‘House of Cards’ fans can visit SC head­stone

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY TEDDY KULMALA tkul­[email protected]­tate.com

Fans of the Net­flix po­lit­i­cal se­ries “House of Cards” can visit the head­stone of Pres­i­dent Frank Un­der­wood in the fic­tional pres­i­dent’s South Carolina home­town.

Un­der­wood, por­trayed by Kevin Spacey in the first five sea­sons, is killed off for the show’s sixth and fi­nal sea­son. Some episodes in­clude shots of a head­stone bear­ing Un­der­wood’s name, his birth and death years, and a no­ta­tion of him be­ing the 46th pres­i­dent of the United States.

While the grave and its oc­cu­pant aren’t real, the head­stone is, and it was placed in a ceme­tery in Gaffney, Un­der­wood’s home­town in the se­ries. Gaffney is about an hour south­west of Char­lotte.

Spacey was fired from the show last Novem­ber, amid al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault. That left writ­ers and pro­duc­ers scram­bling to re­write the show’s sixth and fi­nal sea­son with­out its cen­tral char­ac­ter.

The fi­nal sea­son, re­leased last week, be­gins some time after Spacey’s char­ac­ter has died and in­di­cates that he was buried in Gaffney (Spoiler alert: You need to watch the en­tire sea­son to learn how he re­ally died).

The head­stone was placed next to the head­stone for Un­der­wood’s fa­ther, which also is seen in the show, in Oak­land Ceme­tery, ac­cord­ing to the city of Gaffney’s web­site.

The city’s mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, LeighAnn Snuggs, was con­tacted by Net­flix in Au­gust about se­lect­ing a fi­nal rest­ing place for Un­der­wood, ac­cord­ing to The Gaffney Ledger. The head­stone was placed in the ceme­tery Fri­day, the news­pa­per re­ported.

The Gaffney Vis­i­tors Cen­ter and Art Gallery has pro­moted the new­est at­trac­tion in the city, in­clud­ing hav­ing a pho­tog­ra­pher from Net­flix present at the ceme­tery last week­end to cap­ture peo­ple “pay­ing their re­spects” to the fic­tional pres­i­dent.

“’House of Cards’ has gen­er­ated a lot of in­ter­est and brought a lot of peo­ple to Gaffney, South Carolina,” Gaffney Mayor Henry Jolly told WSPA. “We do have peo­ple who’ve come from all over the coun­try here to just see about Gaffney, and we’ve had peo­ple that wanted to know if the Pea­choid was real.”

Jolly was re­fer­ring to the peach-shaped wa­ter tower just off In­ter­state 85 in Gaffney, which had its own sto­ry­line dur­ing the first sea­son of “House of Cards.” Ear­lier this year, a fence was built around the wa­ter tower to pro­tect it from van­dal­ism.

Any­one look­ing for in­for­ma­tion or to pay their re­spects at the head­stone is asked to call the Gaffney Vis­i­tors Cen­ter and Art Gallery at 864-487-6244.

“House of Cards” isn’t the only Net­flix se­ries with S.C. ties. “Or­ange is the New Black” star Danielle Brooks is from Greenville, and “Marvel’s Luke Cage” star Mike Colter is from Columbia.

Gaffney Vis­i­tors Cen­ter, Art Gallery

The head­stone for the fic­tional Fran­cis Un­der­wood is in Gaffney, SC.

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