Best Place to Find Famous People (2011)


It's probably no huge surprise that Ladmo, the iconic host of Phoenix's historic kiddy TV program The Wallace and Ladmo Show, is buried here (at St. Francis Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th St.). Or that country music legend and former Phoenician Waylon Jennings' final resting place is right here in the East Valley (at Mesa Cemetery, 1212 N. Center St. in Mesa). But why in the world is Walter Winchell buried here?

Winchell, the famous American newspaper and radio commentator who died in 1972, is taking a dirt nap at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery (719 N. 27th Ave.), right here in Phoenix. Winchell is credited with inventing the modern-day gossip column, co-founded the Cancer Research Fund, and retired here after his syndicated column was canceled in the 1960s. Although Winchell moved away from Phoenix to Los Angeles in the 1970s, in an attempt to revive his column and his career, his remains were shipped back to Phoenix after his death in 1974, and he was buried in the family plot.

Other celebs both notorious and noteworthy who have met their final rest here include former film star and Jack Ross Lincoln Mercury spokeswoman Acquanetta, who played exotics (and, in one memorable movie, Tarzan's girlfriend) in a string of 1930s Hollywood potboilers. She's resting forever somewhere in Ahwatukee, although almost certainly not on the sacred Indian burial ground she sold back to Maricopa County a number of years ago. Local hero Barry Goldwater, a five-term U.S. senator and Republican presidential nominee, is six feet under at Episcopal Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley (4015 E. Lincoln Dr.) — no surprise there. But who knew that Hadji Ali (known to friends and fans alike as Hi Jolly) is also buried here? Ali became a living legend when, in 1856, he led the camel driver experiment here, one of several men brought over by the government to transport cargo on the backs of camels across the arid Southwestern desert. In 1935, a monument to Hadji Ali and the Camel Corps was erected in the Quartzsite Cemetery in La Paz County (465 N. Plymouth Ave.). The monument is in the shape of a pyramid topped with a copper camel and is built from local stones. Top that, Ladmo.

To see an illustrated guide to where the bodies are buried, visit


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