San Fernando Mission Cemetery

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The San Fernando Mission Cemetery is located in an area brimming with history and is located in the Mission Hills community of the San Fernando Valley. It is near the Mission San Fernando Rey de España, a Spanish mission that was founded in 1797 and named for Saint Ferdinand. The mission was secularized in 1834 and returned to the Catholic Church in 1861. It became a working church in 1920 and functions as a museum in addition to offering a chapel of ease today. The cemetery has been owned and operated by the Los Angeles Archdiocese since 1800.

The history here is truly fascinating to learn about and is covered well in their museum at the former mission building. Due to the proximity to Hollywood, many Catholic entertainers are at rest in this cemetery.

This article does not offer a full overview of each individual located here; rather, it is a “walk” through the grounds from my perspective, highlighting places and people of interest to me. At this point, I have not paid my respects to all of the individuals here and this list is far from exhaustive in covering the notable individuals here.

Jobyna Ralston
(November 21, 1899 – January 22, 1967)
Born Jobyna Lancaster Raulston. An American stage and film actress. She had a featured role in the first Oscar-winning film, Wings in 1927, but is perhaps best remembered today for her on-screen chemistry with Harold Lloyd, with whom she appeared in seven movies.

On the actual grounds of the mission, visitors will pay a small donation to the museum in order to access the cemetery on site. There, visitors will find the grave site of Bob and Dolores Hope.

Bob Hope & Dolores Hope (married)

Bob Hope
(May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003)
Born Leslie Townes Hope, known professionally as Bob Hope. An English-American stand-up comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author. With a career that spanned nearly 80 years, Hope appeared in more than 70 short and feature films, with 54 feature films with Hope as star, including a series of seven “Road” musical comedy movies with Bing Crosby as Hope’s top-billed partner.

Dolores Hope
(May 27, 1909 – September 19, 2011)
An American singer, entertainer, philanthropist and wife/widow of American actor and comedian Bob Hope.

The ground of San Fernando Mission remain a contemplative place of respite away from the busier parts of the city.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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2 Responses to San Fernando Mission Cemetery

  1. Samantha Ellis says:

    If you ever go back to San Fernando Mission, I would love for you to see Edmund Lowe! He starred as Jean Harlow’s love interest in Dinner at Eight and many more films throughout the 20s, 30s, and 40s. His grave was unmarked for nearly fifty years, and I’m proud to say that I remedied that! I’d love for more people to learn about him, appreciate his work, and notice his shiny new marker! ☺

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