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6 Remarkable Female Celebrity Funerals – Part 2

Published: December 6, 2023

1. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

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Died on this day: Marilyn Monroe passed away on 5 August 1962.

Early life: Entering the world as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California, Monroe faced hurdles in her early years. Overcoming a childhood spent in foster homes and orphanages due to her mother’s difficulties, she transcended adversity to blossom into one of the most legendary personas in the annals of Hollywood. At 16, she embarked on her path as a model and actress, ultimately embracing the new name of Marilyn Monroe.

Achievements and contributions: Monroe’s journey to fame was paved with determination and talent. She transformed into the embodiment of a Hollywood luminary, enchanting viewers with her irresistible charm and comedic genius. Her cinematic masterpieces, such as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” propelled her into global stardom. Notably, her renown surpassed any other performer in her era, and her films amassed a staggering $200 million in revenue throughout her illustrious career.

Cause of death: Monroe’s journey was characterised by inner challenges, encompassing struggles with emotional well-being and dependency on substances. On 4 August 1962, she sadly perished due to a barbiturates overdose at her Brentwood residence in Los Angeles.

Funeral details: A full-hearted memorial surfaced on 8 August 1962 at Los Angeles’ Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. 

A private female celebrity funeral 

While the funeral was private, the world mourned collectively. Fans, celebrities, and fellow artists paid homage to Monroe’s memory through various means.

2. Audrey Hepburn

Audury Hepburn

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Died on this day: Audrey Hepburn passed away on January 20, 1993.

Early life: Born on May 4, 1929, in Ixelles, Brussels, Audrey Kathleen Hepburn emerged from a challenging childhood in Europe to become a global sensation. Raised in Belgium, England, and the Netherlands, Hepburn’s early life was marked by the shadows of World War II. Despite the hardships, she pursued her passion for ballet, using her talent to raise funds for the Dutch resistance during the war.

Achievements and contributions: Audrey Hepburn’s star ascended in cinema, where her grace, talent, and elegance became her trademarks. She soared to prominence with the 1953 “Roman Holiday” role, a part that granted her the honour of becoming the first actress to clinch an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award for a single stellar performance. Hepburn’s cinematic repertoire encompasses enduring gems like “Sabrina,” illustrating her multifaceted talent and charisma. Beyond acting, Hepburn’s humanitarian efforts stood as a testament to her compassionate soul. Her dedication to UNICEF from 1954 until passing showcased her commitment to improving the world.

Cause of death: Audrey Hepburn’s final chapter was marked by a battle with pseudomyxoma peritonei, a rare form of abdominal cancer. Despite her strength and resilience, the disease gradually took its toll.

Funeral details: Audrey Hepburn’s funeral, held on January 24, 1993, at the village church of Tolochenaz, was a poignant affair. The service was presided over by Maurice Eindiguer, the pastor who had married Hepburn and Mel Ferrer and baptised her son Sean. Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan of UNICEF delivered a heartfelt eulogy, encapsulating Hepburn’s impact on the world.

Attracting prominent actors

The attendees included her sons, partner Robert Wolders, half-brother Ian Quarles van Ufford, ex-husbands Andrea Dotti and Mel Ferrer, and close friends like Hubert de Givenchy. Fellow actors Alain Delon and Roger Moore also paid their respects.

3. Bette Davis

Bette Davis

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Died on this Day: Bette Davis passed away on October 6, 1989.

Early life: Born on April 5, 1908, Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis emerged into the world with a spirit as fiery as her hair. Growing up, she exhibited a natural flair for the dramatic, a precursor to the cinematic brilliance she would later embody. Little did the world know that this spirited girl from Lowell, Massachusetts, would become a trailblazer in the entertainment industry.

Achievements and contributions: Bette Davis graced over 100 films during her illustrious career with unparalleled talent. She embodied a dynamic energy, celebrated for bringing complex yet enthralling personas to life. Her roles in movies such as “Jezebel” garnered her two esteemed Academy Awards, solidifying her position as the first individual to receive five successive Oscar selections in the Best Actress class. With each role, Davis etched a legacy of authenticity and depth, reminding the world of the power of storytelling.

Cause of death: In 1983, Davis faced a formidable opponent: breast cancer. Despite undergoing a mastectomy and battling back from multiple strokes, she stood resilient, proving that her spirit was as unyielding as ever. However, in the autumn of 1989, the indomitable star finally succumbed to the relentless disease.

Funeral details: The funeral of Bette Davis was a momentous occasion that garnered significant attention from the media and fans alike. It was a private affair and a grand event befitting her status as a Hollywood icon.

A former president and actors

Among the notable attendees at this female celebrity funeral were prominent figures from the entertainment industry, including President Ronald Reagan, who was her co-star in “Dark Victory” in 1939.

4. Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow

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Died on this day: Jean Harlow passed away on June 7, 1937.

Early life: Born as Harlean Harlow Carpenter on March 3, 1911, in Kansas City, Missouri, Jean Harlow’s journey to stardom was as remarkable as the characters she portrayed on screen. Raised in the heartland of America, Harlow was the daughter of Mont Clair Carpenter, a hardworking dentist, and Jean Poe Carpenter, the daughter of a wealthy real estate broker. Despite her humble beginnings, Harlow’s charm and talent set her on a path to fame.

