As the world mourns the loss of screen legend, Dame Elizabeth Taylor (79) she was laid to rest yesterday in an $11,000 casket. The funeral was a private Jewish ceremony (the faith she converted to several years ago) at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, California. Even the burial chamber was luxurious, constructed of mahogany wood and lined with red velvet with a matching pillow.
Gardenias, violets and lily of the valley decorated the casket and as per the “Cleopatra” actress’ instructions, her casket 15 minutes after the allotted service starting time so she could be “late to her own funeral”. Taylor was interred in The Great Mausoleum, close to the body of her close personal friend, Michael Jackson.
The funeral service was conducted by Rabbi Jerry Cutler and a reading of the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo” was given by the actor, Colin Farrell. The service was attended only by family and close friends (a public memorial service is expected later) but fans gathered outside the cemetery gates to pay their respects.
There will be many stories of the star’s life that emerge over the next few weeks, but now a secret with which Elizabeth Taylor was entrusted many years ago has been revealed. And it’s a shocker!
In 1997, Elizabeth Taylor was interviewed by Kevin Sessums for POZ, an American AIDS activism magazine. That was when she reportedly revealed the secret that James Dean, the screen legend who died tragically young (in 1955, aged 24), was molested by his minister. Taylor and Dean had starred together in 1956 movie, “Giant”, for which Dean earned his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination Sessums revealed Taylor swore him to secrecy until after her death.