Where These Famous '60s Stars Are Buried

The 1960s was a decade of transition. In just 10 short years, it seems like everything changed, from clothing to music to social mores. Young people made their voices heard, while the old guard was still trying to hold on to what they knew before.

This was all reflected in the stars of the era. Some were young and burned bright and hot before flaming out. Others had seen some success in the 1950s, but really rose to prominence in the next decade. Some of them died very young, barely making it out of the 1960s alive, while others lived to be legends weighed down with lifetime achievement awards.

But in the end, no matter how they lived, the stars of the '60s eventually died. When someone is a big celebrity, their funeral might be ostentatious and make headlines, but what about their final resting place? This is where these famous '60s stars are buried.

John Wayne

John Wayne was famous long before the 1960s, but the decade saw some of his biggest films, and he won his only Oscar for his performance in 1969's "True Grit."

When he died 12 years later, Wayne was not given the sendoff you'd expect of an icon who defined a genre. Outsider reports that after a small, private funeral, the actor was buried in an unmarked grave. His son, however, says there were good reasons for this. "You want him to rest in peace. We didn't want to make a shrine," Ethan Wayne told the L.A. Times. "It's more out of respect for the people that are out there. They don't want their loved ones' graves trampled on." It took almost 20 years before the Wayne family felt comfortable marking the location.

According to Find a Grave, John Wayne is buried at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar, California. His small, flat gravestone may be easy to miss, but once you're looking down on it, you see it is quintessentially John Wayne. A lasso borders a relief of a Spanish mission and a view reminiscent of the desert in the Southwest. There's a cowboy on a horse riding through it, which you have to assume is Wayne himself. The epitaph reads, "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn had a relatively short career, by the standards of Hollywood icons who don't die young at least, but the 1960s was her pinnacle, seeing her star in classics like "My Fair Lady" and "Sabrina." After the decade was over, she mostly gave up acting, appearing in only four roles in the next 20 years.

But there was a good reason. She'd found other things that she loved: good deeds. This was evident at her funeral in 1993, where her eulogy was given by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, the former U.N. high commissioner for refugees. He reflected on her work with the organization. "When she went out to the refugee camps, to the squalor of the tents, the mud hovels, think of what she brought to these children," he said. "She reached out to them with her smile, with her hands, with her heart."

According to Find a Grave, Audrey Hepburn is buried at the Cimetière de Tolochenaz in Tolochenaz, Switzerland. (The actress had lived in Switzerland ever since she basically retired from Hollywood in 1966.) She has a very traditional grave covered in a large flat stone, marked with a headstone in the shape of a cross, etched with her name and dates. While it might be an out-there location for many fans to go, someone is obviously tending her grave, as images taken through the years show it completely covered with different seasonal flowering plants.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix's music helped define the late 1960s. He was even the final act at Woodstock, closing the festival that closed out the 1960s. So when he died suddenly the next year, becoming a member of the infamous 27 Club, it was a shock and a tragedy.

While he died in London, Hendrix's body was flown back to his hometown of Seattle for burial. Originally, his family had wanted a large public service complete with bands performing, but in the end they had to go with a small private ceremony. Promoter Tom Hulett told Rolling Stone at the time, "When the press last week heard about the possibility of a big memorial concert, I think they started getting scared of something like another Woodstock."

According to Find a Grave, Jimi Hendrix is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in Kenton, Washington. You can't miss it; it's a memorial befitting a rock legend. It didn't start out that way though: his original gravesite in the cemetery is marked by a simple plaque. His more recent gravesite has been added to extensively over the years, and now his grave is marked by a large marble gazebo. Three sides are etched with portraits of Hendrix and lyrics from his songs, including "The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye, until we meet again." Since that wasn't enough, in recent years a large sculpture of a guitar was placed in the center of the gazebo.

Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood starred in '60s classics like "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," but these days she might be even more famous for her mysterious death in 1981. But if rumors of her husband Robert Wagner's involvement in her drowning off the California coast were swirling by the time of her funeral, it didn't spoil the event, based on the Washington Post's reporting at the time.

Laurence Olivier, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Gregory Peck, and Frank Sinatra were honorary pallbearers. Actor Roddy McDowell gave the eulogy, saying of Wood, "She found not only a way to put life into her art, but art into her life. She has given us a slice of life and serenity." Robert Wagner was visibly distraught, with Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd noting, "I think it will take a little time before it hits him. It's like he thinks someone made a horrible mistake and Wood will just come walking in the door anytime."

