Where These Famous '80s Stars Are Buried

The 1980s were a crazy decade, with the decadence of the '70s, all the corporate power that was rejected during the '60s, and shoulder pads. Just ... so many shoulder pads. Looking back, it's hard to know what people were thinking much of the time, but one place the decade went right was the celebrities. The '80s gave us some of the most talented, beloved stars of all time.

But as the decade gets further in the past, it means those stars are getting up there in years. Unfortunately, some great ones have already been lost to the world. Many only passed after long lives, while others didn't live to see the 1990s.

If you can't handle the loss of some of your childhood favs, you can at least go visit their final resting places, leave some flowers, and reflect on all the joy they brought you. This is where these famous '80s stars are buried.

Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen, star of such '80s classics as "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun," died in 2010, aged 84, after contracting pneumonia. While he wasn't always that particular type of comic actor with his ridiculous deadpan, he was probably best known for those roles.

His funeral embraced that completely. First of all, it was held at a Florida resort and entitled "Cocktails With Leslie and Barbaree," per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barbaree being the actor's widow. But Nielsen was a present host, laying in his open casket while the guests enjoyed drinks around him. One mourner said, "The party was a celebration of his life. It was very respectful, but people seemed to enjoy it." No celebrities attended.

Leslie Nielsen's good humor is reflected even at his final resting place. According to Find a Grave, his grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is marked by a simple flat stone with a plaque reading "Let 'er rip." Yes, it's a fart joke. There's also a carved stone bench with the message "Sit down whenever you can." In an interview with Bill Brioux from TV Worth Watching, Neilson revealed he was inspired by watching curling matches in preparation for a role: "The women keep the rock in closer to them, and they sit down more on their legs ... That's my advice to actors. They say, 'Give me a tip. How do you go about acting?' I say, 'Always sit down. Whenever you can.'" Now anyone who comes to mourn him, actor or not, can follow that great advice.

Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke is best known for playing Dr. Jason Seaver on the TV show "Growing Pains" from 1985-1992. He died in 2016, aged 69 of a heart attack while playing a game of hockey with one of his sons, reports CNN.

Thicke's daughter-in-law posted on Facebook after his funeral, "Tonight's memorial for Alan was just about perfect. So much family and so many historic friends came out to remember our beloved father-figure. Speaking for Alan so beautifully was (I'm realizing now) an all-star cast." She wasn't exaggerating about the number of celebs. Many of Thicke's old "Growing Pains" co-stars were there, including Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, and even Leonardo DiCaprio, who as a teen started in one season of the show. Other celebrity guests included Kris Jenner, Bob Saget, Bill Maher, Alex Trebek, and Rob Lowe. And, of course, his son, the now-controversial singer Robin Thicke was there, and made a colorful joke about what his father would say about the funeral: "I'm Alan Thicke and this is exactly the way I want to go out. ... I'd like to thank all of my ex-wives for coming."

According to Find a Grave, Alan Thicke's grave at Santa Barbara Cemetery might be located in California, but it declares him a "Proud Canadian," complete with red maple leaf design. Getting second billing under that important information is a message from his loved ones: "Adored by his wife, loved by his sons, family and friends. Forever missed..."

Corey Haim

Corey Haim rose to prominence as a child star in the '80s with films like "The Lost Boys." Unfortunately, like many child stars, Haim failed to stay relevant as an adult and dealt with substance abuse issues. So when he died at the shockingly young age of 38 in 2010, Biography says people assumed that drugs must have been involved. But the autopsy showed no drugs in his system, and the cause of death was determined to be a combination of a heart problem and pneumonia.

Despite 200 people attending the funeral, MTV reports one who did not was frequent co-star Corey Feldman. He released a statement saying, "In the days following my best friend Corey Haim's death, I have spent much time with his mother Judy, who has always been like a mother to me. I would love nothing more than to be by her side at Corey's funeral, however due to their strong religious beliefs, and need for privacy, the family has decided to make Corey's funeral on Tuesday a small, private affair." One mourner who was there said the service was "very sad but with a lot of laughter."

According to Find a Grave, Corey Haim is buried in Pardes Shalom Cemetery in Ontario, Canada. His tombstone reads, "Haimster 222, Our Beloved Son, Grandson, Brother, Cousin, Uncle and Friend. You Are A Bright Shining Star That Will Live On For Eternity. You Will Always Be Loved And Forever Be In Our Hearts. Peace"


Born Harris Glenn Milstead, "Divine" was the stage name he gave to his drag queen alter ego. He was a frequent collaborator of director John Waters. Sadly, less than two weeks after their film "Hairspray" was released in theatres, featuring Milstead's most mainstream and family-friendly role of his career, the actor was found dead in his room at L.A.'s Hollywood Regency Plaza Hotel, per the AP. He was 42. Despite the fact Milstead had seen a doctor just days earlier and been told he was healthy, if overweight, his cause of death was determined to be "an enlarged heart due to obesity."

