Dame Elizabeth Taylor was buried in an $11,000 casket. The 79-year-old actress – who was laid to rest in a private Jewish ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in California, yesterday afternoon (24.03.11) – was committed to the earth in a “top of the line, traditional Jewish casket”.
According to gossip website TMZ, the burial chamber was created entirely out of mahogany wood and lined in red velvet with a matching pillow. The ‘Cleopatra’ actress – who passed away on Wednesday (23.03.11) at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from symptoms relating to congestive heart failure aged 79 – also requested the ceremony was delayed by 15 minutes so she could be “late to her own funeral”.
A family representative said in a statement: “She even wanted to be late for her own funeral.”
Elizabeth’s casket was adorned with violets, gardenias and lily of the valley before she was interred in The Great Mausoleum, the same resting place as her close friend Michael Jackson.
Rabbi Jerry Cutler – who had met Elizabeth through actor John Voigt – conducted the service at the request of the actress’ family, while actor Colin Farrell performed a reading of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem ‘The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo’.
Though the service was for family and close friends only – including Elizabeth’s four children and 10 grandchildren – fans gathered at the gates of the cemetery to pay their respects to the star.
It is believed a public memorial will take place in the coming weeks. Jewish customs require burial to take place as soon as possible after death, ideally within 24 hours.
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