Helicopters hovered and security was tight as Elizabeth Taylor's family gathered to pay their respects to the Hollywood legend this afternoon.
Five black limousines were seen driving into Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale for the private 2 p.m. service. Taylor is being interred within the Great Mausoleum, which is also the final resting place for Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Taylor's close friend, Michael Jackson. She attended the King of Pop's funeral there in September 2009.
The service lasted for about an hour and there was no funeral procession (or unwelcome interruptions).
Taylor, who died early Wednesday morning, converted to Judaism when she married Eddie Fisher, her fourth husband, and tradition calls for the deceased to be laid to rest within 48 hours of death. Her publicist has said that plans for a more expansive memorial service will likely be announced at a later date.
Her survivors include her daughter with Richard Burton, Maria Burton-Carson; her daughter with Michael Todd, Liza Todd-Tivey; her two sons with Michael Wilding, Christopher and Michael; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Tomorrow, Broadway marquees will go dark for one minute at 8 p.m. in honor of the Tony nominee and two-time Oscar winner.
Glendale police spokesman Tom Lorenz confirms that Elizabeth Taylor's family mourned the screen legend in a brief private funeral service Thursday at a California cemetery famous for being the final resting place of Hollywood celebrities, including her go
THE private funeral service for Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor was held today at the same cemetery where Michael Jackson is entombed.
Several black stretch limousines pulled up to the Los Angeles cemetery yesterday afternoon local time (this morning AEDT) for the ultra-private service, said only to include close friends and family, according to TMZ.
The screen goddess was originally expected to be laid to rest at the cemetery where both her parents were buried, but instead she was placed at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Los Angeles area of Glendale where the late actress' longtime friend, Jackson, was also laid to rest.
Taylor's body will be placed at the Great Mausoleum on the cemetery's grounds, in a gated crypt named the Sanctuary of Ascension. This area is private and off limits to the general public.
Taylor died early Wednesday local time (12am Thursday AEDT) at the age of 79 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she had been for the past two months while undergoing treatment for congestive heart failure.
Her swift burial is in line with Jewish tradition. Taylor converted to Judaism in 1959 before her marriage to her fourth husband, Jewish singer Eddie Fisher.
Rabbi Jerry Cutler, who conducted the funeral services for comedian Milton Berle and actor Walter Matthau, presided over the traditional Jewish ceremony for Taylor, according to the celebrity website.
The controversial Kansas religious group Westboro Baptist Church had announced via Twitter that they would picket Taylor's funeral to protest her prominent role as an HIV/AIDS activist but there were no reports that they were present yesterday.
The Glendale Police Department said "everything (was) going smoothly" and they brought in extra officers to oversee the press and throngs of fans who flocked to the cemetery gates, The Los Angeles Times reported.
"If my father had to divorce my mother for anyone ... I'm so grateful that it was Elizabeth. This was a remarkable woman who led her life to the fullest rather than complacently following one around. She will be missed but never forgotten," Fisher said.
Hollywood luminary Barbra Streisand said of her friend: "It's the end of an era.
"It wasn't just her beauty or her stardom. It was her humanitarianism.
"She put a face on HIV/AIDS. She was funny. She was generous. She made her life count."
Joan Collins, Taylor's co-star in the TV movie These Old Broads, described Taylor as "the last of the true Hollywood icons".
"A great beauty, a great actress and continually fascinating to the world throughout her tumultuous life and career. There will never be another star who will come close to her luminosity and generosity, particularly in her fight against AIDS. She will be missed," Collins said.
Born in England in 1932, Taylor captivated Hollywood with her film roles, winning Oscars for her roles in Butterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and her lovers.
She married for the first time in 1950, aged 18, the playboy and hotel chain heir Conrad "Nicky" Hilton.
The marriage lasted a mere 203 days.
By 1952 she had tied the knot with actor Michael Wilding, with whom she had two children, Michael Jr and Christopher.
She filed for divorce in 1956, and quickly wed producer Michael Todd.
They had a daughter, Elizabeth Frances, in August 1957. Seven months later Todd was killed in a plane crash in New Mexico, leaving Taylor devastated.
In 1962 she took on the role of Cleopatra, meeting Welsh actor Richard Burton on the set. Sparks flew and after both were divorced they married in March 1964.
Their fiery relationship ended in divorce in June 1974. They remarried in October of the same year and divorced again in August the following year.
Taylor had several stints in the famed Betty Ford Clinic in the 1980s, battling alcoholism and painkiller addiction.
On screen as off, Taylor is likely to be remembered as variously charming, spoiled, vicious and kind.
Michael Jackson seemed to regard Taylor as his Hollywood mother and he sought advice from her on his unravelling life.
As her health failed she retired from the public gaze, although she notably attended Jackson's 2009 funeral.
Corpo de Elizabeth Taylor é enterrado em Los Angeles
24 de março de 2011 • 20h33 • atualizado às 20h46
Amigos compareceram ao cemitério Forest Lawn
Foto: Getty Images
O corpo da atriz Elizabeth Taylor foi enterrado durante uma pequena cerimônia particular na região de Los Angeles na quinta-feira (24), um dia depois de ter morrido de insuficiência cardíaca congestiva, informou a polícia.
O sepultamento do corpo da atriz de 79 anos aconteceu no cemitério Forest Lawn, em Glendale, nos arredores de Los Angeles, no mesmo lugar onde seu amigo íntimo, o cantor Michael Jackson, foi enterrado em 2009.
O porta-voz da polícia de Glendale, Tom Lorenz, disse à imprensa no lado de fora do cemitério que o funeral foi reservado apenas à família, com cerca de 30 pessoas.
Seus representantes não retornaram as ligações. Na quarta-feira, eles disseram que os detalhes de uma cerimônia pública seriam anunciados mais para frente.
Muitas celebridades estão enterradas no Forest Lawn, como Clark Gable, Jean Harlow e Walt Disney.
Lorenz disse que Elizabeth Taylor foi enterrada no Grande Mausoléu, mas não ao lado de Jackson.
Ela foi uma proeminente ativista para as vítimas da Aids e levantou milhões de dólares para pesquisas sobre a doença. Casada oito vezes, ela deixou quatro filhos, 10 netos e quatro bisnetos.
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