was previously married to Hedy Lamarr from 1953 to 1960. She loved life in Texas with Lee and became an expert contract bridge player. Tierney's autobiography, Self-Portrait, in which she candidly discussed her life, career and mental illness, was published in 1979. Tierney was widowed when Lee died after a long illness.
Howard Hughes Grave
Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas, March 2008

Howard Hughes, an aviator and film director was born on December 24, 1905 in Houston, Texas. He inherited his family's oil tool business and began investing in films. He produced several films, including the hit Hell's Angels. After a terrible plane crash in 1946, Hughes began to retreat from the world. In the 1960s, he lived at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, NV and conducted all of his business from his hotel suite. He died April 5, 1976.
Washington Irving Grave
April 3, 1783 - November 28, 1859
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York (formerly Tarrytown), October 2003

Best known as the author of 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow', in which the schoolmaster Ichabod Crane meets up with the Headless Horseman.

Featured on the October 2005 cover of American Cemetery Magazine.
Dorothy Stratten Grave
February 28, 1960 - August 14,1980
Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, November 2011

Dorothy Stratten was a model, actress and Playboy magazine's 1980 Playmate of the Year. She is probably best remembered as the victim of a brutal murder at the hands of her estranged husband, Paul Snider. Stratten's story was told in the films "Death of a Centerfold" and "Star 80."

Stratten's grave marker includes a lengthy passage from Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms".
Buffalo Bill's Grave
February 26, 1846 - January 10, 1917
Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum, Golden, CO, July 2008

William Frederick Cody, or Buffalo Bill, was a successful guide, hunter, actor, writer, ranch owner and soldier. He is best known for his portrayal of himself in the traveling “Wild West Show.” It is difficult to draw the line between fiction and history when it comes to Buffalo Bill, though we can be fairly sure he was a man of adventure and that he was very popular, indeed.
Al Capone Grave
January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947
Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, IL, September 2006

Prohibition gangster Al “Scarface” Capone led a crime syndicate, The Chicago Outfit, dedicated mainly to bootlegging and smuggling of liquor. He began his career in Brooklyn, NY, moving to Chicago in 1919, where he went on to become the era’s leading crime figure, orchestrating the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. He was convicted of tax evasion in 1931. Released in 1939, he lived quietly until his death.
Merv Griffin Grave
July 6, 1925 - August 12, 2007
Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, November 2011

Merv Griffin was a singer and band leader, movie actor, TV personality, and media mogul who, in his time hosting "The Merv Griffin Show" (1962), was second in fame and influence as a talk show host only to Johnny Carson. Griffin is also known for creating the two most popular game shows in television syndication history, "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!"
Dominique Dunne
11-23-1959 to 11-14-1982
Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, November 2011

Sadly now known mostly for being a murder victim, author Dominick Dunne's daughter was an up-and-coming actress when her life was cut short by her former boyfriend. She began her acting career in an ABC Afterschool Special, went on to guest star on television series throughout the 70's and filmed Poltergeist shortly before her death, a few days shy of her 23rd birthday.
Charles "Charlie" Starkweather
November 24, 1938 – June 25, 1959
Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska, July 2008

Starkweather, known as Charlie, and Caril Fugate went on a killing rampage through Nebraska and Wyoming in late 1957 and early 1958, leaving eleven people dead, including her parents and two-year-old sister. Starkweather was sentenced to death and strapped into the electric chair in 1959. Fugate, fourteen at the time of the killings, was sent to prison and paroled in 1976. She has since lived a quiet life.
Audie Murphy Grave
Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC
April 2013

June 20, 1925 – May 28, 1971
Murphy was the most famous and decorated American soldiers of WWII. Post service, he became a popular actor starring in 44 films as well as a songwriter penning several hit tunes. His 1949 autobiography To Hell and Back was made into a movie starring Murphy as himself. A victim of PTSD, he battled government bureaucracy to get help for soldiers such as himself. He was killed in a plane crash in 1971.
Johnny Eck
Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland
May 2012

A popular side-show performer, he was often billed as the amazing "Half-Boy" and "King of the Freaks". Eck is best known today for his role in Tod Browning's 1932 cult classic film, Freaks.
Jeff Morris
09-30-1934 to 07-12-2004
Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, November 2011

Fine Actor, "Weather Permitting."

A character actor known for playing the Texan, a laid back good ol' boy in films such as Kelly's Heroes, Goin' South and The Blues Brothers, as well as guest star in popular TV shows of the 60's and 70's.
Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne
Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI
March 2006

Known as the greatest American acting team of the '20's until retiring in the '60's, they were longtime residents of Genesee Depot, WI. Their home, Ten Chimneys, was a gathering place for great artists of the time, such as Katherine Hepburn and Noel Coward. The couple worked on the Broadway stage, but so much of their legacy is lost. However, you can tour their home to get a taste of the glamorous life circa the 1st half of the 20th Century.
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© 2019 by A. Louise Myers Weston

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