The 30 Most Elaborate Celebrity Funerals

By molly atherton 7 months ago
Step right up, folks, to witness the grand finale of the stars—the ultimate curtain call that’s as lavish as their lives were! Prepare to be dazzled and awe-struck as we embark on a jaw-dropping journey.

1. Princess Diana- 1997

Princess Diana’s funeral was one of the most-watched funerals in history. Screened on TV around the world, the funeral was watched byDeath of Diana, Princess of Wales - Wikipedia(Image/ Source: as people paid their respects. Thousands of people also filled the streets of London to lay flowers as a way to say goodbye to the People’s Princess. Original content sourced from

2. Michael Jackson- 2009

When Michael Jackson passed away, fans were absolutely devastated. A funeral service was held for the pop star ten weeks after his shock death,11 Years On…Where Is Michael Jackson's Body Now? | by the detail. | Medium(Image/ Source: well as a memorial service at the Staple Center in Los Angeles. Tonnes of celebrities were in attendance, including Michael’s fellow child star Macaulay Culkin.

3. Pope John Paul II- 2005

Pope John Paul II’s funeral was held six days after he passed away. The funeral brought together the single largest gatherings in history of headsFuneral of Pope John Paul II - Wikipedia(Image/ Source: states outside the United Nations; Four kings, five queens, at least seventy presidents and prime ministers, and more than fourteen leaders of other religions attended.

4. John Lennon- 1980

While there was no official funeral held for John Lennon, a cremation service took place in 1980. Wife Yoko and son Sean held a vigil forTwo cities pay last tribute to John Lennon – archive, 1980 | John Lennon | The Guardian(Image/ Source: former Beatle in December 1980, which held ten minutes of silence. Thousands paid tribute in New York and John’s native Liverpool.

5. Jim Henson- 1990

Five days after Jim Henson’s death, a memorial service was held in New York in 1990. The director and puppeteer had written his instructions5 unusual funerals that made mourners smile | Considerable(Image/ Source: the funeral himself, and insisted that nobody was allowed to wear black at his funeral. His guests rose to the challenge and celebrated his life with brass bands.

6. Judy Garland- 1969

Judy Garland was found dead at 47 after an accidental overdose. The actress had struggled with her relationship with food for years,What's Behind the Myth Judy Garland's Death Caused Stonewall | Time(Image/ Source: added pressure to stay slim from MGM studios fuelled her drug addiction. Her funeral was held in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

7. Anna Nicole Smith- 2007

After bitter legal battles over the custody of her body, the former Playboy model was finally laid to rest in the Bahamas in 2007 in a rhinestone blanket.Anna Nicole Smith's bodyguard saw her slip away after CPR | Daily Mail Online(Image/ Source: there were hundreds of fans there, the lavish beach ceremony was only attended by 100 invited guests. Over 300 guests had been invited.

8. Hunter S. Thompson- 2005

Writer and founder of “Gonzo” journalism Hunter S. Thompson shot himself in 2005, leaving behind a huge legacy of work. His $5 million funeralJohnny Depp And Hunter S. Thompson: Inside The Friendship And Funeral Depp Threw(Image/ Source: funded by close friend and actor Johnny Depp, who fired the writer’s ashes into the sky out of a cannon. This was followed by fireworks.

9. The Notorious B.I.G- 1997

After he was assassinated in a drive-by shooting, thousands gathered to pay tribute to the rapper at his funeral in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill,These Images From The Notorious B.I.G.'s Funeral Are Still Powerful(Image/ Source: Notorious B.I.G. grew up. Fans wanted to catch a glimpse of the star’s hearse before the family funeral service, and many were in tears.

10. James Brown- 2006

James Brown’s funeral was held in Harlem, New York in 2006. He had a 24-karat-gold coffin, which was in a white carriage drawn by two white horses.James Brown longtime emcee and cape man, Danny Ray, died Tuesday night(Image/ Source: of fans lined the streets of New York to pay their respects to the Godfather of Soul. At the funeral service, the coffin was placed on a stage.

11. Frank Sinatra- 1998

After his passing, Frank Sinatra was buried next to his parents’ bronzed-lined vault in the California desert. This took place after a lavishWar is Peace — Barbara Sinatra at her husband, Frank's funeral on...(Image/ Source: Hills funeral that was attended by the stars of Hollywood. Television and press officers were excluded from the funeral service.

