The Best Celebrity Tombstones

Providing reasons to laugh, cry and think for years to come after their deaths, the best celebrity tombstones contain witty and clever lines, famous quotes and funny phrases. Just as they did during life, each of these celebrities used their own unique way to make fans smile with their tombstone epitaphs.

For many comedians, a tombstone is one place to tell one last joke while others used the space to remind fans of a classic catch phrase or saying. For others, the tombstone is wildly extravagant, such as that of Jimi Hendrix, or very popular to visitors, such as that of Jim Morrison. Others are even so famous that they need no tombstone announcing the crypt, such as Michael Jackson.

What are the most famous tombstones in the world? Regardless of what the tombstone or grave brings, each serve as a memorial for the actors, musicians and other celebrities we love.

Photo: Alan Light [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)] / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

  • 1
    5,199 VOTES

    Seeing his name on the marquee after appearing in notable titles like "Some Like It Hot" and "The Odd Couple," actor and musician Jack Lemmon continued the trend after his June 27, 2001, death. Lemmon used his tombstone as a marquee, both poking fun at his many roles and also to provide a bit of humor to describe what lies below.

    Skipping all the sentiment and dates, Lemmon's tombstone reads simply, "Jack Lemmon in."

    • Age: Dec. at 76 (1925-2001)
    • Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts, United States of America
    5,199 votes
  • 2
    5,734 VOTES
    Merv Griffin
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    In addition to acting, hosting and appearing on his own talk show, Merv Griffin brought us numerous game shows, including the highly popular "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune". Shows that are still on television today.

    After losing a battle to prostate cancer in 2007, he used his tombstone to provide his final sign-off line, reading "I will not be right back after this message."

    • Age: Dec. at 82 (1925-2007)
    • Birthplace: San Mateo, California, United States of America
    5,734 votes
  • 3
    4,671 VOTES
    Laurel and Hardy
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    Partners in comedy during their lives, the actor/comedian pair of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, known as simply Laurel and Hardy, continued that bond in death. The first of the two to pass, Oliver Hardy's tombstone notes "A genius of comedy, his talent brought joy and laughter to the world."

    Laurel's tombstone echoed the statements in other words, stating, "A master of comedy, his genius in the art of humor brought gladness to the world he loved."

    4,671 votes
  • 4
    4,001 VOTES
    Billy Wilder
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    Working for over 50 years from the 1930s to the 1990s, Billy Wilder served as a screenwriter, director and producer of over 60 films. While he won acclaim and numerous awards for his films like The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot, Wilder was humble as well.

    His tombstone, placed after his 2002 death, explains just that, stating "I'm a writer, but then nobody's perfect."

    • Age: Dec. at 95 (1906-2002)
    • Birthplace: Europe, Poland, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Central Europe, Sucha County
    4,001 votes
  • 5
    4,617 VOTES

    Whoever designed Ed Wynn's tombstone clearly understood his humor. Wynn was a comedian and actor, known best for his Perfect Fool character, and later in his life as a more serious actor. In 1966, he died from throat cancer and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial in Glendale, CA.

    On his tomb reads a hand signed message from Wynn to God that just says "Thanks." 

    • Age: Dec. at 79 (1886-1966)
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    4,617 votes
  • 6
    5,644 VOTES

    Following his death on June 11, 1979, the grave of American film icon John Wayne sat unmarked for nearly 20 years. The actor initially requested his tombstone to read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal," meaning "Ugly, Strong and Dignified," according to his son. Despite the request, his estate later chose to inscribe the stone with a memorable quote Wayne gave in a 1971 interview with "Playboy" magazine.

    The quote, and his tombstone, read, "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday."

    • Age: Dec. at 72 (1907-1979)
    • Birthplace: Winterset, Iowa, United States of America
    5,644 votes