Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills

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Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills
Forest Lawn Memorial Park view from Griffith Park 2015-11-07.jpg
View from Griffith Park
Location Los Angeles
Country United States
Coordinates 34°08′42″N 118°19′12″W / 34.145°N 118.320°W / 34.145; -118.320Coordinates: 34°08′42″N 118°19′12″W / 34.145°N 118.320°W / 34.145; -118.320
Type Public
Owned by Forest Lawn Group
Number of graves 119,216
Website Official website
Find a Grave Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)

Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Hollywood Hills is one of the six Forest Lawn Southern California cemeteries. It is located at 6300 Forest Lawn Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It is on the lower north slope at the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains range that overlooks North Hollywood and Burbank in the San Fernando Valley.

Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills is a park dedicated to the preservation of American history and hosts high-profile events such as an annual Veterans Day ceremony attended by dignitaries and other VIPs. Los Angeles Magazine described it as a "theme-park necropolis", paraphrasing Jessica Mitford, indicating "Forest Lawn’s kitsch was just a sophisticated strategy for lubricating the checkbooks of the grieved."[1]


The park features such sights as:

Court of Liberty[edit]

A section of the Birth of Liberty mosaic
  • The Court of Liberty features statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and the Birth of Liberty mosaic. At 162 feet (49 m) long and 28 feet (8.5 m) high, Birth of Liberty is the largest historical mosaic in the United States. It is composed of ten million pieces of Venetian glass and depicts twenty-five scenes from early America, from 1619-1787.
  • The Hall of Liberty American History Museum has a copy of the Liberty Bell and other exhibits. The museum has a 1,200-seat auditorium.
  • Monument to Washington, a marble and bronze tribute to America's first president, created by sculptor Thomas Ball. Four of Washington's generals are honored in the memorial.

Lincoln Terrace[edit]

  • The Lincoln Terrace features a 16-foot (4.9 m) bronze statue of the 16th president by Augustus St. Gaudens, flanked by a panoramic mosaic depicting key scenes from Lincoln's life.

Plaza of Mesoamerican Heritage[edit]

A large Aztec calendar replica in the plaza
  • The Plaza of Mesoamerican Heritage has sculptures by Meliton Salas Rodriguez, of Guadalajara, Mexico. Salas used hand tools to first quarry, then work the native Mexican stone into precisely scaled, detailed replicas of artwork and artifacts that are representative of the Aztec, Huastec, Maya, Mixtec, Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, Totonac, and Zapotec civilizations that preceded modern Mexican culture. A smooth Olmecan head, an intricate Aztec sun calendar and a sinuous Teotihuacan bas relief are some of the sculptural features of the Plaza that are set off by crushed stone walkways and complemented by groupings of Mesoamerican plants.


The first Forest Lawn, in Glendale, was founded in 1906 by businessmen who hired Dr. Hubert Eaton, a firm believer in a joyous life after death. He believed that most cemeteries were "unsightly, depressing stoneyards," and pledged to create one that would reflect his optimistic beliefs and be "as unlike other cemeteries as sunshine is unlike darkness." He envisioned Forest Lawn to be "a great park devoid of misshapen monuments and other signs of earthly death, but filled with towering trees, sweeping lawns, splashing fountains, beautiful statuary, and... memorial architecture".[2]

Before it was a cemetery, Forest Lawn was a filming location used by directors such as Carl Laemmle and Cecil B. DeMille. The climactic battle scenes for D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation were filmed there. The alternate names of the filming site are Providencia Flats, Nestor Ranch, Oak Ranch, Oak Crest Ranch, Universal Ranch/Universal City, Lasky Ranch, and Paramount Ranch until November 1927.

When Eaton (self-proclaimed as "The Builder") made known his desire to open a second Forest Lawn location in the Hollywood Hills, the local residents protested vehemently. To circumvent the protesters, Mr. Eaton sent his staff to the county morgue to claim 6 "John Does" and buried them at the corners of the property in the dark of night. In the morning, the protesters had no power because, by law, the property was now a cemetery.

California Health & Safety Code, Section 7003 “Cemetery” means either of the following: (a)Any of the following that is used or intended to be used and dedicated for cemetery purposes: (1)A burial park, for earth interments. (2)A mausoleum, for crypt or vault interments. (3)A crematory and columbarium, for cinerary interments. (b)A place where six or more human bodies are buried.

The new mortuary and cemetery opened in 1952.

Notable interments[edit]

Interred or entombed in the Hollywood Hills cemetery are many famous people, particularly from the entertainment industry.













Stan Laurel's memorial marker, with the Birth of Liberty mosaic in background






Glenn Quinn, actor


Lou Rawls's tomb
John Ritter's grave








See also[edit]

  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
  • List of United States cemeteries
  • San Fernando Valley
  • History of the San Fernando Valley
  • Rancho Providencia – First Movie Town 1912
  • Nestor Studios – Valley ranch
  • "San Fernando Valley" By Marc Wanamaker (2011) Page 97, 103, and 106
  • "Oak Crest, a film city by itself" The New York Dramatic Mirror - January 15, 1913 page 49.
  • "Universal City Visit" Rotarian February 1914
  • "Early Universal City"; by Robert S. Birchard
  • "A Motion Picture City... " Daily Advocate, October 2, 1914 Page 6
  • "Scrap it" the Old Universal - 1915 Universal Tour Brochure
  • The Cowboys, Indians and zoo 1914 first assets to be moved to the new Universal City. [Motion Picture World]
  • "The Theatre of Science; a volume of progress and achievement in the motion picture industry" by Robert Grau : Page 287 - 1914 Broadway Pub. Co. New York
  • The Life & Adventures of Carl Laemmle; by John Drinkwater (Carl Laemmle views Nestor ranch and names the area Universal City))
  • Providencia Ranch – Oak Crest - Universal/Bison 101 Movies
  • Universal City – Two valley ranch locations [6]
  • Frickr Universal Image collection by Dennis Dickens[7]


External links[edit]