Monday, July 6, 2009

Wee Kirk of the Heather - Chapel for the Stars

Wee Kirk of The Heather at Forrest Lawn Glendale
Above is a vintage postcard I picked up recently of the Wee Kirk O'The Heather chapel located in the vast Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. The chapel and the grounds around look nearly the same today. This quaint chapel, which is a replica of a European church, has many old Hollywood connections.

Ronald Reagan & Jane Wyman Wedding 1940
The actor turned president, Ronald Reagan, married actress Jane Wyman at this chapel in 1940. The two met while filming the Warner Brothers picture, "Brother Rat."

Clark Gable & Carole Lombard at Jean Harlow Funeral
But there are also funerals at the chapel. Above is a photo from 1937 of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard attending Jean Harlow's funeral. Gable was Harlow's costar on the then unfinished film, Saratoga. Harlow's funeral was a huge event, like one of the big musicals her studio MGM would create. At the funeral MGM stars Jeannette McDonald and Nelson Eddy sang Harlow's favorite song, "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life." Harlow was later buried in the Great Mausoleum also located on the Forrest Lawn grounds.
Five years later Carole Lombard would be back at Forrest Lawn for her own funeral. Her funeral, unlike Harlow's was a small private event. Lombard and Gable are also buried at Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.
If you haven't been to Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale it is definitely worth visiting. The grounds are beautiful and there are numerous old stars buried here. Some others include Irving Thalberg, Red Skeleton, Walt Disney, George Burns, Gracie Allen, and Errol Flynn to name a few. And if you go soon you can still check out the "Fine Art of Marc Davis" exhibit being held at the Forrest Lawn Museum. The exhibit, featuring artwork by Disney animator Marc Davis, runs until July 26, 2009. See me my post on that here.

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