12. Tupac Shakur- 1996

Tupac didn’t have an official funeral service, but he had one of the most elaborate and controversial celebrity funerals in history. AfterWhat Really Happened The Night Tupac Shakur Was Murdered? - YouTube(Image/ Source: was assassinated in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Tupac Shakur’s old bandmates had him cremated. Fans gathered to pay tribute to the star.

13. Elvis Presley- 1977

Just two days after his death on August 18, 1977, Elvis Presley’s funeral went ahead. Devoted fans of The King lined the streets to pay tribute toRemembering Elvis: The Day 'The King' Died(Image/ Source: musician on Elvis Presley Boulevard. When the open casket was driven past in a procession of white limos, fans cried and wailed.

14.  Ronald Reagan- 2004

After suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for almost a decade, Ronald Reagan passed away at his family home at 93 years old. A huge state funeralNancy Reagan, President's Fiercest Protector, Dies At 94 : NPR(Image/ Source: held at Washington National Cathedral on June 11, which President George W. Bush said was a national day of mourning.

15. Mother Teresa- 1997

Mother Teresa’s funeral was held in Calcutta, India when she passed away in 1997. Around 15,000 people attended her funeral at the NetajiMother Teresa's Road to Sainthood(Image/ Source: stadium; there were kings, queens, cardinals and presidents, but half the seats were reserved for the poor. Wine was brought in by a leprosy patient.

16. Prince Philip, 2021

After the Duke of Edinburgh ‘died peacefully’, a funeral was held in his honour. Prince Philip said he’d always wanted a small funeral,Prince Philip Funeral: Meaning of Flag on Coffin of Duke of Edinburgh(Image/ Source: he was given a royal ceremonial funeral, not a state funeral, which is usually reserved just for monarchs. Thousands lined the streets surrounding Buckingham Palace.

16. Richard Nixon- 1994

America went into national mourning when former president Richard Nixon passed away. His elaborate state funeral was attended by over 4000 people,Funeral For A President - Richard Nixon - April 27, 1994(Image/ Source: George W. H Bush, Bill and Hilary Clinton, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Richard Nixon’s body was placed at his Presidential Library.

17. Margaret Thatcher- 2013

While Margaret Thatcher’s funeral was a general state funeral, many view it as a royal funeral as the Queen decided to attend. The scale ofMargaret Thatcher's funeral: A little heckling, a few tears, not much unity – but a lovely day out | The Independent | The Independent(Image/ Source: funeral for a politician in the UK was second only to Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965. Margaret Thatcher’s funeral reportedly cost £3.6 million.

18. Kim Jong-Il- 2011

North Korea went into a state of mourning for Kim-Jong-Il after he passed away. While the news travelled fast around the globe,N. Koreans salute, cry for late leader Kim Jong Il - The Columbian(Image/ Source: weren’t that many countries that gave condolences to North Korea- just China and Japan. Thousands of North Koreans took to the streets.

19. Marilyn Monroe- 1962

Marilyn Monroe was of course a Hollywood icon, so it's no surprise her funeral would garner a lot of attention - and expense, which she no less deserved.Burial Crypt Next to Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe Selling for $2M | Source: actress tragically passed away at the age of 36, and is buried at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary, in Los Angeles.

20. Elizabeth Taylor- 2011

Elizabeth Taylor was laid to rest in a private Jewish ceremony by Rabbi to the stars Jerry Cutler. The Hollywood actress was buried inThe beloved actress Elizabeth Taylor died in March 2011 of congestive heart failure after years of declining health. She was laid to rest in a private Jewish ceremony officiated by Rabbi Jerry Cutler, the man who had officiated the funerals of Walter Matthau and Milton Berle.Along with having her service overseen by the rabbi to the stars, she was buried in an mahogany casket lined with red velvet. In one fabulous final touch, she left instructions for the service to begin than scheduled, so t(Image/ Source: $11,000 mahogany casket lined with red velvet, and in one final touch, left instructions for the service to begin 15 minutes later than scheduled.

21. Muhammad Ali- 2016

While the legendary boxer had a private ceremony held by comedian Billy Crystal, his fans still got the chance to say goodbye to Muhammad AliA Stirring Farewell to Muhammad Ali, Just as He Scripted It - The New York Times(Image/ Source: his coffin was driven through the streets of his home city, Louisville in Kentucky. His funeral service was broadcast at the KFC Yum! Centre.

