Are you searching for clues about Lesley Gore’s funeral or public memorial but not coming up with anything? Fans are still mourning Lesley Gore after her funeral was held on Thursday, February 19. However, when you search online, there are no photos or articles written about Lesley Gore’s funeral — why is that?
After all, Lesley Gore was extremely popular, and that usually means that her funeral would be covered by the press. Alas, there isn’t a clue written anywhere except where the funeral was held. What gives?
When you are a A-list celebrity, there are certain things you know — and the friends and family of Lesley Gore seemed to understand this one thing clearly. That is, if you want a private funeral with absolutely no coverage from the press, there is only one place to go — and that is where Lesley Gore’s funeral took place.
The very first article published about the death of Lesley Gore by AP News stated, “Services will be held on Thursday at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home on Madison Avenue.” This should have been an indicator that no photos of mourners at Lesley Gore’s funeral would be produced or published if the family did not want them. No exclusives would be given to certain members of the press over others.
In the past, other celebrities besides Lesley Gore had their funerals arranged with Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, A.K.A. ”The Funeral Chapel.” So how serious is this no-press-coverage funeral home? Evidently, it is completely locked down and has been like that for the past 100 years.
For example, a 1988 article about the funeral home chosen for Lesley Gore was published in the New York Times. It states that since the late 1920s, celebrities like Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Robert F. Kennedy, John Lennon, and Tennessee Williams have all had their funerals there.
Why did they like to keep things so quiet for celebrities? The original owner of the funeral home, Frank E. Campbell, could have some clues for us. He once said, ”To create a service so sublimely beautiful, in an atmosphere of such complete harmony as to alleviate the sorrow of parting, is to render a service to mankind.”
In 1988, manager Eugene Schultz told the New York Times that celebrities continue to do their services at Frank E. Campbell’s Funeral Home because “we will do everything possible to carry out any family request.” Is the same true today?
In the recent past, the celebrities that have shared the funeral home that Lesley Gore used are Heath Ledger, Biggie Smalls, Jim Henson, and Joan Rivers. ABC News reports that, in 2001, Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home opened their archives for the TV show 20/20.
During the interview, they spoke of how different a funeral for a celebrity like Lesley Gore is, and how security can be difficult to manage. To keep things private, tactics like decoy caskets have been used at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home for stars like John Lennon.
But is making a funeral like Lesley Gore’s so private the right thing to do? While that is up to the discretion of those closest to Lesley Gore, the current manager of Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, Eugene Schultz, said something telling in 2008.
Schultz steps in to say that fans of a person like Lesley Gore, “need to be a part of that life that they… have never touched personally, individually, privately, and in person — but through the media, through television, through the movies, it was very much a part of their growing up and their life. They want closure … People from every walk of life.”
Unfortunately, as Lesley Gore’s fans continue to send their condolences to her family and friends — they will have to wait for their closure as a public memorial still has not been announced.
[All images from the referenced links. Featured image via Getty Images.]