Douglas Fairbanks

May 23, 1883 – December 12, 1939

Douglas Fairbanks was the original “King of Hollywood.” A silent-era deity on screen, he starred in more than 40 successful and popular silent films and was one of the founding fathers of what we know Hollywood to be today. Fairbanks made a career of playing adventuresome heroes like Zorro and Robin Hood. He did his own, increasingly-complicated and dangerous stunts and was one of the top-earning actors in the world at the time. Off-screen, he became half of the first “Hollywood Royalty” power couple when he married his second wife, actress Mary Pickford. Along with Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and director D.W. Griffith, Fairbanks started United Artists to help these massive stars control their own interests instead of relying on studios. He and Pickford also created the Motion Picture Fund to help struggling artists make ends meet. He served as the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and hosted the very first Oscars ceremony. When the business moved into sound pictures – or “talkies” – Fairbanks wasn’t game. The physical toll his career had taken on his body, coupled with a decreasing desire to work led to his retirement after making only a handful of sound pictures. At the age of 56, Fairbanks suffered a heart attack and died in his Santa Monica home.

Burial

Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Los Angeles, CA

Specific Location

Immediately to the west of the Cathedral Mausoleum, Fairbanks’ elaborate marble tomb and reflecting pool are hard to miss. He was originally interred at Forest Lawn Glendale, but his 3rd wife commissioned the memorial at Hollywood Memorial Park and moved him. His son is also buried at this site.

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