Where LA’s famous and infamous Jewish power players rest in peace.
As a child growing up, we passed by this cemetery on the 405 numerous times. This fountain looked magical to me and I always wanted to check it out. I had no idea it was Hollywood legend Al Jolson’s elaborate tomb designed by famed LA architect Paul Revere Williams.
Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson; May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was a Jewish Lithuanian-born American singer, film actor, and comedian. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed “The World’s Greatest Entertainer”. Jolson’s widow purchased a plot at Hillside and commissioned his mausoleum to be designed by well-known black architect Paul Williams. The six-pillar marble structure is topped by a dome, next to a three-quarter-size bronze statue of Jolson, eternally resting on one knee, arms outstretched, apparently ready to break into another verse of “Mammy”.
Al Jolson is “The Sweet Singer Of Isreal”. Although he is best remembered today as the star of the first ‘talking picture’, The Jazz Singer (1927), he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Jolson became the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II. He enjoyed performing in blackface makeup, a theatrical convention since the mid 19th century. With his unique and dynamic style of singing black music, such as jazz and blues, he was later credited with single-handedly introducing African-American music to white audiences. As early as 1911 he became known for fighting against black discrimination on Broadway.
In 1950 he again became the first star to entertain GIs on active service in the Korean War, performing 42 shows in 16 days. He died just weeks after returning to the U.S., partly owing to the physical exertion of performing.
Stained Glass Masterpiece
The beloved Mrs. Winters.
Louis Nye (May 1, 1913 – October 9, 2005) was an American comedy actor. Nye was cast as a guest star in such series as Make Room for Daddy, Guestward, Ho!, Burke’s Law, The Munsters, Love, American Style, Laverne & Shirley, Starsky and Hutch, Police Woman, Fantasy Island, St. Elsewhere, The Cosby Show, and appearing in his recurring role of Jeff Greene’s father on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Nye also played Sonny Drysdale, the spoiled rich stepson of the banker, Milburn Drysdale, on CBS’s The Beverly Hillbillies during the 1962 season. He did six episodes, and received more mail than from anything else he had ever done on TV, but the character was dropped. It was rumored that someone in the CBS network, or a sponsor, thought Sonny was too “sissified.” Nye revived the character briefly during the 1966 season, however.
Suzanne Pleshette’s second husband was Texas oilman Tom Gallagher, to whom she was wed from 1968 until his death from lung cancer on January 21, 2000. You’ll find his grave to the left of hers and her third husband Tom Poston’s grave slightly up the hill and to the right.
Wiener on Wiener
Mark Goodson was an American television producer who specialized in game shows. My 15 years of working at Game Show Network came in handy after one of the gravers lost his info card. Yes I know way too much about game shows.
Star of David Lighting
Jack Benny (born Benjamin Kubelsky) was an American comedian, vaudevillian, radio, television, and film actor, and violinist. He died on December 26, 1974. George Burns, Benny’s best friend for more than fifty years, attempted to deliver a eulogy. He broke down shortly after he began and was unable to continue. Bob Hope also delivered a eulogy in which he stated, “This is the only time Jack’s timing was all wrong. He left us much too soon.” Benny’s will arranged for flowers, specifically a single long-stemmed red rose, to be delivered to his widow, Mary Livingstone, every day for the rest of her life. Livingstone died nine years later on June 30, 1983.
There’s lots of beautiful stained glass works throughout the grounds.
Eydie Gorme was an American singer who performed solo as well as with her husband, Steve Lawrence, in popular ballads and swing. Following his wife’s death, Lawrence issued a statement in which he paid tribute to her. “Eydie has been my partner on stage and in my life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.” Move over Britney.
Lyon Himan Green, better known by the stage name Lorne Greene, was a Canadian actor and musician. His television roles include Ben Cartwright on the western Bonanza, and Commander Adama in the science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980. He also worked on the Canadian television nature documentary series Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness, and in television commercials. Weeks before his death, he had signed to appear in a revival of Bonanza, whose storyline included characters played by his own daughter Gillian, along with Michael Landon, Jr.
Dinah Shore (born Frances Rose Shore) was an American singer, actress, television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. In the early 1970s, Shore had a long and happy public romance with actor Burt Reynolds, who was 20 years her junior. The relationship gave Shore an updated, sexy image, and took some of the pressure off Reynolds in maintaining his image as a ladies’ man. The couple was featured in the tabloids and after the relationship cooled, the tabloids paired Shore with other younger men, including Wayne Rogers, Andy Williams, Iggy Pop and “Tarzan” Ron Ely. In her later years, Shore also dated novelist Sidney Sheldon, Dean Martin, and former New York Governor Hugh Carey. Slut!
Founder of cosmetics giant Max Factor & Company, he largely developed the modern cosmetics industry and popularised the term make-up in noun form based on the verb.
Michael Landon (born Eugene Maurice Orowitz; October 31, 1936 – July 1, 1991) was an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is known for his roles as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza (1959–73), Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974–83), and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1984–89). Landon appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, second only to Lucille Ball.
Highway to Heaven
Michael Bernard “Mike” Bloomfield was an American musician, guitarist, and composer, born in Chicago, Illinois. In 2003 he was ranked at number 22 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. The exact events and circumstances that led to his death are not clear. What is known is that Bloomfield was found dead of a drug overdose in his car on February 15, 1981. The only details (from unnamed sources) relate that Bloomfield died at a San Francisco party, and was driven to another location in the city by two men who were present at the party.
Not sure where Tori’s going to fit.
Neil E. Bogart was an American record executive. He is perhaps best known as the founder of Casablanca Records. He started Casablanca in 1973 when he first signed KISS and later became identified with the rise of disco by promoting the career of acts such as Donna Summer and The Village People. In 2013, Justin Timberlake signed on to star in the feature Spinning Gold, a biopic of Bogart written by his son, Tim Bogart.
Moses Harry Horwitz, known professionally as Moe Howard, was an American actor and comedian best known as the de facto leader of The Three Stooges, the farce comedy team who starred in motion pictures and television for four decades.
Meyer Harris “Mickey” Cohen was a gangster based in Los Angeles and part of the Jewish Mafia, and also had strong ties to the American Mafia from the 1930s through 1960s.
…and last but not least, it’s the original Mr. Big, Uncle Miltie!