The Objects 10 Celebrities Took to the Grave

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Ancient Egyptians weren't the only ones who buried their dead with meaningful artifacts. The ritual is still a common occurrence today, although our reasons are probably different than the Egyptians’ reasons: They believed that the dead would need those certain items in the afterlife. These days, it’s intended as a final tribute to the deceased. Here are what 10 celebrities took with them.

1. Frank Sinatra — A flask of Jack Daniels

After a lifelong love affair with Jack—he took two fingers on ice with a splash of water—Sinatra’s family thought it would be fitting to send Ol’ Blue Eyes off with a flask for the road. Rumor has that they also left him with a roll of dimes, just in case he wanted to make some phone calls from the great beyond.

2. Tony Curtis — An iPhone

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Tony Curtis’ family may have had the same thought the Sinatra clan did. When the actor died in 2010, he was buried with his iPhone, a Stetson hat, driving gloves, and a copy of the book Anthony Adverse, the novel that inspired his stage name.

3. Humphrey Bogart — A golden whistle

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In her 1944 movie debut, Lauren Bacall told Humphrey Bogart, “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and ... blow.” Sometime during their fabled love affair, Bogie gave Bacall a golden whistle charm to honor the meeting. When he died in 1957, the charm was buried with his ashes. Bacall had it engraved with the phrase, “If you want anything, just whistle.”

4. Roald Dahl — Snooker cues, HB pencils, a power saw, chocolates, and red wine

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When the children’s author passed away in 1990, his family made sure that he took all of his favorite things with him. That included his favorite HB pencils, the instruments used to write nearly all of his works.

5. Leonard Bernstein — A copy of Alice in Wonderland

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In addition to his baton and the score of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Leonard Bernstein was buried with a copy of the book he always took with him on his travels—Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

6. Ronnie Van Zant — Fishing poles and his trademark black hat

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After a tragic plane crash claimed the life of Van Zant and Steve Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Zant was laid to rest wearing his trademark Texas Hatters hat, his favorite fishing pole at his side.

7. Bela Lugosi — A Dracula cape.

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The key word here is a Dracula cape, not the Dracula cape. Before his death in 1956, Lugosi gave his famous cape to his wife and asked her to keep it for their son. The family decided that Lugosi had to be buried in his trademark costume, though, and sent him off wearing a lightweight version of the cape that he wore for personal appearances. The “real” cape failed to sell when it was put on the auction block in 2011.

8. Bob Marley — His red Gibson Les Paul ... And some weed

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Though there seems to be some dispute as to what kind of guitar Marley was buried with, this first-hand account says it was a red Les Paul. The same account says Marley’s widow tucked “a stalk of ganja” in with him before the casket was closed.

9. Andy Warhol — Some Interview magazines and a bottle of Estee Lauder perfume

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Warhol’s items weren’t exactly sanctioned by the family. Instead, as his casket was being lowered into the ground, his longtime friend Paige Powell ran forward and tossed some of Andy’s magazines and a bottle of Estee Lauder “Beautiful” perfume into the hole. Though the significance of the perfume is not known, Warhol liked to wear fragrances for three months, and then “catalog” them to remember certain periods in his life by the scent.

10. Elizabeth Taylor — Richard Burton’s last love letter to her

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Although Taylor and Burton’s love affairs were highly publicized and their love letters quoted in various biographies, this was one she kept to herself. Written three days before he died, Taylor received the note when she arrived home from Burton’s funeral. She kept it by her bedside for the rest of her life and was buried with it at her request.

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August 28, 2014 - 2:00pm
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