Mario Lanza

lanza1January 31, 1921 – October 7, 1959

A handsome tenor with an astounding voice, Mario Lanza took various stages and – ultimately – Hollywood by storm in the late 1940’s and ’50’s. His ability to bring heavy doses of charm and romanticism to his roles set him apart from many of his contemporaries. He was discovered by Louis B. Mayer at a 1947 performance at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Mayer immediately signed Lanza to a multi-year contract with MGM. He appeared in films like The Great Caruso, The Toast of New Orleans and Because You’re Mine churning out popular recordings from each.

Of course, being a pretty face with a powerful voice isn’t that interesting in the long run. Drug addiction and weight issues? That’s more like it. And Lanza had those in spades. He was known off-screen for his rambunctious behavior and wild appetites. Appetites which caught up to him at the age of 38, when he died suddenly of an apparent  pulmonary embolism in an Italian clinic. His star, like so many others, certainly burned bright…if only for a short while.

INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: All of Mario’s immediate family members (with the exception of one daughter) also died relatively young. His wife, Betty, passed away a few months after him at the age of 37.


Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Main Mausoleum, Block 46, Crypt D-2; to the right (south) of the altar in the main chapel, Mario’s wall crypt is in the third row up on this wall of west-facing crypts.


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