According to Find a Grave, Natalie Wood is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California. Her grave is marked by a flat stone with a simple but stylish plaque with reliefs of a rose and a Russian Orthodox cross. The epitaph reads "More than love," which must have been a phrase that meant a lot to her loved ones, as Wood and Wagner's daughter used it as the title of the biography she wrote about her mother.

Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif looked poised to become a superstar in the 1960s after performances in "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago." But as the tabloid The Daily Mail bluntly put it when announcing Sharif's death, "he was the first to admit that he had squandered his life and career, throwing away the early promise he showed for the easier pleasures of carousing and gambling." By the mid-1970s, his career had essentially stalled out.

A BBC report of his funeral did not mention those aspects of the actor's life. Instead, at the ceremony held in Sharif's home country of Egypt, actor Hussein Fahmy eulogized Sharif as "a man who loved Egypt and represented the Egyptian art in its best form." The famous archeologist and former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawas added to the praise, "As a movie star, he will not be repeated again. He was unique." A crowd surrounded the Cairo mosque, hoping to say goodbye to one of their most internationally famous actors ever.

According to Find a Grave, Omar Sharif is buried at El Sayeda Nafisa Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt. Or, to be more precise, he's entombed there. The actor's grave is an elaborate sheltered tomb, bright white with gold detailing. Two flat columns rise up from the sides of the tomb where his head and feet would be. In keeping with Sharif's Islamic faith (he converted as an adult), there's also extremely decorative Arabic script on all four sides.

Elvis Presley

There is still a personality cult around Elvis Presley, so you can imagine what it was like when he died in 1977. While his career was nowhere near the heights it hit in the 1960s at that point, according to Rolling Stone, the funeral drew a ridiculous crowd. Two women even died when an unstable man rammed his car into a group of fans outside Elvis' home, Graceland, just hours before the King was laid to rest.

According to Find a Grave, Elvis Presley was originally buried at Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown in Memphis, Tennessee. Famously, his remains are no longer there. These days if you want to pay homage to the King, you need to go to Graceland, also in Memphis. His burial place is center stage, as it were, with family members buried alongside him, making a semi-circle around a large fountain. There are walking paths, huge flower arrangements left by fans, and a at the head of his grave is a marble base supporting an eternal flame, meant to "serve as a constant reminder to each of us of [Elvis'] eternal presence."

A massive slab of marble covers his grave. The plaque on the gravestone takes up almost the whole thing and has an extremely long message written by Elvis' father, part of which reads "He became a living legend in his own time, earning the respect and love of millions. God saw that he needed some rest and called him home to be with Him."

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin was dubbed the Queen of Soul for a reason, recording massive hits in the 1960s, including "Respect," "Think," "Chain of Fools,” and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." By the time she died in 2018, Biography says she had won 18 Grammys and been the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Franklin was the diva of all divas, and her funeral reflected that. For one, it was 8-hours long. The Washington Post reported there was an all-star lineup of performers, including Jennifer Holliday, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, and Chaka Khan. Icons like Cicely Tyson, Clive Davis, Isiah Thomas, Tyler Perry, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke, as did former president Bill Clinton. "I'm grateful to God that we had the fortune to be on this planet at the same time as Aretha Franklin," Perry said.

According to Find a Grave, Aretha Franklin is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan. Her crypt is located above three other rows, almost touching the ceiling. It's a double crypt, with "Franklin" centered in gold letters on the marble front, with "Aretha Louise" and her dates set to the left side, so it's likely the right side is reserved for a loved one. The Detroit Free Press reports that each room of crypts in the mausoleum is styled in different color marble, and the singer is in the white room with her father, while two of her sisters are nearby in the red room.

Elizabeth Taylor

The 1960s saw Elizabeth Taylor break out of Golden Era Hollywood limitations and star in groundbreaking films like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" When she died in 2011, the Guardian says there was little time to plan Taylor's funeral, as it was held the day after she died, as per Jewish tradition. Taylor converted to Judaism to marry her fourth husband, Eddie Fischer, and still practiced decades later.

According to Find a Grave, Elizabeth Taylor is interred in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. It is the location to end up if you're a Hollywood celebrity. "There's nowhere in the world where more famous people are laid to rest," police spokesman Sergeant Tom Lorenz told the Los Angeles Times. Icons whose final resting places are within a stone's throw of Taylor's include James Stewart, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, and Spencer Tracy. Indeed, the remains of so many notable people are buried there, Time magazine (via the Guardian) called it "the new world's Westminster Abbey."

