Elizabeth Taylor's service held without disruption from anti-gay protesters [Updated]
Despite fears that anti-gay protesters from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas might disrupt the private ceremony for Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, the service went off without a hitch Thursday afternoon at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
Her family arrived in five black stretch limousines about 2:10 p.m. Thursday and left within a couple of hours through the wrought-iron gates.
Despite the camera crews lined up outside and the helicopter that hovered overhead, it was a peaceful and quiet event. Even the fans who gathered mostly seemed to be connected to the elementary school letting out nearby.
The speed of the service surprised some -– and without many details publicly available, huge crowds never arrived.
The actress, who died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, converted to Judaism in the 1950s. Jewish tradition calls for a burial as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours, after a person's death.
Glendale Police Department officials said the department was asked to assist in security for the three dozen to four dozen family members and friends expected to attend the service because of the proximity of an elementary school. No details were given to the media about who attended the service.
Scotland Beavers, 47, left work early after reading posts on Facebook that suggested anti-gay protesters might be picketing. "We need to get there and try to block them," he said.
They had umbrellas ready if protesters showed up, but they never materialized.
Taylor was laid to rest near her good friend Michael Jackson. The cemetery is also the final resting place of movie stars James Stewart and Sammy Davis Jr. Taylor and Jackson are in separate wings of the mausoleum, though she is near him, Glendale Police Department spokesman Tom Lorenz said.
[For the record at 10:50 a.m. Friday: A previous version of this post mistakenly said John Wayne was buried at Forest Lawn; he is buried at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar.]
"There's nowhere in the world where more famous people are laid to rest," Lorenz said.
-- Nardine Saad and Kelly Corrigan at Forest Lawn
Photo:Limousines leave Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale after the funeral for Elizabeth Taylor. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times