13 Controversial Celebrity Graves As Famous As The People Beneath Them

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13 Controversial Celebrity Graves As Famous As The People Beneath Them

Robert Sullivan / The Augusta Chronicle

Fame: you can't take it with you.

While we still know their names and faces, these 13 stars have passed away and left behind only our memories of them.

And of course, they also have their tombstones, grave markers, and memorials. But as you'll see from this list, some people refuse to let the dead rest in peace.

1. John Belushi

The SNL and Animal House star got the last laugh with his tombstone, which reads "I may be gone, but Rock and Roll lives on," beneath a skull and crossbones.

But the hard-partying actor's grave quickly became a tourist destination for some unsavory people. Repeated complaints forced his widow to move Belushi's body to an unmarked grave, to protect his graveyard on Martha's Vineyard from litterbugs and vandals.

2. Bette Davis

This leading lady is remembered for her famous quips, and she saved the best for last. Find her family memorial in L.A.'s historic Forest Lawn cemetery and you'll see her unique epitaph: "She did it the hard way."

The inscription was actually suggested by Hollywood director Joe Mankiewicz, and inspired by how Davis had to fight to get the parts she wanted in Hollywood.

3. John Wayne

Wayne's family was determined to keep the western star's plot a secret, to keep away nosy fans and tourists. It wasn't until 1998, almost 20 years after the True Grit star's death, that a plaque was finally added to his unmarked grave in Newport Beach, California.

4. Oscar Wilde

christine592 / Flickr

The famed writer's massive tombstone in Paris is a work of art in itself. The huge statue of a winged man has been vandalized nonstop since it was built in 1914, with tourists from all over the world leaving bright red kisses on the tombstone.

The angel itself had its stone genitals chopped off by a tourist as a souvenir in the 1980s, and today a protective glass barrier has been put up around the monument.

5. Elvis Presley

Presley's Graceland home in Tennessee is the second-most visited house in America, after the White House. More than 600,000 tourists travel to the King's home each year to pay their respects.

While Presley was originally buried in a nearby cemetery, his father Vernon paid a team of grave robbers to ransack his own son's tomb, so he could be buried on Graceland's property despite local zoning laws.

6. Marilyn Monroe

Fans of the late actress leave kisses and flowers for her every day, but some dedicated admirers have tried to get a more permanent position by her side.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was famously buried in the plot beside Monroe, so he could spend the afterlife beside her.

L.A. businessman Richard Poncer also bought the tomb above Monroe. He even left strict instructions to his wife, asking to be buried face down...ick!

7. Merv Griffin

The famous talk show host and creator of game shows like Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune obviously lived and breathed TV. So when it was time to say goodbye, Griffin had the perfect line ready for his headstone: "I will not be right back after this message."

8. Princess Diana

After her highly publicized funeral at Westminster Abbey, it seems Diana's family wanted to give the late princess a little privacy.

The "People's Princess" is buried on a miniature island in Althorp, England, which no visitors are allowed to set foot on. Tourists can see a white urn from the shore, and a small memorial beside the lake is open to visitors for a few months each year.

The white building is Diana's memorial. The trees on the right side of the picture are on her private island.James Denham

9. Jim Morrison

The front man of the '60s rock group The Doors is still the life of the party decades after his early death in 1971.

As The LA Times reports, Morrison's tombstone in Paris once featured a bust of the rock star. First the nose was stolen, then the rest of the head.

Over the years, the site has been host to "drug parties, Black Masses and trysts with prostitutes," which explains why it's now surrounded by metal gates.

10. James Dean

After he died in a tragic car accident, fans weren't willing to let the Rebel Without a Cause actor go. His headstone has had pieces chipped off, and the entire thing (all 400 pounds of it) has been stolen twice.

"When he died, they had this bronze bust at the grave," a local from Fairmont, Indiana told The Washington Post.

"It was really nice. It didn't stay a week. It's just hard to protect that sort of stuff."

11. William Shakespeare

The immortal bard's genius wit is on full display at his grave in Avon, England. "Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,/ To dig the dust enclosed here./ Blessed be the man that spares these stones,/ And cursed be he that moves my bones."

It's a clever poem, but it had a serious meaning when Shakespeare was buried in 1616. Grave robbing to sell corpses to doctors was so common that some churches hired armed guards.

12. Bobby Driscoll

As a child, Driscoll was one of Hollywood's most successful actors, with lead roles in films like Treasure Island. But as he got older, Driscoll's movie career dried up.

When he died in New York, alone and penniless at age 31, from symptoms of his drug addiction, Driscoll was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.

No one realized who he was, until his mother identified him using his fingerprints more than a year after his death.

13. Nicolas Cage

The Leaving Las Vegas actor is known for being a little bizarre, but his planned final resting place defies explanation.

Cage purchased a plot in a New Orleans graveyard and decorated it with an eye-catching white pyramid. The nine-foot monument has a Latin inscription - Omni Ab Uno - which means "everything from one."

Hopefully, Cage won't be using this tomb anytime soon.

Which of these graves stood out for you?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories.