March 25, 2011 / 4:12 AM / 7 years ago

Elizabeth Taylor laid to rest at private service

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor was given a small private funeral service attended by family and close friends in the Los Angeles area on Thursday, a day after she died of congestive heart failure.

Flowers, photographs and notes from fans adorn the Hollywood Walk of Fame star of actress Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood, California March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The Oscar-winning actress, 79, was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, outside Los Angeles — the same place where her close friend, singer Michael Jackson, was buried in 2009.

Taylor’s service was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., but started 15 minutes later than planned at the actress’ request.

Her spokeswoman said in a statement Taylor wanted the service to include the announcement: “She even wanted to be late to her own funeral.”

The coffin for Taylor was draped by a blanket of gardenias, violets and lily of the valley, and the actress who was known for her violet eyes was interred at Forest Lawn’s Great Mausoleum beneath a marble angel.

Limousines carrying relatives of late actress Elizabeth Taylor leave after her funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The service lasted about one hour and included a reading of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo” by actor Colin Farrell, described as a “close friend” of Taylor.

Other poems were read by Taylor’s son, Michael Wilding, grandson and daughter Liza Burton Tivey. Her grandson, Rhys Tivey performed “Amazing Grace” on a trumpet.

Slideshow (6 Images)

Taylor, who married eight times (twice to actor Richard Burton), is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Her representatives previously had said that a public memorial would be announced at a later date.

Forest Lawn is also the burial place of many Hollywood celebrities, including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Walt Disney.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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