July 15, 2008

Pix of Hillside Memorial Park

Hillside Memorial Park--July 8 and 10, 2008
Celebs at Hillside Memorial Park--July 14-15, 2008

This cemetery is a block or two from my house. Since it's hidden behind walls, I barely realized it was there until recently. I've been walking once a week for exercise, so I finally decided to explore it.

It's a Jewish cemetery, and apparently it's popular with rich and famous Hollywood types. The "distinguished residents" (i.e., dead people) include Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, and Shelley Winters.

I strained to find an Indian connection so I could include it in this blog. For instance, it's a burial ground and it used to be Tongva Indian land. Does that make it an Indian burial ground?

No? How about this? A few of the actors buried here starred with or as Indians. Yes, that's the ticket. Here are some names that justify this posting:

Jeff Chandler (Ira Grossel) (1918–1961)
A screen actor and recording artist, Chandler was nominated for an Oscar in 1950 for his role as Cochise in “Broken Arrow.”

Ben Frommer (1913-1992)
Ben Frommer was an actor who appeared in the films “Plan 9 from Outer Space” (1959), “Torn Curtain” (1966), “The Love Bug” (1968), “Car Wash” (1976), “Rabbit Test” (1978), “American Pop” (1981), “Psycho II” (1983) and “Scarface” (1983). He had a recurring role as the Indian called Smokey Bear or Papa Bear on the TV series “F Troop.”

Lorne Greene (1915–1987)
For 13 seasons, Canadian actor Lorne Greene played the popular Ben Cartwright, wise and understanding father and tough owner of the immense Ponderosa ranch on NBC’s “Bonanza.”

Michael Landon (1936–1991)
Born Eugene Maurice Orowitz, Michael Landon portrayed Little Joe Cartwright for 14 years on NBC’s popular television show, “Bonanza,” for which he also wrote and directed episodes. He was Charles Ingals in “Little House on the Prairie” and Jonathan Smith in “Highway to Heaven.”

In addition, Shelley Winters co-starred in Winchester '73 with Rock Hudson as Young Bull. That's practically an Indian connection.

For more on the subject, see Comparing Burial Practices.

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