Michael Jackson set to rest with the stars

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The Independent Online

If Michael Jackson is buried at Forest Lawn cemetery here, he would lie with some of the biggest legends of Hollywood but with more decorum than some of Tinseltown's glitzier sites.

With rolling manicured lawns and statues of American presidents, Forest Lawn has become so well-known for its peaceful atmosphere that it has become a popular spot for strollers and even weddings.

Jan Perry, the acting mayor of Los Angeles, said that the King of Pop's family planned a funeral at Forest Lawn cemetery just ahead of a gala public memorial at a downtown arena.

Jackson's funeral is expected to take place at Forest Lawn's branch in Hollywood Hills, which overlooks some of the city's top movie studios.

True to the location, some of the city's biggest names in entertainment including silver-screen legend Bette Davis, "I Love Lucy" star Lucille Ball and -- as of last month -- late-night talk-show sidekick Ed McMahon.

The cemetery is an offshoot of Forest Lawn's sprawling main location in the Glendale area whose long list of notable residents include film icons Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable as well as jazz legend Nat King Cole and Western novelist Louis L'Amour.

Despite also being the final resting place of Walt Disney, Forest Lawn prides itself on its lack of commercialization.

While Forest Lawn does not restrict visitors, it does not encourage tourists like some other cemeteries in Los Angeles and refuses even to help fans find the graves of the stars.

The Hollywood Hills cemetery emphasizes patriotism and features statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the first and third presidents of the United States.

The African-American pop legend would be laid to rest in the hills used to shoot "The Birth of a Nation," the 1915 Hollywood blockbuster notorious for its positive portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan.