The people around Neverland can breathe a sigh of relief. But why Forest Lawn Glendale? It doesn't seem expensive or quirky enough ... don't they know the crypt on top of Marilyn is up for auction?
Meantime, his personal doctor, Conrad Murray, put up this video thanking people for their support in the face of a potential wrongful death lawsuit:
At first I couldn't believe Michael Jackson is going to be buried at Forest Lawn. It smacks of ... ordinary. Not ordinary for any of us, mind you ... but ordinary for a supersttar who is legendary for setting himself apart from the rest of the Hollywood set. Michael Jackson is more than different -- he's Howard-Hughes eccentric.
The rumors started with his Dad, Joe Jackson, blabbing about Jackson being buried on his birthday at Forest Lawn. Not a lot of people believed him, because he sort of kind of always talks out of school, and Katherine Jackson is a hard-core Jehovah's Witness and they don't DO birthdays.
But the family spokesman, Ken Sunshine, confirmed the story today. The LA Times version of the story includes the entire statement from the family:
Michael Jackson will be laid to rest at Holly Terrace in the Great Mausoleum at Glendale Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif., on Saturday, August 29, 2009, at 10:00 AM PST, on what would have been his 51st birthday.The private ceremony will be limited to family and close friends. There will be accommodations for the media nearby.
The Jackson family once again wishes to express its gratitude to Michael's fans around the world for their support during these difficult times.
So it's true, according to the family -- unless it's a diversionary tactic of some sort. (Does everyone believe Jackson's body really was in that gold casket at Staples?)
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Anyway, I looked up some of the celebrities who also are buried at Forest Lawn-Glendale and the list is impressive. The site "seeing stars" says:
The "Golden Age" Hollywood stars buried here include some of the biggest names in the history of Hollywood: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, Jean Harlow, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Pickford, Errol Flynn, Spencer Tracy...
No other cemetery can match the sheer number of superstars that you'll find buried here at Forest Lawn Glendale.
That includes George Burns & Gracie Allen, W.C. Fields, Tom Mix, Sammy Davis Jr.,
Walt Disney, Red Skelton, Robert Young, Lon Chaney, Ethel Waters, Alan Ladd,
Dick Powell, Robert Taylor, Wallace Beery, Ted Knight, Sam Cooke, Joe E. Brown, Sydney Greenstreet, Nat King Cole, Jack Oakie, Ed Wynn, Jack Carson, Norma Shearer, Chico Marx, Dorothy Dandridge, Robert Cummings, Sid Grauman, Dan Daily, William Boyd ("Hopalong Cassidy"), Marie Dressler ("Tugboat Annie"), Irving Thalberg, Casey Stengel, Larry Fine, Aimee Semple McPherson, Edward Everett Horton and Jean Hersholt, plus authors Louis L'Amour, Theodore Dreiser and L. Frank Baum.
See, I told you it was impressive. There are parts, it says, that are totally off-limits to the public, and the place where Jackson is said to be buried is under video surveillance.
If he were alive today, I wonder if he would be vying for that spot above Marilyn Monroe. Did you see this? Our NBCLA.com story says the crypt is up for auction on eBay and already up above $4.5 million:
The seller, Elsie Poncher, is a widow whose late husband bought the crypt from Joe DiMaggio during his 1954 divorce from Marilyn Monroe. Mrs. Poncher is moving her husband -- who has been buried face down above Marilyn since 1986 (a deathbed request) -- and selling the crypt to pay off the $1 million mortgage on her Beverly Hills home.
That seems odd enough to appeal to Michael Jackson. And wildly expensive enough ...