The family of screen legend Elizabeth Taylor has farewelled the Hollywood icon at a private funeral
ELIZABETH Taylor’s family has mourned the screen legend in a brief private funeral service at a California cemetery famous for being the final resting place of Hollywood celebrities, including her good friend Michael Jackson.
Inside the sprawling Forest Lawn Cemetery on Thursday, barricades blocked access to the funeral, where about four dozen family members mourned the actress for about an hour before the ceremony ended, said Glendale police spokesman Tom Lorenz.
Taylor died early on Wednesday of congestive heart failure while surrounded by her four children at Los Angeles ’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, where she had been hospitalised for about six weeks.
Taylor, who was infamously married eight times to seven husbands, converted to Judaism before her 1959 wedding to Eddie Fisher. Jewish customs call for a burial within 48 hours of death.
Taylor, the star of such films as Butterfield 8, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cleopatra, won three Academy Awards, including a special one for her humanitarian work. She was an ardent and early supporter of AIDS research.
‘‘ I admired Elizabeth Taylor enormously and feel heartsick losing her, especially with all of her charitable works,’’ said Ann Berry, a fan and character actress who visited the cemetery with a friend to pay their respects to the star.
Several television news crews documented the service from across the street while news helicopters swirled overhead and students got out of class at the nearby Cerritos Elementary School.
Taylor underwent at least 20 major operations during her life and nearly died from a bout with pneumonia in 1990. In 1994 and 1995, she had both hip joints replaced, and in February 1997, she underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumour. In 1983, she acknowledged a 35-year addiction to sleeping pills and pain killers, and was treated for alcohol and drug abuse at the Betty Ford Clinic in California.
Taylor’s publicist said any details of a memorial service would likely be announced at a later date.
ICON: Elizabeth Taylor in