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Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Hundreds remember Monroe
Herbert Berrios, right, and Gregg Vorbroker, fans of Marilyn Monroe, examine a card that was left at Monroe's gravesite on the 40th anniversary of Monroe's death
Fans left flowers, cards, photos and press cuttings
Hundreds of fans from around the world have marked the 40th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death by laying flowers and remembering the screen legend at her tomb in Los Angeles.

A remembrance service in the cemetery grounds was conducted by 17 presidents of Monroe fan clubs and attracted up to 400 people from as far away as the UK, France, Spain and Australia.

Robert Slatzer, 75
Robert Slatzer, 75, was a friend of the actress
It was the biggest crowd since the annual memorial service was first held 20 years ago, according to Jill Adams, president of the Forever Marilyn fan group.

Monroe was found dead on 5 August 1962 and is buried in a mausoleum at the Westwood Village Memorial Park, where many other Hollywood stars were also laid to rest.

As well as leaving flowers at the burial site, fans also left pictures, cards and press cuttings, and kissed the plain brass name plate on the vault.

"She's still alive to me. I keep her alive by collecting pictures of her and watching her movies," said Athena DeLima, 20, who was not born when Monroe died.

The largest floral arrangement was left by a personal friend of the screen legend, Robert Slatzer, 75, who also wrote a book about Monroe's' life and "curious death".

Justine Mattera, the host of Scream an Italian show that airs on the satellite channel called Gay television, films a shot from Marilyn Monroe¿s gravesite
TV crews from around the world were at the graveside
He took a wreath made of 40 long-stemmed white roses arranged around a black-and-white photo of the star.

"She loved all flowers, but white roses were her favourite," Slatzer said.

"I'll always remember her laughing, smiling and being considerate of other people. When you became her friend, you became her friend for life."

Monroe impersonators and media from around the world also mingled with the crowd, and many fans were wearing Monroe T-shirts and tattoos.

Welcome

The memorial park never allows filming at Monroe's tomb - except on the anniversary.

"Can you imagine trying to stop this?" the park's manager, Kathy Boyett asked.

"There's no way, so we just welcome it and are glad to be a part of it."

Among the other celebrities buried in the park are Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Peggy Lee.

See also:

31 Jul 02 | Entertainment
07 Mar 02 | Entertainment
12 Feb 02 | Entertainment
23 Feb 01 | Entertainment
06 May 01 | Entertainment
31 May 01 | Entertainment
13 Apr 01 | Entertainment
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