Archive for June, 2013

Burt Lancaster

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on June 8, 2013 by Cade


November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994

It’s the age-old Hollywood story: Athletic boy grows up to become a circus acrobat, joins the military and becomes a film legend. Standard stuff, really.

Burt Lancaster was a tall, muscular actor who started off his long career playing tough guy roles. Eventually, he managed to land roles with more depth like Sergeant Warden in From Here to Eternity or his Academy Award winning titular character in Elmer Gantry. Lancaster was so serious about taking on roles with more substance that he often took pay cuts to play better characters. He even put his own money into projects he truly believed in.  All in all, he made over 60 films throughout his career. Not bad for a kid who started off as a gymnast. Continue reading

John Lennon

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , on June 8, 2013 by Cade

lennon1October 09, 1940 – December 08, 1980

John Winston Lennon was a singer/songwriter/artist/activist who co-founded a little band called the Beatles. As a young lad in Liverpool, Lennon met Paul McCartney and embarked on one of the most famous creative partnerships of all time.  The Beatles went on to record more than 20 No. 1 singles and 18 Platinum albums and become the most famous band in the world.  After the Beatles broke up, the members went their separate ways and embarked on successful solo careers.  Lennon recorded a number of solo efforts that were met with both critical and popular acclaim.  In 1969, Lennon, married conceptual artist, Yoko Ono, and the two became very vocal advocates for peace throughout the Vietnam conflict.

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Donna Reed

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on June 8, 2013 by Cade


January 27, 1921 – January 14, 1986

Donna Belle Mullenger was born in Iowa, moved to Los Angeles to attend college and accidentally became a Hollywood superstar. After being noticed on stage in school productions, she was offered a number of screen tests and eventually a contract with MGM studios. She changed her name to Donna Reed and went on to star in immortal classic films like From Here to Eternity (for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress) and It’s a Wonderful Life opposite Jimmy Stewart. Continue reading

Andy Gibb

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , on June 7, 2013 by Cade

gibb1March 5, 1958 – March, 10 1988

You would think being the younger brother of a world-famous singing trio would be the greatest.  And, to a point, you would be right. Andrew Roy Gibb enjoyed the coattails of his famous brothers (multi-Platinum Disco kings, The Bee Gees) and rode them to a pretty successful solo career of his own.  He scored a number of huge hits in the late 1970’s including “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” and “Shadow Dancing” and was able to work alongside his talented brothers. Of course, Andy also enjoyed cocaine. Continue reading

Redd Foxx

Posted in Palm Valley View Memorial Park with tags , on June 6, 2013 by Cade


December 9, 1922 – October 11, 1991

Note to all aspiring comedians: Choose your catchphrases wisely.

Redd Foxx (shockingly, not his real name) was a popular comedian and actor who rose to fame with raunchy, explicit comedy recordings throughout the 1950’s and ’60’s.  But it was his portrayal of Fred Sanford on the NBC sitcom Sanford and Son that earned him his biggest success. The show ran for 5 years and followed the life of junkman, Fred Sanford (shockingly, Foxx’s actual father’s real name,) and, well…his son.  It featured a number of running gags, one of the more popular of which was Sanford often faking a heart attack claiming “This is the big one! I’m coming to join ya, Elizabeth!” Continue reading

Mel Tormé

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on June 4, 2013 by Cade


September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999

Because of his rich, smooth voice, Melvin Howard Tormé was known as “The Velvet Fog.” This was not just a silly nickname. His voice was incredibly deserving of such a perfect analogy.  Tormé began singing almost immediately as a young child and enjoyed a long career, both solo and in groups, performing his special brand of jazz classics.  In addition to his singing, he was also a gifted composer, lyricist, drummer, actor, author and – oddly enough – quick-draw artist. Continue reading