Michael Jackson's Final Act

A burial is an event so muted as to almost be anticlimactic. After the wailing and gnashing of teeth that comes with a funeral, there is the far more quotidian task of lowering a casket into the ground and covering it with dirt. Unless, of course, you're Michael Jackson, whose death and its aftermath has been characterized by arguably even more hoopla than his life, at least in the shrouded, low-key final years. Tonight, he'll be buried in a most grandiose way, in the Great Mausoleum at Glendale, Calif.'s Forest Lawn Cemetery. There, Jackson's body will lie among some of the greats of Hollywood's golden age, including Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. An exorbitant expense is attached, especially after his burial date was moved back from last week (reports suggested Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, didn't want her son to be buried on his birthday). But a Jackson representative justified the cost. "The expenses are extraordinary," said Jeryll S. Cohen, the estate attorney. "However, Michael Jackson is extraordinary."

How does Michael's final resting place compare to those of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Liberace, Valentino, and 17 other famous people? Click here to scroll through our photo gallery of celebrity gravesites.