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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 March, 2005, 13:01 GMT
Party celebrates writer Thompson
John Cusack and Johnny Depp
Actors John Cusack and Johnny Depp attended the memorial party
A private party to celebrate the life of writer Hunter S Thompson was held in Aspen, Colorado, on Saturday night, with only friends and family invited.

Among the guests at the Hotel Jerome was actor Johnny Depp, who portrayed the journalist in the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

The outside of the hotel was decorated with pictures of Thompson, who killed himself on 20 February aged 67.

An eccentric figure, Thompson fiercely guarded his private life in Aspen.

"I think that's why he lived here. He didn't get tons of public exposure. People had to come find him," said Aspen resident Anna Bugge.

Hunter S Thompson
Thompson killed himself at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado

Photographers and journalists were kept strictly away from the party, in keeping with Thompson's wishes.

Inside, the hotel had been adorned with pictures of Thompson, including an almost life-size black and white photo of him standing in front of the US flag.

Pioneering writer

At the doorway was a sign reading "Thompson for Sheriff", a reference to his failed bid for office in 1970.

It was reported he ran his election campaign from the bar at the Hotel Jerome.

Actor John Cusack was also at the Aspen party, arriving with Depp.

Thompson's widow, Anita Thompson, 32, has said her husband was on the phone to her when she heard the "clicking of the gun" just before he shot himself.

The writer was later found dead by his son, Juan.

Thompson was considered one of the most important political writers of the 20th Century and pioneered "gonzo journalism" - which includes much of the writer's personal views and shuns objectivity.

Among his seminal works were Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published in 1972, and The Great Shark Hunt in 1979.

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