9 Heartwarming Celebrity Epitaphs For National Write Your Epitaph Day

11/02/2013 10:06 am ET

Your final words can last a lifetime -- several, if you're in Hollywood.

Steve Goldstein, author of "L.A.'s Graveside Companion: Where The V.I.Ps R.I.P," has spent his life walking through cemeteries and collecting photos of his favorite epitaphs.

"As a child I would wander cemeteries in Boston and started coming across historic figures like John Adams and Paul Revere," Goldstein told HuffPost Weird. "Six feet beneath my feet is all this history. Cemeteries are very peaceful, quiet places. I just find them fascinating, it's like walking through a museum or art gallery."

Now in California, one of Goldstein's favorite places to visit is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where many famous celebrities have been buried. For Goldstein and many of the celebrities who planned their epitaphs in advance, it's a way to leave a legacy.

“It’s your last connection with your fans," Goldstein said of the celebrity epitaphs. "When they make pilgrimages to the resting spot, there's some kind of pressure to give them a memorable experience. The words that are there are actually pretty important, to visit and pay respects, and the words you choose matter because you want people to leave thinking it was worth the trip while reflecting their personality.”

In honor of National Write Your Own Epitaph Day -- a little known holiday that falls on November 2 every year -- browse our list of celebrity epitaphs and tell us what yours will be in the comments below.

  • 1 "O.K...I gotta go now."
    Steve Goldstein
    Famous rocker of The Ramones, Dee Dee Ramone, left his legacy in death with a simple but beautiful sentence: "O.K...I gotta go now."
  • 2 "That's All Folks"
    Steve Goldstein
    The man of 1,000 voices, Mel Blanc, went out the same way every episode of his signature series, "Loony Tunes," did: with a Porky Pig sign off. Blanc's signature voice gave him reign to create a number of characters and sound effects daily. He was most popular for characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam and many more. Blanc smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day from the time he was 9 until he was 77, and died at the age of 81.
  • 3 "In Loving Memory From The Family"
    Steve Goldstein
    Brooklyn-born mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel got his nickname for his volatile nature and his goal of killing off as many New York veteran gangsters as possible. Siegel was brutally gunned down on June 20. His epitaph, "from the family," refers to the crime family he was part of.
  • 4 "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime"
    Steve Goldstein
    Famed singer Dean Martin was called "the coolest man who ever lived," by Playboy. Aside from his smooth, sultry songs, Martin also graced television screens across America with the "Dean Martin Variety Show" and "Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast." In his death, Martin left the world a line to one of his best songs, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime."
  • 5 "I Will NOT Be Right Back After This Message"
    Steve Goldstein
    Media mogul Merv Griffin, who hosted "The Merv Griffin Show," where he interviewed more than 35,000 guests in 23 years, also created popular game shows including "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune." Griffin died of prostate cancer at the age of 82. His epitaph, "I Will Not Be Right Back After This Message," is one that remind friends of his fun, tongue-in-cheek humor.
  • 6 "There Goes The Neighborhood"
    Steve Goldstein
    Comic mastermind Rodney Dangerfield may have gotten "no respect" in his life, but his epitaph has certainly drawn a lot of respect. Known for his self-deprecation and biting one-liners, it only makes sense that Dangerfield would half-apologize for his graveyard community in death. Dangerfield died at the age of 82.
  • 7 "I'm A Writer But Then Nobody's Perfect"
    Steve Goldstein
    Billy Wilder was a journalist, screenwriter and filmmaker. Wilder's career spanned decades until he died at the age of 95.
  • 8 "Jack Lemmon In..."
    Steve Goldstein
    Famed actor Jack Lemmon, who starred in cult classics including "Some Like It Hot" and "The Great Race," has a simple and elegant epitaph honoring his long movie career and love of acting.
  • 9 "Sleep With A Smile"
    Steve Goldstein
    Famed songwriter and lyricist Sammy Cahn chose to do in death what he loved in life: smiling. Cahn was nominated for more than 30 Oscars, winning four times. Cahn also wrote the lyrics to one of his most famous songs: "Three Coins In The Fountain," sung by Frank Sinatra.

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