Saturday, January 9, 2016

Final Resting Place: Jean Harlow



Like many stars of the golden era, Jean Harlow's final resting place is at Forest Lawn in Glendale.  Her notable neighbors include Marie Dressler, Irving Thalberg, Norma Shearer, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, to name but a few.  Not bad company.


Her crypt (along with those I mentioned above) is one I would love to see in person but the mausoleum is in an area that is roped off and for family only.  Darn it, Forest Lawn.  You can still walk around the Great Mausoleum (which is lovely) but you can't get close enough to truly see where Harlow rests.

Despite her name being memorialized above, her crypt only says "Our Baby," Baby being the nickname she had from family, friends and co-workers (all except Clark Gable, who labeled her "Sis.")

Harlow's funeral was a full production from MGM - - over 250 invited guests paid their respects and an estimate $15,000 in flowers covered Harlow's casket.  Harlow was interred in a gown she wore in Libeled Lady, clutching a gardenia.  Jeanette MacDonald sang "Indian Love Call," one of Harlow's favorite songs and Nelson Eddy sang "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life."

William Powell at Jean Harlow's funeral, June 1937
William Powell, purported to be both Harlow's fianc√© at the time of her death and casually dating her, depending on your source, either voluntarily paid the $30,000 for the alcove where she was laid to rest or bent under the pressure of Harlow's mother telling the press that Powell was paying the expense.  Again, depending on your source.  Fan mags of the time claimed that a heartbroken Powell would eventually be laid to rest beside his "Baby."  Regardless of the truth of the situation, Powell appeared to have been genuinely grief stricken.


In the end, Harlow's mother would be interred next to her daughter in an unmarked crypt and the third and final space would remain unoccupied, as Powell would eventually be laid to rest in Palm Springs.

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