The Queen in an isolated pew row during Prince Philip’s funeral.
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!
In 1983’s Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia, played by then-27-year-old Carrie Fisher, is taken prisoner by Jabba the Hutt, made his slave and forced to wear a gold bikini.
So when Rolling Stone ran an article on Fisher and the film, a beach was the obvious place to showcase both the cast and Fisher’s interstellar swimwear (we’re guessing).
At California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the shoot featured Fisher together with Leia’s dad (Darth Vader), plus an Ewok and a Gamorrean Guard. And a beatbox.
According to the bikini’s Wikipedia page (yes, that’s correct), Fisher’s breasts had to be taped into place to prevent them from escaping her costume.
Thirty years later, Fisher has returned as General Leia Organa in The Force Awakens. During the run up to the new film’s release, Fisher was asked whether she still had the bikini. “I wear it on special occasions. I’ve got it on underneath now. I wear it always, for luck.”
The Wall Street Journal also asked Fisher for her take on rumors that Disney will no longer market or sell “Leia as slave” merchandise. “I think it’s stupid,” she replied. “The father who flipped out about it, ‘What am I going to tell my kid about why she’s in that outfit?’ Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.”
To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, 2003: “You look like you’re ready for bed!”
His description of Beijing, during a visit there in 1986: “Ghastly.”
To a tourist in Budapest in 1993: “You can’t have been here long, you haven’t got a pot belly.”
On the Duke of York’s house, 1986: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom.”
On the 1981 recession: “A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone’s working too much. Now everybody’s got more leisure time they’re complaining they’re unemployed. People don’t seem to make up their minds what they want.”
On Tom Jones, 1969: “It’s difficult to see how it’s possible to become immensely valuable by singing what are the most hideous songs.”
To then Paraguay dictator General Stroessner: “It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”
To Scottish driving instructor, 1995: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”
To Susan Edwards and her guide dog in 2002: “They have eating dogs for the anorexic now.”
On Princess Anne, 1970: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”
Bob Hope was an entertainer from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 1980’s. Most people think of Bob Hope hosting celebrity roasts, golfing and telling lame jokes. But old Bob could really dance.
The Seven Little Foys is a Technicolor in VistaVision 1955 comedy film directed by Melville Shavelson starring Bob Hope as Eddie Foy. One highlight of the film is an energetic tabletop dance showdown sequence with Bob Hope as Eddie Foy and James Cagney as George M. Cohan (reprising his role from Yankee Doodle Dandy). The story of Eddie Foy Sr. and the Seven Little Foys inspired a TV version in 1964 and a stage musical version, which premiered in 2007.
Sir Thomas Sean Connery (25 August 1930 – 31 October 2020) was a Scottish actor and producer. He was best known as the first actor to portray the character James Bond in film, starring in seven Bond films (every film from Dr. No to You Only Live Twice, plus Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again) between 1962 and 1983.
Sean Connery Being knighted By The Queen In 2000