Maria Bennett at Hollywood Forever


Mary “Maria” Bennett:

The Cat Lady of Hollywood Forever


Maria Bennett


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Many old-timers who work and visit at Hollywood Forever Cemetery may remember Maria Bennett, the so-called Cat-Lady, who cared for many of the stray cats that made the cemetery their home. This was especially true many years ago before the cemetery was bought and restored by the Cassity family. At the time, the cemetery was going into bankruptcy, and with little or no staff to tend to the graves, the entire property was soon in shambles.


That, of course is another story. However, during this time many volunteers came forward to water the graves, pull weeds and make sure that many of the famous and not-so-famous still had some respect.


Maria Bennett's memorial

The inscription on Maria’s monument


Maria chose to take care of the stray cats that made the cemetery their home. She would come by on a regular basis to make sure the animals had food, water and shelter. She did this for many years. There are still cats living at the cemetery, many of them descendants of those that Maria cared for.


Maria died in 2007 at the age of 72 and was cremated at Hollywood Forever. While her ashes are not interred there, her son recently had a memorial placed there for her. Maria’s monument can be found in Section 2, across the road from Cecil B. De Mille.


Maria Bennett's monument

Maria’s monument is across the road from Cecil B. DeMille



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4 Responses to “Maria Bennett at Hollywood Forever”

  1. Melissa says:

    Bless her sweet soul. Thank you so much, Allan for giving her a well deserved “shout out.”

    From one animal lover to another~

  2. TierraDelFuego says:

    Thanks Allan for the story and clear photos. Czn you describe the strange monument in front of the monument for Maria, in the second photo facing De Mille. The monument looks like it is made of broken pieces, or is this just angles and photography.

    Thanks, Tierra
    Hi Tierra, the monument in front is a body-length marble marker with two flower pots sitting on top. It’s probably just the angle that may account for how it looks. Try looking again now. Thanks. — Allan

  3. Harry Martin says:

    What a sweet story — will look for that wonderful monument next time 🙂

  4. Graceann says:

    This is wonderful – what a beautiful memorial to a kind soul.

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