Hollywood Forever Cemetery is a cemetery like no other.
Founded in 1899 as Hollywood Cemetery, buried among the assorted grave markers, crypts, sarcophagi and mausoleums are legendary people of the early movie industry.
As years passed the cemetery was poorly managed and in disrepair when it was bought by Tyler Cassity in 1998. He changed the name to Hollywood Forever Cemetery and brought drastic changes.
Unlike most cemeteries Hollywood Forever is an active host of community events, including concerts and movie screenings. It has also been the setting for movie and TV productions. It is a popular tourist attraction offering maps to find the various celebrities interred there.
In 1939 two of the most remarkable and beloved movies of all time were released—Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. The director of both movies was Victor Fleming who is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, “and her little dog too” continue to entertain generations in revivals of the movie. Terry, the actress dog who played Toto, is a special favorite. Unlike today’s dog movies where several dogs play a part, Terry did it all herself.
Following her death in 1945 she was buried at the ranch of owner/trainer Carl Spitz near Los Angeles. In 1958 the grave was destroyed during the building of the Ventura Freeway.
They set up a Facebook page to raise money for a memorial. Over 1000 people donated to build the life-size statue of the little Cairn Terrier, sculpted by artist Roman Gal. Hollywood Forever Cemetery supplied an engraved monument and a special plot where Terry/Toto can be memorialized.
The memorial was dedicated on June 18th, 2011. The crowd at the dedication sang Somewhere over the Rainbow.
Toto didn't return to Kansas, but now she has a forever home.