Many celebrities and noteworthy individuals have called North Carolina home at some point in their lives. From actors to musicians, politicians, and athletes. And some elected for North Carolina to become their final resting place after death. In all honesty, there are way too many to name. But as we are approaching fall and spooky season (I know I know, it is a ways off but I’m ready), I figured sharing 13 of the famous people who are buried in North Carolina would be appropriate. And I have to say, some of these are people I would not have expected even had connections to North Carolina. Others make perfect sense are they were important members of the local community.

One exception was made on this list, for a noteworthy individual who technically is not buried here. Instead, his ashes are spread in a place that was special to him. Other than that, each of the other 12 individuals included on this list is buried somewhere in the state of North Carolina. Final resting sites include the mountains, the Piedmont, and on the coast. Each of these people left their mark and legacy on the world in their time. And they will forever be linked to our great state.

To create this list I consulted the website Find A Grave ( It’s a great resource to figure out where any public figure you can imagine is buried! In fact, if you’re truly curious it will even tell the cemetery plot where graves are located. In case, you know, you wanted to pay your own respects. So take a look at 13 of the most interesting famous people who are buried in North Carolina below. Do any of these surprise you? Perhaps you’ve even visited the gravesite of one or two of these individuals.

  • Jim Valvano

    4 Apr 1983: Head coach Jim Valvano of the North Carolina State Wolfpack celebrates with his team after the Wolfpack defeated the Houston Cougars 54-52 in the NCAA men''s basketball championship game at University Arena in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Getty Images / Staff

    Jimmy V the National Championship-winning NC State basketball coach is buried in Raleigh, NC at Oakwood Cemetery. His battle with cancer that cost him his life was well-documented and his inspiring “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up” speech is still broadcast every year on ESPN.

  • Andy Griffith

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 7: Actor Andy Griffith poses backstage at the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards held on March 7, 2004 at The Hollywood Palladium, in Hollywood, California.

    (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

    Andy Griffith is best known for his namesake show The Andy Griffith Show based in the fictional town of Mayberry North Carolina. The star is buried in NC at the Griffith Family Estate on Roanoke Island.

  • Rev Billy Graham

    NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 12: Billy Graham preaches during the Celebration of Hope on March 12, 2006 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was the first time Billy Graham preached since last June.

    (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

    Perhaps one of the most famous evangelists of all time, Billy Graham is buried in Charlotte on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. Graham is best known for his annual Billy Graham Crusades which he hosted for more than 50 years.

  • Ava Gardner

    1950: American actress, Ava Gardner.

    (Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    Actress Ava Gardner was born in the small NC town of Grabtown. Though she passed away in England, she is buried in Sunset Memorial Park in Smithfield NC.

  • Dale Earnhardt Sr.

    15 Feb 1996: Dale Earnhardt celebrates his seventh Gatorade125 Qualifying race as he chases the remarkable 500th win, at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

    Mandatory Credit: David Taylor/Allsport

    NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr was born in Kannapolis, NC. He was tragically killed in an accident in Daytona in 2001 and is buried in Mooresville, NC at the Earnhardt Estate.

  • Wolfman Jack

    1972: Keyboardist Keith Emerson, lead singer and bassist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer of the British group Emerson Lake And Palmer receive their awards at the 1972 Melody Maker Pop Poll. Readers of the weekly music paper voted ELP the World's Top Group. They are with American disc jockey and singer Wolfman Jack (1938 - 1995).

    (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    Wolfman Jack was a DJ, actor, and entertainer whose legal name is Robert Weston Smith. His final resting place is the Smith Family Estate Cemetery in Belvidere, NC. 

  • David Brinkley

    UNDATED PHOTO: This is a portrait of American television newscaster and commentator David Brinkley taken in about 1965. Brinkley died June 11, 2003 at his home in Houston of complications from a fall at the age of 82. Brinkley first gained fame as part of NBC's Huntley-Brinkley anchor team and for more than a half-century of reporting in the newscasting world.

    (Photo by Getty Images)

    David Brinkley is buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, NC. Brinkley rose to fame as a TV broadcaster in the 1950s. 
  • Junior Johnson

    CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 23: Hall of Fame inductee Junior Johnson attends the 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center on May 23, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

    Junior Johnson was another NASCAR driver who was a dominant racer in the 1950s and 60s. He later became a team owner. Junior Johnson is buried in Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Ronda, NC. 

  • Charles Kuralt

    Television reporter and journalist Charles Kuralt was born in Wilmington, NC. Perhaps best known for his series “On The Road”, Kuralt is laid to rest in Old Chapel Hill Cemetary in Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Reggie White

    Portrait of Reggie White #92, Defensive Tackle and Defensive End for the Green Bay Packers during the National Football Conference Central Division game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on 24th October 1993 at the Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida, United States. The Green Bay Packers won the game 37 - 14.

    (Photo by Harry Scull Jr/Allsport/Getty Images)

    Former Panther and Super Bowl winner with the Green Bay Packers Reggie White is buried at Glenwood Memorial Park in Mooresville. White passed away at the young age of 43 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after his death. 

  • Andre The Giant Roussimoff

    Young THe Giant Poster

    (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    Professional wrestler Andre the Giant Roussimoff was born and died in France. While he isn’t technically buried on the grounds of the Roussimoff Family Ranch, a place he loved dearly, his ashes are spread there. 

  • Francis Elizabeth Bavier

    American actors Don Knotts and Frances Bavier (1902 - 1989) smile while holding their awards for their supporting roles in the television series, 'The Andy Griffith Show,' at the Emmy Awards, June 4, 1967.

    (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    Another beloved character from the Andy Griffith Show, “Aunt Bee” or Francis Elizabeth Bavier continued to call North Carolina home and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Siler City, NC.

  • Robert Buffalo Bob Smith

    Yes, Buffalo Bob, Robert Smith, of the Howdy Doody Show is buried in North Carolina. The show’s create retired to Hendersonville, NC is buried nearby at the Pinecrest Presbyterian Church Memorial Garden Flat Rock. 

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