Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Colin Farrell pays emotional tribute at Elizabeth Taylor’s funeral

Elizabeth Taylor's family mourned the screen legend in a brief private funeral service
A procession of limousines containing the family of Elizabeth Taylor leaves the Forest Lawn memorial park (AP)
A caravan of limousines containing the family of Elizabeth Taylor arrives at the Forest Lawn memorial park and mortuary in Glendale, Calif., on Thursday, March 24, 2011. Taylor, 79, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Colin Farrell paid an emotional tribute to his “close friend” Elizabeth Taylor at her funeral in Los Angeles.

The Oscar-winning actress (79) was laid to rest after a small private funeral service attended by family and her closest friends, with the Irish actor delivering a heartfelt rendition of the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo.

Farrell was the only celebrity to speak at the service. Other poetry readings were delivered by family members, Taylor's son Michael Wilding and daughter Liza Burton Tivey. Her grandson Rhys Tivey performed Amazing Grace on a trumpet.

Dublin heartthrob Farrell had a long-standing close relationship with the Hollywood idol and in her last interview earlier this month she named Farrell as one of the leading men she would most like to work with.

“I love Johnny Depp and I love Colin Farrell, both brilliant, nuanced actors with great range,” she told Harper's Bazaar.

Farrell's moving tribute included the lines: “Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver.

“See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair is, hair of the head, numbered.”

The one-hour service took place at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, outside Los Angeles — the same place where another of her close friends, singer Michael Jackson, was buried in 2009.

Five black stretch limousines transported Taylor's family to and from the funeral, but no procession was held. The service began 15 minutes after its announced start time in observance of Taylor's parting wish that her funeral start late, her publicist Sally Morrison said.

Taylor had also requested that someone announce “she even wanted to be late for her own funeral”, Ms Morrison said.

Taylor died of congestive heart failure while surrounded by her four children at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, where she had been for six weeks.

Taylor, who was married eight times to seven husbands, converted to Judaism before her 1959 wedding to Eddie Fisher.

Jewish customs call for a burial within 48 hours of death.

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