Even though she's surrounded by other elaborate crypts, you can't miss her final resting place. It's marked by a virtually life-size statue of a white angel, spreading its wings wide, its arms outstretched. It stands on a large marble plinth with Taylor's name and dates carved in gold. On the wall behind the angel are the words "In Memoria."

Edie Sedgwick

Edie Sedgwick might not often be remembered now, but for a brief, shining moment in the 1960s, she was huge. Biography says she met Andy Warhol in the mid-1960s and became his muse, appearing in some of the eclectic artist's short films. Despite making headlines and front covers in 1965, dubbed a "superstar," "It Girl," "Girl of the Year," and a "Youthquaker," it was all over within a year.

Sedgwick dealt with substance abuse issues and had a nervous breakdown, attempting suicide at least once, reports Vanity Fair. She died of a drug overdose in 1971.

Despite coming from a prominent New England family which had its own burial plot dating back over a century, she was not buried along with them, or indeed anywhere near them. According to Find a Grave, Edie Sedgewick is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard, California. A simple stone marks her final resting place, marked with her name and dates. Despite being married to him for just three months, and having been a star before she met him (in rehab), Sedgwick's epitaph reads simply "Wife Of Michael Brett Post."

James Brown

James Brown found commercial success in the 1960s, records Biography, with hits like "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World."

Brown died in 2006, and the funeral was a star-studded event. The Augusta Chronicle says Michael Jackson spoke, as did Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. But after the memorial ceremony portion of the funeral, there was no "burying in the ground" event, not even for his closest friends. It took two months for Brown's children to agree with his widow on where the musician should be laid to rest. "They have decided that he will be buried in a decent place but it's going to be kept confidential," said attorney Robert Rosen (via Reuters).

According to Find a Grave, the millions of pictures floating around of James Brown's body in his casket is the closest you can get to him in death. He was interred in the Thomas Family Home Crypt on Beech Island, South Carolina. Virtual Globetrotting says the land is owned by Brown's daughter Deanna (Thomas is her married name). Other than some blurry satellite photos, it's not known what his final resting place looks like. It's almost strange for a man that was known for being so ostentatious when he was alive.

Sharon Tate

Before the murder which would overshadow everything about her life, Sharon Tate was famous in the 1960s for starring in the wonderfully terrible adaptation of "Valley of the Dolls" and her marriage to famous director Roman Polanski. Tate was murdered, along with her unborn child, in 1969, by members of Charles Manson's cult. Actors including Peter Sellers, Yul Brynner, Warren Beatty, Kirk Douglas, James Coburn, and Stuart Whitman attended her funeral.

According to Find a Grave, Sharon Tate is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. She shares her gravestone, which is etched with an image of the resurrected Christ, with her mother and her sister Patricia, both of whom died decades after the actress was murdered. Tate's epitaph reads "In loving memory of our loving daughter and beloved wife of Roman." The gravestone also marks the burial place of the child Tate was carrying at the time she died. It was a boy she and Roman had decided to name Paul Richard Polanski.

Roman Polanski fled the United States in 1978 while on trial for rape. Although they died almost a decade before that, People reports the director claims he's never visited his wife and unborn child's final resting place. "It is a very painful thing because Sharon and his son are buried here in Los Angeles at Holy Cross Cemetery and because of this case, he has never been able to visit their graves," his attorney declared in 2017.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles won his first Grammy award in 1960 and over that decade did such surprisingly varied things as releasing a Country album and getting arrested for heroin possession, per Biography. Fortunately, he kicked his habit and lived until 2004.

At Charles' funeral, the Sioux City Journal reports stars like B.B. King, Glen Campbell, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, and Wynton Marsalis performed. Clint Eastwood spoke, as did the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who painted a picture of what Charles might get up to in the afterlife. "Now heaven has a maestro," Jackson said. "Ray, when you first get there, before you meet Count [Basie], before you meet Duke [Ellington], before you meet family and friends, there's a man over there, across the river who is giving sight to the blind!"

According to Find a Grave, Ray Charles is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. His crypt is in the Eternal Love Corridor of the Mausoleum of the Golden West, surrounded by dozens of others, as well as a columbarium wall which holds urns. The white marble face of his crypt is labeled with a simple plaque stating his name and dates. The only nod to his career greatness is a small relief of a treble clef on a music staff. There is also a small vase for family and friends to leave floral tributes.