Achievements and contributions: Harlow’s impact on Hollywood was revolutionary. Embracing roles that challenged societal norms, she became the quintessential “Blonde Bombshell,” captivating audiences with her magnetic presence and wit. Harlow’s acting prowess shone brightly in iconic films such as the 1932″Red-Headed Woman.” The impact she had during her short life has made her one of the great female celebrity actors.

Cause of death: Jean’s passing was linked to kidney failure, an ailment that had progressed too extensively to be remedied. Despite her short time of 26 years on this planet she left a long lasting impression in the world of film.

Funeral details: The funeral in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale was a sombre affair marked by sorrow and reverence. William Powell, Harlow’s beloved partner, ensured she was laid to rest in a private room adorned with multicoloured marble, a testament to her enduring elegance.

A Hollywood female celebrity funeral

The funeral of Jean Harlow saw the presence of Hollywood’s elite. Her co-star, Clark Gable, who had been filming “Saratoga” with her when she fell ill, visited her and remarked on her dire condition. Other notable attendees included friends and co-workers who had seen her battle recurring illnesses, such as Spencer Tracy.

5. Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley

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Died on this day: Lisa Marie Presley passed away on January 12, 2023

Early life: Lisa Marie Presley, arriving on the scene on February 1, 1968, emerged as the only offspring of the rock ‘n’ roll icon Elvis Presley and the actress Priscilla Presley. Her existence was intertwined with the sparkle and allure of the entertainment world right from the start, with her parents’ union and association with the esteemed Presley domain laying the foundation for her exceptional journey. Following her parents’ separation, Lisa Marie divided her time between Los Angeles and her father’s famed Graceland estate in Memphis, a place that would hold profound significance throughout her life.

Achievements and contributions: While bearing the weight of an iconic legacy, Lisa Marie Presley carved out her female celebrity path in the music world. Her musical venture encompassed the creation of three distinct studio albums, most notably the 2003″To Whom It May Concern,” the 2005 “Now What,” and the 2012 “Storm & Grace.” Notably, “To Whom It May Concern” secured a coveted gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America, affirming her artistry and resonating impact. Additionally, she collaborated with her father posthumously on a touching duet.

Cause of death: Lisa Marie’s life ended on January 12, 2023, at 54. She experienced a sudden cardiac arrest at her Calabasas residence in California. Despite valiant attempts to resuscitate her with CPR and prompt transportation to West Hills Hospital centre, she peacefully transitioned later that day.

Funeral details: In a touching gesture, Lisa Marie Presley was laid to rest in the Graceland Meditation Garden, a place she shared with her son Benjamin and her father, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself.

A large female celebrity funeral

The memorial service was graced by many personalities who came to honour the life and legacy of Lisa Marie Presley. Among the notable attendees were her mother, surviving children, and family friend Jerry Schilling. Music luminaries such as Axl Rose, Billy Corgan, and Alanis Morissette paid tribute to the musical talent of the Presley family. Even former Memphis mayor A. C. Wharton and the Duchess of York, Sarah, showed their support.

6. Donna Summer

Donna Summer

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Died on this day: Donna Summer passed away on May 17, 2012.

Early life: Donna Adrian Gaines, the iconic female celebrity “Queen of Disco,” was born to Andrew and Mary Gaines on December 31, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. Raised in the vibrant neighbourhood of Mission Hill, Donna’s musical talents shone brightly from a young age. Her journey into the spotlight began at ten, filling in for a missing vocalist at her church. After graduating from Boston’s Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Donna ventured to New York City in 1967, where her remarkable voice and stage presence set her on a path toward stardom.

Achievements and contributions: Donna Summer had a big impact on the music industry and was revolutionary. During the disco era of the 1970s, her mesmerising voice and electrifying performances elevated her to legendary status. Timeless classics such as “Last Dance” resonated as powerful anthems of an entire era. Summer’s impact extended well beyond the realms of the disco ball, sculpting the contours of pop and rock with her sensational chart-toppers.

Cause of death: She succumbed to lung cancer, a battle she fought with incredible strength and grace. 

Funeral details: Donna Summer’s funeral was a sombre yet celebratory affair held at the Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 23, 2012. She later found her final resting place in Nashville’s serene Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens cemetery.

A private funeral

While the memorial remained intimate, Donna Summer’s profound influence on the music realm was unmistakable, evidenced by the flood of accolades from peers and enthusiasts alike. Her partners in music, such as Giorgio Moroder, paid homage to her revolutionary contributions, articulating how her artistry reshaped the landscape of the field. Within the circle of Donna’s loved ones, a collective gathering existed to bid farewell to a remarkable individual whose artistic prowess knew no limitations.

To read more on celebrity funerals visit part 1 of this post, female celebrity funerals.

If you would like to learn more about locating low-cost funerals, low-cost headstones, natural burials, DIY funerals, free financial help from the Government and charities as well as bereavement support, then please visit Save Funeral Costs™

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