Forest Lawn Cemetery – Glendale, California - Atlas Obscura

Forest Lawn Cemetery

An extraordinary final resting place full of oversized art, amazing statues, and dead celebrities. 


Forest Lawn is one of the most eclectic cemeteries you’ll ever come across. Along with the over-the-top religious imagery that you may expect from the final resting place of so many of the rich and famous, you’ll also be dazzled by random collections of 13th century busts, an impressive showing of Michelangelo fandom, and a little bit of forced patriotism on the side.

Within this beautiful 300 acre park, there’s no end to the amazing amount of art displayed. Their collection includes the complete replicas of Michelangelo statues, dozens of beautiful stained glass windows, including two that have absurd multi-media presentations, a mosaic of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and a giant bronze statue of George Washington.

While an art walk through Forest Lawn could require more than one day to fully complete, the true purpose is obviously to serve as the final resting place for over 250,000 people, including more celebrities than anywhere else in the world. Walt Disney, Jimmy Stewart, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Pickford, Clark Gable, and George Burns are all immortalized here.

One of the more enticing things to do here is grave hunting. The staff at Forest Lawn doesn’t exactly smile upon visitors who are searching for their favorite stars’ graves or crypts, so it’s up to you to find them (Or the website below that provides pretty good directions to alot of these famous graves). Some, like Jimmy Stewart and Larry Fine (Three Stooges) are easily accessible to the public. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look, and in this massive park, that can be quite a task.

Others, like Walt Disney and George Burns, are not completely off-limits, it’s just matter of a gate being open or stepping over a chain. Then, there’s Elizabeth Taylor and Humphrey Bogart, which are behind giant metal doors that can only be opened with a “golden key.” (Yup, that’s what it says on the door). Michael Jackson’s tomb is not only hidden and far from the public’s eye, but the exact whereabouts is not even known.

There’s so much to do and see here, it could take you nearly a whole day to visit the park. There’s no cafe, so pack a picnic.

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