Celebrities who attended the funeral included Whoopi Goldberg, Elton John, and the cast of ″Married ... With Children.″ John Waters movingly eulogized his friend and collaborator: ″How many people at age 42 love their job as much as he did? He was happy, talented, successful, and a true original." The director said Divine had come a long way from the desperately unhappy kid Waters had met when they were teenagers: ″People who had hassled him in high school were asking for his autograph.″

According to Find a Grave, Harris "Divine" Milstead is buried at Prospect Hill Park Cemetery in Towson, Maryland. While his tombstone is extremely traditional, including etchings of roses and praying hands, it does give a nod to his most famous persona, with "Divine" written under his birth name.


Eric Wright, a.k.a. Eazy-E, was a member of N.W.A. in the 1980s, releasing albums like the double-platinum "Straight Outta Compton," per Biography. He died of complications from AIDS in 1995, aged just 30. At Eazy-E's funeral, the Los Angeles Times reports a manager from his record label eulogized, "People will talk and say evil and vicious things. But your legacy will survive." Eazy-E's cause of death was definitely on people's minds. One 17-year-old fan who was interviewed outside his funeral said, "His death really scared me. But I hope it will make more young people think about what they are doing out there."

According to Find a Grave, Eazy-E is buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. While originally buried under a small stone, TMZ reported that it was replaced by a much flashier one in 2019, in honor of Eazy-E's 55th birthday. It is covered in photos and reads "The Godfather of Gangsta Rap, he put Compton on the map. We loved him, but God loved him more." It also includes Eazy-E's correct birth year: The original stone had 1963 instead of 1964.

The man who created the new tombstone, Cemetery Tim, said, "It was a lot of pressure ... I want to represent Eazy-E the best I can, so I'm relistening to the songs ... Now I'm really paying attention to the lyrics ... Being in the industry, I was like, if I ever got a chance to get to work on his stone, I'm gonna give it my all."

Florence Griffith Joyner

Florence Griffith Joyner, affectionately known by her nickname "Flo-Jo," won two silver and three gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter races over two Olympic Games in the 1980s. But her medals and records came with suspicion of performance enhancing drug use. These rumors only intensified when she died in her sleep, aged just 38. (There is no evidence of drug use.)

Her funeral included some angry yelling about those who fueled the rumors Flo-Jo was doping, reports CBS News. Her former coach Bob Kersee addressed Flo-Jo's young daughter in his fiery eulogy, saying, "Mary, your momma wants you to know that those tarnishing, poisonous lies can't hurt her no more. So you don't have to worry about that venomous, deadly scorpion sting of the reporters. It don't hurt her no more. See God is protecting her. See God is her coach now." Flo-Jo's friend Carol Land continued the theme, saying, "America has a trait of dishonoring people they had nothing to do with rising. If nobody else in America honors her, I can say we did today. She was a woman of virtue. Florence shined a light on America and they didn't give her due."

According to Find a Grave, Florence Griffith Joyner is buried at El Toro Memorial Park in Lake Forest, California. Her flat tombstone has a full photo of the runner etched on it, as well as her nickname, and two messages: "I love you Mommy. We miss you so much. Husband & Daughter, Family & Friends" and "Sleep, My Love, until we are together again."

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat shot to fame in the 1980s, becoming one of the most famous artists in the world almost overnight. But it was over almost as quickly. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose in 1988, reports ArtNews. He'd been an incredibly prolific artist, leaving behind "917 drawings, 25 sketchbooks, 85 prints, and 171 paintings." And once he was dead, all of those pieces instantaneously skyrocketed in value.

This led to Basquiat's funeral going down in art history as an almost comically perfect example of how messed up the art market can be. In her book "Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art" (via the New York Times), Phoebe Hoban summed up the spectacle thusly: "His father invited only a few of the artist's friends to the closed-casket funeral ... they were outnumbered by the phalanx of art dealers ... The eulogy was delivered by Citibank art consultant Jeffrey Deitch, lending the moment an unintentionally ironic tone." For the few people there who cared about Basquiat the person, and not how much money the now-dead artist could make them, the whole thing was a farce. Speaking of the art dealers who attended, Blanca Martinez, Basquiat's housekeeper said, "They were all standing separately, as if it were an obligation. They didn't seem to care. Some looked ashamed." But not so ashamed they would miss out on essentially robbing a man's grave in broad daylight.

According to Find a Grave, Jean-Michel Basquiat is buried at the beautiful Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. His tasteful headstone is simple and to the point, with just his name, dates, and one word: "Artist."

Estelle Getty

Estelle Getty only got into TV and film relatively late in life, not appearing on screen until 1978. In 1985 she was cast as Sophia Petrillo on the now-iconic TV show "The Golden Girls." While Getty went on to have a thriving career outside of the show, it was her most well-known role by far. Getty died in 2008, aged 84, after suffering from advanced dementia for years, according to Cleveland 19 News.

