BRAND NEW ON E!
The memorial was nearly seven months in the making, but last night, 400 of Elizabeth Taylor's family and close friends gathered, rather fittingly, at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank to pay their final respects to the late great dame.
And who better to memorialize a Hollywood icon than a few of the same? Colin Farrell, surprisingly revealed to be a close friend of the actress after her death, hosted the roughly 75-minute service, which was also attended by Sirs Michael Caine and Elton John, the latter of whom closed out the night by singing an emotional rendition of "Blue Eyes."
The private celebration, which took place at the Steven J. Ross Theater, paid tribute to Taylor's remarkable life, both personally and professionally.
In addition to Elton's crooning, among the night's standout tributes were a touching video message sent by Mike Nichols, who directed Liz in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, memories shared by stepdaughter Kate Burton, grandson Rhys Tivey playing "Amazing Grace" on his trumpet, a song beloved by the late icon, and a retrospective montage of everything Taylor has advocated on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS.
"My mother was an extraordinary woman whose life touched so many, most of whom we will never know," said Taylor's son Michael Wilding. "Our whole family is extremely proud of her accomplishments, and know what a unique and special experience it was to have her in our lives.
"Today it was especially meaningful for us to be with so many good friends to celebrate her spirit, which will be with us forever."
Taylor passed away March 23 at the age of 79.