Friends and family said their final goodbyes tonight to Michael Jackson, who was laid to rest during a private service in the exclusive section of the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Ca. Jackson was interred in the cemetery’s Great Mausoleum, a voluminous building that also houses the remains of Clark Gable, W.C. Fields and Carole Lombard. Security was tight – local police blocked off streets around the cemetery and discouraged fans from trying to gain access – but that didn’t stop the media from surrounding the cemetery’s wrought-iron front gates.
In addition to the Jackson family including Michael’s three children, attendees at the private service included Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Lisa Marie Presley, Corey Feldman and Chris Tucker.
The funeral got underway later than expected on Thursday night, at about 8:35 p.m. local time.
Speculation had swirled for months that the Jackson family would forgo a traditional resting place and build an elaborate gravesite, together with a Graceland-style attraction, at the pop singer’s old Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County. The family ultimately chose Forest Lawn, which is about 20 minutes away from their home in Encino. Fans won’t be able to access the crypt in the future, however: the building is reportedly restricted and spectators are only allowed in to see a life-size stained-glass recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”
Jackson, who was 50, died on June 25 of a drug overdose. The Los Angeles County ruled that his death was a homicide.