Los Angeles holds breath for Jackson resting place

29th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Some fans want Jackson to be buried at Neverland, his quirky childhood theme park near Los Angeles while others suggest that Jackson join the famous names buried in the elite cemeteries of Los Angeles, where fans flock to pay their respects to entertainment legends even decades after they died.

Los Angeles -- As Michael Jackson's body waits in an undisclosed location, his fans -- and the keepers of Los Angeles' star-studded cemeteries -- are holding their breath to see where will be the final memorial to the King of Pop.

The family of the superstar, who died Thursday at age 50, has stayed mum on funeral plans after seeking a second autopsy to figure out what killed the King of Pop, whose doctor had apparently administered him a painkiller.

Some fans want Jackson to be buried at Neverland, his quirky childhood theme park near Los Angeles. But the 1,050-hectare (2,600-acre) estate has reportedly been on the verge of foreclosure due to Jackson's debts.

Others suggest that Jackson join the famous names buried in the elite cemeteries of Los Angeles, where fans flock to pay their respects to entertainment legends even decades after they died.

Huerta Tribble, a semi-retired business consultant from Jackson's home state of Indiana, said that any memorial service for Jackson should stretch across different locations where the pop legend had a following.

"That's gonna be the big problem -- how are we gonna have it in one location?" Tribble said.

"I think it should be travelling, with affairs in various countries," he said.

Officials at cemeteries in Los Angeles said they have not had contact with the Jackson family -- but indicated they would welcome the pop legend.

"We don't know where the family will decide to bury Mr. Jackson -- we have not received any request yet -- but there are still plots here," said a representative for Hollywood Forever, one of the most famous cemeteries.

Hollywood Forever lies in the heart of Tinseltown on Santa Monica Boulevard, its neatly manicured lawn underneath towering palm and cypress trees.

A Jackson funeral could rival that of Hollywood Forever resident Rudolph Valentino, the "Latin Lover" of the silent-film era whose death in 1926 at age 31 triggered a national outpouring from female friends.

Hollywood Forever is also home to film legends such as 1950s sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, "Maltese Falcon" director John Huston and silver screen villain Peter Lorre.

Hollywood to its core, the cemetery also invites visitors for evening film screenings, mostly horror movies.

On Saturday night, the screening was "East of Eden," whose cult hero James Dean died at age 24 in 1955. The cemetery representative said the film was selected well before the death of Jackson.

Other major cemeteries in Los Angeles include Forest Lawn, where legends such as Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable and Jean Harlow are buried.

Forest Lawn, located near some of Hollywood's studios, also tries to preserve older aspects of US history -- it features a monument to the country's first president, George Washington.

The harder-to-find Westwood Village Memorial Park tries to offer an oasis of peace within urban Los Angeles. The graves are simpler and the atmosphere is more solemn -- but celebrities are buried there as well.

On Dean Martin's grave, an inscription reads, "Everybody loves somebody sometime," from the singer's famous song.

Some celebrities took humour to the grave. Jack Lemmon's grave says simply that he is "in." Billy Wilder's says, "I am a writer, but then, nobody's perfect."

But no matter how discreet, fans can still find the graves. On the tombstone of Marilyn Monroe lie traces of lipstick and fresh yellow roses.

AFP/Expatica

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