End of Life Choices of California Celebrities
by Karen Parker
For those Californians that appreciated drama and setting in life, special arrangements are made for death. California funeral homes arrange traditional funerals complete with religious rites, and arrange unique funerals befitting the personality and wishes of the deceased or the family of the deceased. When a California cremation is chosen for final needs, special locations are chosen for scattering of ashes, places with meaning or history for the deceased. For celebrities, ashes end up scattered in places ranging from the mundane to the unexpected.
Cary Grant, born Archibald Alexander Leach, died of a stroke in 1986. His ashes were scattered in California where he had spent so much of his life leading movies like North by Northwest and Notorious. English leading man Rex Harrison, born Reginald Carey, may have been best known for his role opposite Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, though children will remember him most as Dr. Doolittle. Following his death from cancer in 1990, Harrison had some of his ashes scattered on his wife's grave in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.
1956 Playboy Playmate of the Month Betty Blue had her ashes scattered at the Playboy Mansion following her death in 2000. When actress Jean Arthur died of heart failure in 1991, her ashes were scattered in Point Lobos, California. Jean Arthur portrayed characters in Shane, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and A Foreign Affair.
Vincent Price's wife Coral Browne was an Australian actress known for her time in West End theatres and roles in Auntie Mame and Dreamchild. When she died of breast cancer in 1991, her ashes were scattered at the Rose Garden of Hollywood Forever Cemetery. New York Met Danny Frisella died in 1977 following a dune buggy accident, and had his ashes scattered on his duck-hunting property near Oroville, California.
According to rumor, Harpo Marx (born Adolph Arthur) had his ashes scattered in the sand trap at the seventh hole of the Rancho Mirage golf course. No doubt still laughing at the antics of those freeing themselves from the trap. Herve' Villechaize, who rose to stardom as Tattoo on the television series Fantasy Island, had his ashes scattered at Point Fermin in Los Angeles following his death in 1993.
When choosing a location for a California memorial service, or a California location to scatter ashes following cremation, individuals and families should consider a place of special meaning where loved ones can visit and remember.