Graves of Famous People in Orange County

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Brandon Ferguson

Forsaking Beverly Hills, John Wayne made a home for himself in Newport Beach where he spent his last days piloting his yacht in the Balboa Harbor before making OC his permanent home (read: eternity). Overlooking the beautiful blue Pacific, Waynes grave sits atop a rolling hill in Pacific View Cemetery. Rumor has it, his plot went sans stone for two decades. Wayne died of cancer on June 11, 1979, a year after grave robbers successfully made off with silent film star Charlie Chaplins body in Switzerland. Waynes family reportedly feared his corpse would too be taken out to unknown pastures.

Orange County has birthed famous folks: Gwen Stefani, Will Ferrell, Steve Martin to name a few. But we've buried our fair share of stars including John Wayne and Bradley Nowell of Sublime. Taylor Hamby and Brandon Ferguson contributed to the photography and writing of this photo essay chronicling the death of the notables that are six feet under in this fair county.

Published on October 22, 2012