Funerals are a pretty big deal on any occasion. But they can turn into major events when the person at hand is a celebrity. There is no shortage of celebrities that dies and each occasion prompts incredible amounts of outreach and support from fans. Plenty of deceased celebrities have been given exuberant funeral services, whether for the public or for close friends. As well, many of these funeral services have been open caskets. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at several must-see celebrity open casket funerals.
Bruce Lee was born in 1940, in San Francisco, California. The future film star is born in both the year and the house of the Dragon. According to the Chinese zodiac, which many around him saw as a premonition of his future success. The martial artist rises to prominence as an actor and director, appearing in a few films before his untimely death. His most notable features were Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, and Enter the Dragon. The second film is written and directed by the star, while the film is his biggest crossover success in America.
Sadly, Bruce died well before his time. He was pronounced dead on July 20, 1973, at the age of only 32. The actor had apparently died of substance abuse. During his funeral, Bruce’s body was exhibited to those in attendance.
Country legend Hank Williams was born in 1923, in a rural area of Alabama. The singer/songwriter grew up to be one of the most influential musical artists of his time, and is considered to be one of the most important recording artists of the 20th century Some of his many hits include “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart”.
Sadly, Hank suffered from numerous health issues over the course of his life. These included severe back pain and alcoholism. On one night in 1953, Hank died from heart failure while being driven around by his chauffeur. When the driver went to check on Hank, he had been dead for so long that his corpse was already showing signs of rigor mortis.
On the second day of January in 1954, Hank’s body arrived back in Alabama. The country legend was given a proper open casket funeral, and the event was considered to be the largest of it’s kind that the state had ever seen. It was believed that around 20,000 people passed by Hank’s silver casket and gazed upon the late singer’s lifeless body. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at several must-see celebrity open casket funerals.
Marvin Gaye was born in 1939. The singer had an incredible number of hits during his career, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”. Over the course of his life, the singer defined the sound of Motown as it came to be known throughout the 1960s. Sadly, the beloved legend’s life was cut short during an unfortunate family altercation in which Marvin was the hero.
The day before Marvin’s 45th in 1984, Marvin was murdered by his own father during a family altercation. Marvin’s mother and father had become embroiled in an argument, and Marvin intervened in order to spare his mother. Sadly, Marvin’s father didn’t take this intervention lightly. He subsequently shot his son multiple times, resulting in his son’s death. Marvin’s father was imprisoned for voluntary manslaughter, though was eventually released. In 1998, he died in a nursing home. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at several must-see celebrity open casket funerals.
James Brown was born in 1933, and grew up to be one of the most prominent and influential figures in all of soul music. In fact, the singer was given the name “The Godfather of Soul” during his own lifetime, and this title certainly wasn’t bestowed upon the singer without it’s merits.
Though James was born in a wooden shack, he would eventually make his way towards immense wealth and stardom. Some of his many hits include “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”. The singer continued performing and evolving his artistic persona up until his death in 2006, after suffering from pneumonia.
James was given multiple memorial services across America, one of which featured an open casket presentation of the late singer’s corpse. The casket was paraded around the streets surrounding New York’s Apollo Theater in a horse drawn-carriage. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way! Join Facts Verse as we take a look at several must-see celebrity open casket funerals.
Grace Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1929. The actress became a gigantic sensation in Hollywood, appearing in several hit films before retiring to become the actual Princess of Monaco in the 1950s. Given that Grace was an actual princess, it’s no surprise that her funeral was a major event that drew plenty of attention.
Some of Grace’s most notable works were the Alfred Hitchcock films Rear Window and Dial M for Murder. The director adored Grace so much that he attempted to get her to come back to Hollywood after she fled to Monaco, though her new duties as a princess were simply too pressing.
Grace remained married to the Prince of Monaco up until her death in 1982. The late actress and princess suffered a mild stroke while driving, resulting in a fatal car crash. Her funeral was held in Monaco, and over 400 people were in attendance. The Prince of Monaco never remarried, and was buried alongside Grace after his death in 2005. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at several must-see celebrity open casket funerals.
Singer Whitney Houston was born in 1963, in a middleclass neighborhood in New Jersey. The young woman went on to become one of the most widely recognized singers of her time, crossing over from the rhythm and blues charts to the mainstream. Sadly, the singer’s life ended in tragedy after a long and tumultuous battle with substance abuse.
In the days leading up to her death, Whitney was reportedly acting erratically. The singer had numerous issues with prescription medications, and plenty were found in her system during her autopsy. The singer was pronounced dead on February 11, 2012, submerged in a hotel bathtub. Though the initial cause of death was determined to be heart failure, there were numerous drugs found in her system.
Whitney’s memorial service wasn’t open to the public, but that didn’t stop it from being a big event. Though the service had only been scheduled to last two hours, the surplus of guests and performers expanded the runtime to four. Some of the many stars in attendance included Stevie Wonder, Kevin Costner, and Dionne Warwick.
Selena was born in 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. The singer’s story is one of the most notorious in recording history, as she was killed by her own friend and former manager when she was at the beginning of a would-be illustrious career. A public viewing of the singer’s closed casket followed up the singer’s tragic murder. However, rumors that the casket was empty prompted the family of the late singer to schedule a subsequent open casket event. Two weeks after Selena’s death, future president George W. Bush, who was then the governor of Selena’s home state of Texas, declared that April 16 would forever be known as Selena Day within the state.
Elvis was born in 1935, in the state of Mississippi. The future “King of Rock and Roll” went on to be widely recognized as one of the most significant icons in the history of popular entertainment thanks to his many contributions to both music and film. However, Elvis’ later life was fraught with personal turmoil, resulting in an early death.
Elvis died in 1977, at the age of only 42. Though the initial cause of death was labeled as cardiac arrest, drug use was heavily suspected. Elvis’ funeral was held at his own estate of Graceland, only two days after his untimely death. It is estimated that around 80,000 fans lined up to see the late singer’s open casket procession, after which he was buried alongside his mother upon his property.
The legendary actress Marilyn Monroe was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1926. She went on to become one of Hollywood’s most influential sex symbols, with her image still dictating the looks of popular entertainers today. However, the actress led a tragic life that resulted in an early death that may or may not have been a suicide. Even today, people are still promoting conspiracy theories revolving around the death of Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn passed away on August 5, 1962. The cause of death was found to be drug overdose, which was determined to be intentional given how fatal the dose was. The star was given an open casket funeral, and remains a tragic Hollywood icon to this day.
Michael Jackson was born in 1958, and he was the eighth of ten children born into the Jackson family. After performing alongside his siblings as a child, Michael went on to become one of the most prominent popular musicians of all time. Sadly, the singer’s life was fraught with tragedy well before his 2009 death. Michael’s memorial service was as large in scale as one might imagine given the singer’s legacy. The memorial service included an open casket procession, and was streamed to an audience of 32 million.
B.B. King was an American blues singer and guitarist that helped popularize and define the medium over the course of his decades-long career. The musician lived a long and fruitful life up until the age of 89. He was pronounced dead on September 16, 1925, with the cause of death being attributed to his type 2 diabetes. He was subsequently given an open casket procession in his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi. Afterwards, the legendary blues musician was buried at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, a museum dedicated to the Delta blues, located in Indianola.
Although the aforementioned celebrities certainly aren’t the only notable figures to have had open casket funerals, their services represent some of the most extravagant and widely exhibited that the world has ever seen. Comment down below to share whether you were surprised by the scope of any of these funerals, or if you feel that there was an open casket procession that should have been included on this list! As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!