No matter how famous you are in life, we all end up in the ground. In a cemetery, every person is simply a headstone. How you stand out amidst the sea of death? These famous people knew the answer: create a clever epitaph.
Those who referenced their movies and songs or carved jokes into their tombstones will still be remembered decades from now. Here are the wittiest and hilarious celebrity tombstones.
Mel Blanc Used One Of His Thousand Voices
Mel Blanc earned the nickname The Man of a Thousand Voices for a reason. He has voiced memorable cartoon characters including Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat, Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil, and Porky Pig.
Doc Holliday, The Most Famous Old West Shooter
Doc Holliday is one of the most recognizable Old West outlaws. During his life, he was nationally famous for being a trigger-happy gunman, even though he only got into one or two gunfights. Today, Western film makers still use Holliday as inspiration for their plots and characters.
So how did he die? In the midst of blazing gunfire? According to his tombstone, “He died in bed.” Yeah, Holliday died from tuberculosis, not a gun wound.
Merv Griffin Will Not Be Back
Merv Griffin was an American radio host, band singer, Broadway actor, and television host. Most people know him for creating the game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! which still run today. He also hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show.
Leslie Nielson Makes Fart Jokes Even In Death
Leslie Nielson was a Canadian actor and comedian. His most famous works include Airplane!, The Naked Gun series, and the Police Squad! TV show. Those who knew him say he was a practical jokester who often pranked people with his hand-controlled fart machine.
In 2010, Nielson died in his sleep after a battle with pneumonia. His body lies in Fort Lauderdale’s Evergreen Cemetery. As a final joke, he wrote “Let ‘er rip” as his epitaph.
Dee Dee Ramone’s Gotta Go
Douglas Glenn Colvin founded the punk rock band the Ramones. He was also the band’s more prolific writer, although he played the base instead of sang. After the band, he embarked on a short-lived career as a hip hop singer, Dee Dee Ramone.
In 2002, Ramone died of a heroin overdose. He was buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery near his bandmate, Johnny Ramone. His epitaph simply says, “O.K…I gotta go now,” proving that he was witty until the end.
Frank Sinatra Promoted His Songs Even In Death
Even those who aren’t a fan of jazz have at least heard about Frank Sinatra. As one of the best-selling music artists of all time, he won the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and eleven Grammy Awards.
Sinatra died next to his wife in 1998 after a heart attack. His tombstone in Desert Memorial Park references one of his songs: “The Best Is Yet To Come.” After he died, sales for this album skyrocketed.
John Wayne Didn’t Get What He Wanted
John Wayne is one of the most famous Western movie stars of all time. He was a top office draw for three decades and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. His gravestone, in Pacific View Memorial Park Cemetery, is solemn. But it wasn’t what Wayne initially wanted.
According to his son, Wayne wanted his tombstone to read “Feo, Fuerte y Formal,” which translates to “Ugly, Strong, and Dignified.” Despite his request, others chose a quote that came from his 1971 interview with Playboy.
Johnny Cash Walks The Line
Even today, country music fans around the world celebrate Johnny Cash’s work. Even those who dislike country star have at least heard songs like “Ring of Fire,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Get Rhythm,” and “Walk the Line.”
In 2003, Cash died of diabetes complications. He was buried near his Tennessee hometown in Hendersonville Memory Gardens next to his wife. His tombstone appropriately says, “I Walk The Line.” His wife, June Carter, placed the name of her final album on her grave: “Wildwood Flower.”
Jim Morrison’s Grave Is Totally Defaced
The lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison passed away at the age of 27 in Paris. He was buried in Division 6 in Père Lachaise cemetery on July 7, 1971. His grave didn’t have a headstone until ten years after his death. Then, it was stolen.
Fans from around the world visit his gravesite and often deface it. Fans also add “love locks” which are padlocks that have two peoples’ names on them, locked to a fence or gate as a symbol that they’ll be together forever.
Fans Leave Campbell’s Soup For Andy Warhol
Pop art legend Andy Warhol is buried in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he grew up. In 1985, Warhol said, “I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name. Well, actually, I’d like it to say ‘figment.’”
That’s not what ended up happening, however. He was buried alongside his parents and the Andy Warhol Museum streams live video of his gravesite on its website so fans can see it whenever they please!