Last Laughs

The secret resting place of a famous funny man

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ohn Belushi once said Martha’s Vineyard was the only place he could get a good night’s sleep. Odd for a place better known for polo shirts and BMWs than black suits and Dodge Monacos. (Then again, he did become a senator.) Belushi was buried in Abel Cemetery on March 9, 1982, after his death from a drug overdose. His friend Dan Aykroyd led a procession to the cemetery on his motorcycle, where James Taylor sang “That Lonesome Road,” following which there was a memorial service the next day at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. In 1983, Belushi’s widow, Judy, reportedly had his remains moved 11 feet to the north of where his tombstone then stood, and had the tombstone itself shifted closer to the front gate of the quiet, grassy cemetery as a decoy so rowdy fans wouldn’t cross other people’s graves. Most people think the slate-gray marker is Belushi’s real grave, and leave flowers and beer cans there. It isn’t. Skidmore

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Also buried in Abel Cemetery (in a marked grave, in her case) is the playwright Lillian Hellman, who died on June 30, 1984, at the age of 79. Author of The Children’s Hour, The Little Foxes, Toys in the Attic, and other famous works, she was equally well-known for defying the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, and for her affairs with the likes of Dashiell Hammett. Her grave is marked by a stone inscribed with a feather pen.

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