Hollywood Remains to Be Seen

Marilyn Monroe memorial service - Aug. 5, 2002

Westwood Village Memorial Park, on the 40th anniversary of her death

Photographer George Barris speaks to the crowd at the Marilyn Monroe memorial service in the chapel at Westwood Village Memorial Park, where Marilyn's funeral services were held.

A large group of Marilyn Monroe Fan Club members from France attended the services, and brought along these flowers. (Well, I'm not sure if they actually brought the flowers all the way from France. In fact, I sort of doubt it. They probably just bought them once they got here.) The memorial service attracted visitors and fans from all over the world, and flowers were sent from dozens of fan clubs.

Every year, there are usually a few Marilyn impersonators at the memorial service, and this year was no different. Some are amazing likenesses, and look exactly like Marilyn. Some are less successful, and look more like someone who just pulled on a blonde wig. And then there are some like this guy -- yes, it's a guy. He claimed that the spirit of Marilyn lives inside of him, and he was interviewed several times by reporters. He also seemed to enjoy speaking and singing in Marilyn's soft, breathy voice. Gosh, I wonder why no one wants to sit next to him?

But the press seemed to like him. Or maybe he just liked the press. I'm sure he enjoyed being in the spotlight. Either way, he was interviewed several times by various reporters. Fortunately, I didn't see any of the interviews broadcast anywhere.

And then there were a few who were a bit more authentic. This is Janet Valentine, a well-known and talented Marilyn impersonator. For more information about her, check out her great Tribute to Marilyn Monroe web site

Two Marilyn impersonators meet on the Westwood lawn, near Natalie Wood's grave. That's the lovely Janet Valentine on the left. And Kimberly Eazell, famous for her wonderful Graves R Us web site, identified the woman on the right as Bettina Monroe, who used to appear as Marilyn in the Legends show in Las Vegas. Thanks for the info, Kim!

A few of the flowers and other memorials sent by fans from around the world. In the lower right, you can see a poster sent from a Marilyn Fan Club in Quebec, Canada.

Some of the fans and media gathered around Marilyn's crypt at the end of the memorial service.

After the services, they brought out all the flowers and wreaths from inside the chapel, and placed them in front of Marilyn's crypt.

More of the flowers, cards and balloons that were brought out to Marilyn's crypt following the memorial service in the Westwood chapel.

An event like this certainly does bring out the stars, celebrities and assorted Hollywood glitterati. Here, noted Los Angeles gravehunter Steve Goldstein, left, famous for his excellent Beneath Los Angeles web site, home of the famous, the infamous and the just plain dead, meets with famed producer A.C. Lyles of Paramount Pictures, and a regular guest on the "E! True Hollywood Story." No doubt A.C. was trying to get Steve to come in for his screen test.

Your humble and hard-working correspondent meets with Jeanne Carmen, actress, model, golf trick-shot artist and long-time friend of Marilyn. Jeanne, who celebrated her 72nd birthday the day before the Marilyn memorial, also regularly appears on the "E! True Hollywood Story," and she has her own theories of how Marilyn died. Jeanne has written a book about her life, but she's been unable to find a publisher willing to take the project -- which Jeanne suspects is because of pressure from the Kennedy family.

Back to main page