22. Aretha Franklin- 2018

Aretha Franklin’s funeral saw no expense spared. The mammoth 8-hour-long service took place at the Greater Grace temple, where fansAretha Franklin's Funeral Fashion Showed Us How to Mourn | The New Yorker(Image/ Source: overnight to try and land a ticket. Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson took to the stage to celebrate Aretha’s life.

23. Amy Winehouse- 2011

Fans were devastated by Amy Winehouse’s passing. Her private Jewish funeral was attended by plenty of famous faces, including MarkFlowers, candles and cards at Amy Winehouse's home in Camden Square on the day of her funeral(Image/ Source: and Kelly Osbourne. The service then continued at Golders Green crematorium where her grandmother was cremated.

24. The Queen Mother- 2o02

When the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, she was given one of the most expensive funerals in history. The Royal funeral took placeCodenames for When Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip Die(Image/ Source: Westminster Abbey, and cost an estimated £5.4 million. Her carriage was adorned with her crown and jewellery, as well as flowers from her own garden.

25. John F. Kennedy- 1963

After his tragic death, America went into national mourning. Kennedy’s sombre $15 million state funeral service was held in Washington, D.C,Jacqueline Kennedy at John F. Kennedy's Funeral. Arlington, Virginia. November 25, 1963. | Magnum Photos Store(Image/ Source: his casket was placed in a horse-drawn carriage. It’s rumored that the burial plot alone cost a whopping 13 million dollars.

26. Abraham Lincoln- 1865

Abraham Lincoln’s funeral was one of the biggest in America’s history. After the president had been assassinated, his body was carriedPictures of Abraham Lincoln's Funeral(Image/ Source: the White House, where mourners could visit him. He was then placed onto a train to Springfield, Illinois, where his famous funeral procession began.

27. Nelson Mandela- 2013

Nelson Mandela’s funeral lasted for days. As the first Black president in South Africa, the country paid their respects with ten days of mourning,Nelson Mandela's funeral - Manchester Evening News(Image/ Source: many flew across the world to be there. His body was visited by over 100,000 people, including foreign leaders, who stayed for his funeral service.

28. Malcolm X- 1965

El-Hajj Malik Shabazz, also known as Malcolm X, was assassinated in 1965 in New York. A public viewing of his casket took place atMalcolm X drew his 'best crowd' then died in a hail of gunfire 55 years ago - Source: Unity Funeral Home in Harlem, which saw thousands of mourners pay their respects to the civil rights activist. It’s believed that over 3,000 people attended.

29. Winston Churchill- 1965

The funeral of Winston Churchill was broadcast live around the world. It was the first state funeral of a politician in the century and theThe State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill - BBC 100(Image/ Source: national event since the Coronation of 1953. His body was finally laid to rest at St. Martin’s church in Bladon after a huge state funeral.

30. Martin Luther King- 1968

After his assassination, Martin Luther King was refused a state funeral by Georgia governor Lestor Maddox. But the civil rights leaderSamuel L. Jackson: How I Became an Usher at Martin Luther King Jr.'s Funeral (Guest Column) – The Hollywood Reporter(Image/ Source: had a huge funeral service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which was attended by 1,300 people. His body was then taken to a second service.

31. Babe Ruth - 1948

Babe Ruth was a icon of the time, and for this reason he had a state ceremony which are known for their grandeur. It took place at St. Patrick's(Image/ Source: in New York and was attended by 6 thousand people. Back then especially, these ceremonies were long and elaborate.

32. Sonny Bono - 1998

Sonny Bono's funeral took place in Palm Springs, California. It was a very elaborate event attended by a lot of people including some(Image/ Source: the biggest stars to date. What it will also always be remembered for is Cher's heart warming and humorous eulogy.

33. James Doohan - 2005

James Doohan's send off cannot get any bigger than this. A portion of his ashes was scheduled to be sent off to space with a rocket.(Image/ Source: it was scheduled in 2008 and did not happen until 2012 due to unforeseen circumstances with the SpaceX rocket launch.

34. David Bowie

David Bowie's funeral was elaborate in some ways...he opted out of a traditional service. So, instead of a ceremony attended by all his(Image/ Source: and friends he instead wanted to be cremated and then for his ashes to be scattered on a luxurious island in Bali.

35. Prince

Prince's family decided against a state funeral to honour the boundaries Prince had put in place between private and public life. So,(Image/ Source: had a private ceremony. Despite this it was attended by high profile individuals including musicians who gave their own personal performances.

