The Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery located in North Hollywood has a special section called the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation that is the final resting place for a number of aviation pioneers — barnstormers, daredevils, and sundry architects of aviation. There is a memorial to Amelia Earhart and others, honoring their accomplishments.
Valhalla was founded in 1923 by two Los Angeles financiers, John R. Osborne and C. C. Fitzpatrick. The Spanish Mission Revival entrance structure was designed by architect Kenneth McDonald Jr. For the decorative stone castings, McDonald hired Italian-born sculptor Federico A. Giorgi, who had created 30-foot-tall statues of elephants and lions for the 1917 epic film Intolerance and crafted the exterior of downtown’s Million Dollar Theater. The gateway to the new cemetery cost $140,000.
The shrine, with a colorful tile dome and female figures stretching their arms to the heavens, originally was built as an impressive entrance to Valhalla Memorial Park cemetery. It was named for the palace of Odin, the Norse god of slain heroes.
There are only a handful of celebrities buried here at Valhalla. The most notable is Oliver Hardy, half of the famous comedy team “Laurel & Hardy.” But you can also find Bea Benaderet (1906-1966) here, the actress who played the mother on TV’s “Petticoat Junction.” Cousin Pearl on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and did the voice of Betty Rubble on “The Flintstones.” Her wall crypt is in the Mausoleum of Hope, on the west side of the park. But if you look for her as Bea Benaderet, you probably won’t find her. Her marker reads “Twombly” in large letters at the top, with her name in smaller letters on the left side.
WHAT: The Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery
WHEN: Open year round during the day
WHERE: 10621 Victory Boulevard | North Hollywood, CA 91606
CONTACT: (818) 763-9121
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