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Famous Celebrity Last Will and Testaments

Updated on August 8, 2015
Marilyn Monroe left her belongings to her acting coach. Including the famous gown wore for JKFs inauguration.
Marilyn Monroe left her belongings to her acting coach. Including the famous gown wore for JKFs inauguration. | Source

Admirers and fans love them dead or alive

Tons of fans believe they have private awareness or understanding of the behavior of a favorite celebrity, icon or idol. They feel a personal connection with a celebrity and are surprised after their death by many things coming to light. A brief glance through grief of intimate insight into their personality or overall makeup is inevitable based on their wishes after life.

All of the admirers following famous individuals are not fanatics. In fact, for the most part they are simply admirers or low key groupies of sorts. Some of the most loyal followers would be surprised to learn what the last wishes or requests of their most favorite celebrity actual were.

Napoleon Bonaparte

This is a name readily remembered for lots of strange and unusual behavior. One of the oddest was what he wanted after he left this world in 1821.

Napoleon wanted his head shaved and his remaining hair divided among his friends. Who would claim to be his friend? After allocating the hair, cremation was performed as he wished.

Farah Fawcett

Charlie’s Angels star Farah died and left everything to her son. Redmond O’Neal was left with $4.5 million. He had his ups and downs with jail and drugs, but was certainly loved by his mother.

Her longtime lover and son’s father Ryan O’Neal didn’t make the cut. In fact, he got nothing according to her will. Lots of people say it was a woman scorned or possibly something to do with their son’s addictive behavior. After years of being together and the documentary recording her final year of life with Ryan by her side, many fans were shocked.

Ryan didn’t lose everything. He fought and in 2013 he won an Andy Warhol painting. The artist gifted it to them both and ownership was impossible to prove.

Janis Joplin

This was party girl from day one in her career. Unfortunately, it was the out of hand partying which contributed to her early demise.

Janis loved party people so much she invited 200 guests to a private party after her death in her will. She set aside $2500 to make it happen. The all-nighter took place at her favorite pub as she requested.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

This is an actor tragically dying in the prime of his career. With academy award nominee movies and tony award plays under his belt, he accomplished quite a bit as a professional actor. Not always known as the pretty boy for the roles he played, he certainly evoked emotion with words spoken. He passed away in February of 2014, but had all of his plans in order.

With an estate a little over 35 million he certainly didn’t leave this earth as a pauper. He made his will out some ten years before his death with the provision his children inherited none of his estate and left every nickel to their mother. This was to ensure they were never growing up as a trust fund kid brat.

Admittedly he felt Hollywood was not a place to raise health children and his youngest son was to be raised outside of the city of stars.

Extremities by Farah is a best seller

Marilyn Monroe

She certainly didn’t leave millions in this world after she died until long after she was gone. Unfortunately it went to someone else instead of her intended recipient.

A Nobel Prize winner requested the American alphabet changed from 26 letters to over 40

The Shavian alphabet never really caught on. Most of the words were phonetically spelled and it removed Latin from the English language altogether.
The Shavian alphabet never really caught on. Most of the words were phonetically spelled and it removed Latin from the English language altogether. | Source

The secrets behind Houdini's Life

Space burial is cheaper than you think

One of the great things about space burial is the price is now an affordable $995. A portion of ashes is inserted in a capsule and launched with the assumption it will burn up upon re-entry or parachute safely down at a later date. As of march 2014 two companies offer it, Celestis or Elysium.

Mickey Rooney

Mickey was an actor who was able to live to a ripe old age. Many greats unfortunately as taken from us early in life or in the prime of their career, but he was able to see his 93rd birthday. In April of 2014 he shocked the world with how he wanted his final estate carried out.

Married for 35 years and surviving eight of his children, he had an extremely large family by holiday standards. Of course, with an acting career peaking in the 40s and 50s this was the norm and certainly not unusual. What was unique was leaving nothing to his children and wife and everything to his caretaker.

Jack Benny

Mr. Benny made hundreds of thousands of his fans laugh before pancreatic cancer took him in December of 1974 at the age of 80. His career spanned radio, television and film. The original act was vaudeville which put Jack on the map.

One of the most romantic gestures ever made was Jack sending roses to his wife. Every day one red rose will be sent to his wife until her death.

Marilyn Monroe

This poor strange and sad young lady didn’t have a lot of family to speak of and after she died she remembered none of them. Everything she owned she left to her acting coach. This included her personal belongings and clothes for the most part.

One of the first things every aficionado asks is how good of a coach was he? After seeing her films, he lacked something in his technique. Though, no romantic ties were ever established.

The coach did nothing with his inheritance from Ms. Monroe, he simply held on to it. After he died his widow decided she would. Auctioning off Marilyn’s things brought a hefty sum. The gown worn to JFKs inauguration (remember the happy birthday song) was purchased for a cool $1.26 million.

Queen of Mean-Leona Helmsley

She had an estate worth billions. Leona Helmsley died in 2007 leaving her dog Troubles $12 million. That’s a doggy treat.

We should have seen this one coming

There was so much strange around Napoleon while alive the afterlife requests were bound to be weird as well.
There was so much strange around Napoleon while alive the afterlife requests were bound to be weird as well. | Source
Touching loved ones from beyond in some way shape or form was Houdini's wish. Specifically his wife
Touching loved ones from beyond in some way shape or form was Houdini's wish. Specifically his wife | Source

Leona Helmsley

This hotel baroness was infamous for being convicted of tax evasion charges. Even in the wake of this scandal, she managed to hold on to quite a large fortune. She outlived her only child by more than 10 years.

Leona loved her animals and it showed by what she bequeathed them after her death. Half of her grandchildren saw something while the remaining was left with nil. She left two of them zilch and the other remaining two split 10 million dollars. This certainly didn’t help erase her nickname, Queen of Mean. Her Maltese, named Trouble, got the rest.

George Bernard Shaw

This Irish playwright not only one the Nobel prize, but also an Oscar for adaptation of one of his plays to film. He was an intelligent man with the ability to enhance the world through his literary acts.

He left his wealth to one of the strangest entities yet. He created a new alphabet. This is a 40 character alphabet intended to replace the 26 character English one. The Shavian alphabet was touted as a better way to communicate the English language, phonetically and much simpler.

The Shavian didn’t quite catch on.

Gene Rodenberry

The creator of Star Trek the series is one of the most memorable television icons of our time. His death in 1991 was a blow to all of his science fictions followers.

He asked his wife to put his ashes into space. The first space burial of its time was an extraordinary and unique way to handle his funeral. The ashes are actually inside of a spacecraft and not amongst the space debris surrounding our atmosphere.

Rumors were abundant no funds were left to his three children. These are no substantiated.

Harry Houdini

Houdini is an unusual name for one of the most unusual men. His last will and testament instructed his wife to on how to contact him from the other side.

Although he died in 1926 he knew the future illusionists had in the entertainment biz. Along with instructions to his spouse, there were also provisions made to prevent anyone from attempting to impersonate him and his illusions. Some have not been done to this day.

In conclusion

These are strange and unusual individuals living a unique life in the spotlight and spilling those bizarre or eccentric ways over into the afterlife. Surprisingly some fans find their behavior expected or normal for the man or woman after they die. There are certainly those people who follow the same behavior in their wills and estates as the famous, but they are unknown and will never receive the same scrutiny these folks did.

A brief look at Gene Roddenberry's biography

Wish request is the oddest?

Which celebrity had the oddest afterlife action or request?

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One of the biggest questions people have in this category is whether or not they are able to legally write their own will. Find out how

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