36. Robin Williams

People from all around gathered for Robin Williams funeral at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. The funeral included multiple stars(Image/ Source: tributes and a whole afternoon of performances and video tributes in honour of the well loved Hollywood star.

37. Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse's service funeral was held at the Edgwarebury cemetery in north London attended by many famous faces such as Mark Ronson.(Image/ Source:

Initially, her body was cremated and was taken to the Golders Green crematorium, the same place her grandmother was cremated.

38. Mac Miller

After the singer died tragically young due to an overdose. His family had a Jewish ceremony for him with his Grandmother doing a public speech

(Image/ Source:

addressing friends, family and all of his fans. There was also a huge vigil in his honour with thousands and thousands of people attending.

39. Paul Walker

Paul Walker was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills where his funeral took place. It was a very(Image/ Source: event with up to 5000 people in attendance including big celebrity names. Many people got up to pay tribute in the elaborate ceremony.

40. Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith had his memorial organised by memorial by the Glee show creator himself as well as the executive producer Ryan Murphy,(Image/ Source: included acts and performances as well as speeches about the actor. Fans as well as family and friends also attended Cory Monteith's memorial.

41. Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers had given clear instructions in the event of her death - a funeral full with stars and celebrities and an unconventional(Image/ Source: She got exactly what she asked for. There was a tonne of big names all congregating at the grand Temple Emanu-El.

42. John McCain

Similarly John McCain's funeral wishes were granted. It was a slight on the president at the time; Donald Trump. It took place at the Washington(Image/ Source: Cathedral. His daughter spoke: 'The America of John McCain does not need to be made great again, because it is already great'.

43. Tom Petty

Tom Petty was laid to rest at a lakeside shrine and meditation centre in Pacific Palisades, California a private funeral ceremony.(Image/ Source: setting itself was highly elaborate and all of his friends and family gathered to pay their respects to the well loved star.

44. Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy had a private ceremony which had to be hidden, it's whereabouts had to be protected so that they could not leak.(Image/ Source: baptist church wanted to attend so they could protest Nimoy's controversial beliefs and picket the event however they could not find it.

45. Carrie Fisher

The whole thing about this funeral was elaborate, form the procession right down to the shape of the urn - which was shaped like a pill(Image/ Source: honour of her depressant pills which she was extremely appreciative of during life. She was buried at Forest Lawn crematory in Los Angeles.

46. Luke Perry

Luke Perry was laid to rest in a private but elaborate funeral in the US state of Tennessee with family and friends in attendance.(Image/ Source: was a highly personalised ceremony and he had a mass of friends turn up as well as fans lining the outside to pay their respects.

47. Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain had just finished filming for a show, in the last episode he took part on a Bhutanese death ritual just a day(Image/ Source: taking his own life. He had also discussed how he wanted the soul to be left he did not care for physical remains, and so he was cremated.

48. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant shared a funeral with his deceased daughter and a private ceremony took place for the two of them. They were both buried(Image/ Source: their family estate in a tomb which cost half a million pounds. The private plot is at the peak of the cemetery with views towards Kobe's home.

49. Steve Irwin

National treasure Steve Irwin had a funeral held at Australia Zoo - a place extremely close to his heart ran by his own family and himself.(Image/ Source: zoo's own vans paraded around the zoo in honour and there were flowers arranged spelling out his famous word 'crikey'.

50. Willie Johnson

The famous gospel singer Willie Johnson was buried at Harvey Hall Convention Center in Tyler, Texas. The funeral was a large ceremony(Image/ Source: many people in attendance, both famous and non famous all attending to give Willie Johnson the big send off he deserved.

51. Peter Stringfellow

Peter Stringfellow was well known for his naughty rock star lifestyle. And, in honor of this an all-night wake was held for him at his(Image/ Source: own London club which was extremely well attended. The funeral service itself was the opposite - a sedate and peaceful woodland burial.

52. Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria had one of the most elaborate state funerals in history, 33,000 soldiers formed a procession while millions(Image/ Source: mourners lined the streets. The horses that were pulling the gun carriage with her coffin inside actually broke from their harnesses.

53. Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino died with thousands and thousands of pounds of debt. Yet that did not stop him getting two funerals. In fact(Image/ Source: DailyNews)these were arranged publicly to drum up some funds. Valentino was then buried in a crypt that was borrowed from one of his friends.

54. Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly was the princess of Monaco. She died after suffering a stroke and then crashing down a mountain in her car.(Image/ Source: PastDaily)She had an elaborate funeral with 200 people in attendance. It was the largest event that had ever been held in Monaco after the royal marriage.

