When a celebrity passes, their death often leaves a lasting impression on their fans. Although many of these people may have never come in contact with their favorite star, there is still a sense of closeness that comes from following a person’s career for years. As a result, many famous funerals are often huge public events that serve as a final sendoff. While some celebrity funerals are relatively tame, other’s are held with specific – and sometimes strange – instructions. In many cases, these funerals become the topic of conversation for days, weeks, months, and even years after they have taken place. Here are the 10 most bizarre funerals for celebrities.
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Best-known for his role in the Star Trek series, James Doohan had a career that lasted for over 50 years. When he passed away in 2005, fans were saddened. However, Doohan left specific instructions in his will that put a smile on the faces of many fans. As a part of his funeral services, Doohan requested that some of his ashes be sent into space. In 2012, nearly a decade after his death, Doohan’s wish finally came true when his ashes were brought to space aboard the SpaceX rocket.
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Florida native, Alexander Harris is certainly no household name. However, in his home city of Miami, Harris had become a local celebrity for work as a record executive. In 2003, when Harris was tragically gunned down, he left behind instructions to make sure he left the world in style. Harris asked that during his services he be put into his flashy yellow Lamborghini so that mourners could see him at his best one last time. Harris was wearing a pair of jeans, a football jersey, a hat, and a pair of glasses. According to Harris’ daughter, “That’s his favorite car. He used to joke around a lot about how he loved it so much, he wanted to be buried in that car.” Unfortunately; however, Harris was unable to actually be buried in the car, and was instead placed into a $19,000 glass casket.
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In 1973, Bruce Lee passed away after taking medication to help with seizures and headaches which cause his brain to swell. At the time of his death, Lee was in the process of filming martial arts movie, Game of Death. However, because he passed before completing all of his scenes, the filmmakers found themselves scrambling to finish his parts. In an effort to complete the film, they showed up at Lee’s funeral and recorded actual footage of him lying dead in his casket.
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Jim Henson is best-known for creating The Muppets, a group of humorous puppets who have starred in their own films and television shows, and have made appearances on the children’s educational series, Sesame Street. When Henson passed away in 1990, at just 53 years-old, he made sure that his funeral would not be a sad occasion. Before his death, Henson asked that no one wear black to his funeral, and the event was filled with singing and entertainment from Henson’s beloved Muppets.
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During his life, Evel Knievel loved nothing more than entertaining crowds, so it should come as no surprise that he was no different in passing. Knievel’s funeral services were held at the Butte Civic Center, and thousands of mourners gathered to pay their respects. Fireworks exploded in the sky as pallbearers carried Knievel’s casket into the arena. Knievel’s longtime friend and fellow stunt man, Gene Sullivan, also passed on a bizarre postmortem message from Knievel in which he stated: “If I offended you. I’m sorry. Forgive me.”
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Sadly, James Brown’s funeral was postponed for months after his death due to family disagreements. However, the soul man, still left the world in true James Brown fashion. Three separate funerals were held for Brown, one of which took place at the legendary Apollo Theater where Brown’s casket was pulled throw the local streets by a horse-drawn carriage. During the funeral services, Brown also made his signature mid-show costume changes.
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Hunter S. Thompson
Author/journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, was one of the greatest talents of his time. His reputation for drinking, smoking, and living life on the edge made him made him a popular figure among literary lovers everywhere. When Thompson committed suicide in 2005 at 67 years-old, actor Johnny Depp funded a funeral service in Thompson’s honor. For the service, a 150 foot tall tower was built with a cannon on top. While fireworks blasted, and Thompson’s favorite songs played, his ashes were fired from the cannon.
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Before he was best-known for his assortment of breakfast foods, Jimmy Dean was a country singer from Texas. When he died in 2010, Dean requested that his body be placed into a piano shaped mausoleum with the inscription: “Here lies one hell of a man.”
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Most people do not know Texas native Willie McCoy by name; however, his famous ‘Chilli’s baby back ribs’ jingle is etched into the memory of countless people. When McCoy passed away in 2013, he made sure that his memory would never fade. During his BBQ themed funeral, McCoy’s body was carried in a casket shaped like a meat smoker, and his pallbearers, who were dressed as chefs, sang his infamous jingle.
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Slain rapper, Tupac Shakur, never had a formal funeral; however, his closest friends in family still came together to pay their final respects. Instead of honoring Shakur in a more traditional way, Tupac’s friends decided to mix his cremated ashes with marijuana, and smoke their fallen friend.
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