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Holy Cross Cemetery:
Hollywood Legends

Culver City, CA

All new tour:
Sunday, May 11, 2019

On this special tour us students of history and culture are going to the Westside, in order to pay our respects to some of the luminaries of screen and stage, music and society, buried at the lovely Holy Cross Cemetery, in Culver City. One of the most important Roman Catholic burial grounds of Los Angeles, and the resting place of many stars.

We will be visiting the burial sites and honor the lives of the people to brought so much entertainment into our lives:

  • Bela Lugosi – best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the 1931 film and for his roles in other horror films; who was buried in his signature cloak.

  • Sharon Tate – the star of the 1967 cult classic film, The Valley of the Dolls. Her life and the life of her unborn son ended when they were murdered by members of the Charles Manson “family.” We will talk about how her passing broke the hearts of Hollywood.

  • Two stars from the classic film The Wizard of Oz, Ray Bolger who played the Scarecrow and Jack Haley who played the Tin Man.

  • Jimmy Durante – singer, pianist, comedian, and actor; he often referred to his nose as the schnozzola (from the American Yiddish slang word "schnoz" for big nose), and the word became his nickname.

  • John Candy – resting in the mausoleum is the comedic star who is was well known for his roles in Stripes, Splash, Cool Runnings, Summer Rental, Home Alone, The Great Outdoors, Spaceballs, and of course Uncle Buck.

  • Rita Hayworth - born in 1918 as Margarita Carmen Cansino of Spanish decent on her paternal side, she was the daughter of two accomplished dancers. She made her on-screen debut at 8 years old in short film made by Warner Bros. called La Fiesta. He would go on to make some of Columbia Picture’s most beloved films, and even literally live the life of a Hollywood princess when she married a Persian Prince!

  • Gloria Morgan Vanderbuilt and Viscountess Thelma Furness. Socialites and twin sisters. Gloria is the mother of fashion designer Gloria Vanderbuilt and grandmother of famous journalist Anderson Cooper.

  • Bing Crosby - The biggest hit song of Crosby's career was his recording of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", which he introduced on a Christmas Day radio broadcast in 1941; and which has been a holiday standard ever since. According to Guinness World Records, his recording of "White Christmas" has sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles.

  • Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez – a Mexican-American actor from Texas who started is career at age 7 to join a family act called Las Perlitas. He would later work with Groucho Marx and Mel Blanc; and most notoriously as comic relief for John Wayne. So impressed was Wayne that he had Burt Kennedy write a TV series for Gonzalez Gonzalez that was never made. But his memory lives on to inspired many Latino actors.

  • Loretta Young - the actress of film and television; find out her long tortured secret about her long rumored relationship to film star Clark Gabel. She also is notorious for sued NBC for $1.9-million for letting re-runs give the impression she was wearing outdated gowns.

  • William R. Wilkerson - the founder of The Hollywood Reporter, and a real estate developer and owner of such famous Hollywood nightclubs as Ciro's. He was influential in the building of Las Vegas as the original developer involved in the building of the Flamingo Hotel, which he would sell to Bugsy Seigal.

  • Walter O'Malley - the sports executive who owned the Major League Baseball team the Dodgers, who brought them from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and headed up the team from 1950 to 1979.

  • Ricardo Montalbán – he was born in Mexico City and grew up in Torreón, the son of Spanish immigrants; he made his name on the film and television. From the cult classic Planet of the Ape film series to the his roll as Khan in Star Trek, to playing one of his most recognized roles on Fantasy Island. He was a member of the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California. In 1998, Pope John Paul II made him a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (KSG), the highest honor a Roman Catholic lay person can receive from the Church.

  • Darby Crash – a Los Angele punk rock icon and founder of the seminal punk group the Germs. From being a bored gifted child, who was kicked out of his Innovative School Program for brainwashing other students into acting subversively, to his rise as starting a punk band before they actually learned to play their instruments, to his intentional heroin overdose; we will discuss the life of this complex and interesting subculture icon.


This is a unique tour cemetery and celebrity enthusiasts, who are interested in getting to better know one of the most active Catholic cemeteries in Los Angeles. And as always we are going to be exploring the under-appreciated cultural stories which are connected to the burial site and people whole lives we will be celebrating this day.




We will be meeting at the grotto; when you come in off Slauson make your way all the way to the far left path. You will see the grotto on your left. You may park on the side of the path. We will be meeting at 11:45am in order to start our walking tour promptly at 12:00pm.


Children aged 13 and under are free, please contact me to add them to my guest list; please contact me at, as spaces are limited.


This tour will be limited to 25 guests. So please sign-up right away!


For terms and conditions, and for information and listing of upcoming tour dates see our new website:

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