55. Hunter. S. Thompson

Hunter. S. Thompson had a very elaborate send off. Apparently Johnny Depp spent 3 million to have his ashes fired from a cannon.(Image/ Source: myoldkentuckyhome)And so they were, they were fired from a cannon from a 153-foot tower. It was attended by stars such as Jack Nicholson, John Cusack, Bill Murray and Sean Penn.

56. Biggie

After Biggie (also known as The Notorious B.I.G.) was shot it shocked the world. The hip hop rapper was given a send off nobody could

(Image/ Source: NewYorkDailyNews)

forget and it was attended by a mass of famous people. Names such as P. Diddy and Queen Latifah came as well as thousands of fans lining the streets.

57. James Brown

James Brown's funeral was held December 30, 2006. His body was displayed in an open golden coffin in the James Brown Arena in(Image/ Source: Flickr)Augusta which was packed full of people. Michael Jackson made a rare appearance to sing a performance at the funeral of his friend.

58. Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren's funeral was just as unconventional and lively as he was. As his procession passed people cheered and one voice(Image/ Source: shouted out 'anarchy'. His flower arrangements were positioned in the A symbol and they also spelled the words 'chaos' and 'cash'.

59. George Hamilton

George Hamilton had a funeral fit for a king. And, as well as the completely elaborate funeral- it was also attended by an impressive(Image/ Source: BelfastLive)sea of people. The procession led by the carriage passed hundreds of people lining the streets as they turned out to pay their respects.

60.  Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean passed away at the age of 81 and his funeral was reflective of just how popular he was in his life. After his ceremony(Image/ Source: Pinterest)attended by many famous faces, his tomb was inscribed with words from his Grammy-winning song - "Big Bad John:" "Here lies one hell of a man."

61. Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury had a very small funeral in 1991 the year of his death, which was conducted on Zoroastrian priest at the crematorium(Image/ Source: Pinterest)of West London - just as he asked. A small but intimate group of around 35 people made up of very close friends and family attended.

62. Gandhi

In honour of the Great Gandhi, over two million people joined a five-mile long funeral procession. A procession that that took over(Image/ Source: biobiography)five hours to reach the destination - Raj Ghat from the start of Birla House, where he had been assassinated. He was cremated on the bank of the holy Yamuna River.

63. River Phoenix

River Phoenix was places in a blue open casket coffin ad a memorial was held for his grieving friends and family. Around 60 people attended,(Image/ Source: AZcentral)all sharing their heartbreak over his untimely death. A memorial service was also held on the Paramount Studios Lot.

64. Chadwick Boseman

The family and friends of Chadwick Boseman gathered for a memorial service - also attended by many of the biggest A lister names -(Image/ Source: distractify)to grieve the loss of Chadwick Boseman who who passed away at the age of 43 following years of battling with colon cancer.

65. Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was a famous American author, poet, writer... known throughout the world for her works. She was buried characteristically(Image/ Source: DailyExpress)of her poems, surrounded by wildlife and wild flowers with an elaborate private and intimate memorial for her nearest and dearest to attend.

66. Bernie Mac

Bernard Jeffrey McCullough - best known as Bernie Mac - was cremated at Washington Memory Garden. The elaborate service(Image/ Source: YouTube)was attended by over 6,000 people, including Chicago mayor Richard Daley who all came to celebrate the life of the popular comedian.

67. Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain tragically died at the young age of 27, after he committed suicide at his home. His funeral service was unique in order(Image/ Source: Pinterest)to honour Cobain's personality. He had a funeral service attended by 200,a memorial attended by 6,000 and then a Buddhist ritual memorial.

68. Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger passed away after an overdose of drugs. His funeral remained completely secret as his family were set on things remaining(Image/ Source: CBSnews)private. His body had been moved from the funeral home surrounded by police guarding the place in the midst of a host of cameras and reporters.

69. Jimi Hendrix

His entire family and friends as well as his professional music team past and present all came to attend the funeral of the legend.(Image/ Source: coffin was lowered down to the tune 'When the Saints Go Marching in'' during his service which took place in Seattle.

70. Anton Yelchin

Anton Yelchin died tragically young after an accident with his Jeep that killed him. His funeral was elaborate but very private,(Image/ Source: only by close family and friends. His parents chose not to disclose the location of the service, even after it had taken place.