Getty had a small funeral, but there would have been room for three people who didn't attend: her "Golden Girls" co-stars Bea Arthur, Betty White, and Rue McClanahan. UPI reports that Getty's son said, "They would certainly have been welcome. I don't know why they wouldn't be attending mom's funeral. Maybe it's a painful thing. If it was someone I'd been tight with like that and worked with all those years I'd have been there." At least two of the women did not appreciate being called out like that. In response, Rue McClanahan made a statement, "I'd like them to know that I didn't [attend the funeral] because I can't fly right now with knee surgery. I don't know why Betty and Bea didn't go, maybe because they, too, have said their goodbyes to her when she was alive." Meanwhile, Bea Arthur explained of Getty, "She's been out of it so many years, not recognizing anyone. It's a godsend. She's at peace."

According to Find a Grave, Estelle Getty is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. Her large tombstone is simple, with a Jewish star and the epitaph "With Love And Laughter."

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher was a prolific actress and writer, but she will always be best known as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films. Biography records that she had a massive heart attack while on a flight and died four days later. Her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, would die the next day from a possible stroke, after telling her son Todd, "I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie."

Carrie was cremated, and the urn chosen was a bit weird and very her, considering she'd been extremely open about her mental health struggles. The Guardian reported that her brother Todd explained, "Carrie's favorite possession was a giant Prozac pill that she bought many years ago and she loved it and it was in her house. Billie and I felt it was where she would want to be. We couldn't find anything appropriate. Carrie would like that; it was her favorite thing." Celebrity mourners at the joint funeral for Carrie and her mother included Stephen Fry, Eric Idle, Courtney Love, Jamie Lee Curtis, Taylor Lautner, Tracey Ullman, and Meg Ryan.

According to Find a Grave, Carrie Fisher is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in a grave shared with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Their very large memorial includes a tomb and an almost life-size statue of two women, assumedly mother and child, in a flowing Grecian style.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston exploded into pop music stardom in 1985 with her self-titled debut album. She'd go on to have a memorable career, but then things started to fall apart a little. She drowned in the bathtub in 2012, with heart disease and the cocaine in her system contributing to her death.

While Whitney's funeral drew A-list talent who performed and spoke, like Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, and Kevin Costner, it was not without its issues, reports ABC News. First, Aretha Franklin, who was supposed to both attend and perform, had to cancel. She said in a statement, "Unfortunately I had terrible leg spasms and locked leg muscles. My heart goes out to my dear friend Cissy, Dionne, Bobbi Kristina and the rest of the family." Then there was Bobby Brown, whose dramatic relationship with Whitney had played out in the tabloids. Reporters would have further cause to pry into their relationship even after she died, when Brown suddenly left before the service had even started. He later gave his version of what happened, saying, "My children and I were invited to the funeral of my ex-wife Whitney Houston. We were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions," so he left.

According to Find a Grave, Whitney Houston is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey. Her gravestone is relatively small for such a huge star, but is made of a beautiful pink marble in the shape of a flame, overlaid with a heart. Her epitaph reads "THE VOICE" and "I Will always Love you."

George Michael

George Michael dominated '80s pop first as one half of Wham! and then as a solo artist, winning Album of the Year at the 1987 Grammy's for "Faith." Biography records that Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016, from heart and liver disease. He was 53.

It would be three months before Michael's funeral took place, and when it did, fans might have been disappointed they couldn't be a part of it. In fact, they couldn't even have known about it until his family released a statement after it was already concluded. The BBC reports that it read, "We can confirm that the funeral of the singer George Michael took place today. Family and close friends gathered for the small, private ceremony to say goodbye to their beloved son, brother, and friend. George Michael's family would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support. We ask that the family's wish for privacy be respected so that they can continue to live their lives privately, away from any media intrusion." After the way Michael was made into a punchline for much of his adult life, it's not surprising they would want privacy.

According to Find a Grave, George Michael is buried at Highgate Cemetery West in London, England. His simple, traditional tombstone is topped by a cross with a relief of draping vines, which is fitting since some photos show his grave is now covered in actual creeping vines.

John Belushi

While he didn't live to see much of the decade, the 1980s saw John Belushi hit the big time, going out on a high on "Saturday Night Live" and starring in "The Blues Brothers." But it came to an end in 1982, when Belushi died of an overdose of cocaine and heroin, also known as a speedball. He was 33.

At Belushi's funeral, the Washington Post reports the celebrity guests included Bill Murray, Michael O'Donoghue, Laraine Newman, Paul Simon, Hunter Thompson, Carly Simon, and his brother Jim Belushi. It was Belushi's good friend and co-star Dan Aykroyd who gave the eulogy, although he almost acted more like a master of ceremonies. He told a story about a special memory with Belushi: "One day we were out driving, and I pulled out a tape of the Ventures playing a song and we both loved it. And we agreed that whichever of us died first the other would play it at the funeral and force everyone to listen to it, loud enough so that nobody could really enjoy it." He then pulled out a tape player, held it to the mic, and blasted "The 2,000-Pound Bee" throughout the church.

According to Find a Grave, John Belushi is buried at Abel Hill Cemetery in Chilmark, Massachusetts. His gravestone is a throwback to the serious ones of centuries ago, complete with skull and crossbones. The epitaph continues that theme, until it doesn't: "Here Lies Buried the Body of John Belushi. I may be gone, but Rock and Roll lives on."