Top 10 Iconic Gravestones

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Man Ray buried in Cemetery of Montparnasse, Paris
Man Ray buried in Cemetery of Montparnasse, Paris

To coincide with our interview with Peter Saville in which he recalls the design of his late friend and Factory founder, Tony Wilson, AnOther presents the top 10 iconic gravestones...

How do you want to remembered? Will you be buried or cremated? Where will be your final resting place? They're dark questions that only a handful of us ever consider. Gravestones are fascinating subject matter, particularly those of the famous. Some knew exactly what they wanted (Coco Chanel). Others left it in the hands of their nearest and dearest. To coincide with our interview with Peter Saville in which he recalls the design of his late friend and Factory founder, Tony Wilson, AnOther presents the top 10 iconic gravestones...

1. Man Ray
The tomb of Man Ray and his wife of 36-years Juliet Browner is a moving symbol of eternal love. Ray’s epitaph reads, “Unconcerned, but not indifferent,” and is signed, “Love Juliet,” a final gift from his spouse who would outlive him by 15 years. Upon her own death, in 1991, Browner was finally reunited with Ray, her gravestone bearing an image of the pair, with the simple epitaph, “Together again".

2. Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer, aged 63, at her home in Tolochenaz, Switzerland. Four days later her funeral was held in the village church, led by the pastor who had wed Hepburn and Mel Ferrer, and with a eulogy by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan of UNICEF. Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor and the Dutch Royal family all sent flower arrangements for the funeral, and Hepburn’s grave, in a small hilltop cemetery overlooking the village, is to this day engulfed by an array of beautiful flowers.

3. Helmut Newton
Lauded fashion photographer Helmut Newton was killed in an accident on 23 January 2004, when his car sped out of control and hit a wall in the driveway of the Chateau Marmont which had for several years served as his residence in Southern California. His ashes are buried next to Marlene Dietrich at the Städtischer Friedhof III in Berlin. The headstone marking his grave bears a black and white portrait of Newton and is embedded in a plot of flowers and plants.

4. Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison’s grave, in Paris' Père Lachaise Cemetery, has been a place of pilgrimage for fans since the singer’s untimely death in 1971. Bottles of whiskey, flowers and graffiti adorn the site, which has undergone a number of changes over the years due to vandalism and theft (a bust of Morrison by Croatian sculptor Mladen Mikulin was famously stolen in 1988). In the early 1990s, Morrison's father George Stephen Morrison placed a flat stone on the grave bearing the Greek inscription: ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ, literally meaning "according to his own daemon" and usually interpreted as "true to his own spirit".

5. Oscar Wilde
Another of Père Lachaise's most revered tombs is of course that of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), designed by Sir Jacob Epstein, and commissioned by Robert Ross, who asked for a small compartment to be made for his own ashes which were duly interred in 1950. The modernist angel depicted as a relief on the tomb was originally complete with male genitalia which have since been vandalised, their current whereabouts unknown. In 2000, Leon Johnson, a multimedia artist, installed a silver prosthesis to replace them. In 2011, the tomb was cleaned of the many lipstick marks left there by admirers, and a glass barrier was installed to prevent further marks or damage.

6. Jack Lemmon
Much loved comedic actor Jack Lemmon died of cancer in 2001, aged 76. He is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, near the grave of his close friend and The Odd Couple co-star, Walter Matthau, who died almost exactly one year before him. With typical Lemmon wit, his gravestone simply reads "Jack Lemmon in".

7. John Keats
John Keats lost a tragic battle with tuberculosis and passed away in Rome in 1821, aged just 25. His body was buried in the Protestant Cemetery there. The poet's last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water." His close friends Joseph Severn and Charles Armitage Brown erected the stone which, beneath a relief of a lyre with broken strings, includes the epitaph: "This Grave / contains all that was Mortal / of a / Young English Poet / Who / on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart / at the Malicious Power of his Enemies / Desired / these Words to be / engraven on his Tomb Stone: / Here lies One / Whose Name was writ in Water. 24 February 1821."

8. Gabrielle Chanel
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel – who died in 1971, aged 87 – rests at the Bois-de-Vaux cemetery in Lausanne, the Swiss city where she spent the last few years of her life. Her tomb is decorated with five lions representing her favourite number and Leo, her astrological sign.

9. Dee Dee Ramone
Dee Dee Ramone, who died from an overdose aged 50, is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, not far from the cenotaph of his former Ramones' bandmate, Johnny Ramone. His headstone features the Ramones seal with the line "I feel so safe flying on a ray on the highest trails above," taken from his song, Highest Trails Above. At the stone's base is the line "O.K...I gotta go now". This image – part of a Hollywood-based shoot featuring Bobby Gillespie, shot by Niall O'Brien for the latest issue of Another Man – shows the Primal Scream frontman paying personal homage at Ramone's grave.

10. Paul Rand
Before his death in 1996 (aged 82), celebrated graphic designer Paul Rand asked Swiss designer Fred Troller to make him a headstone that would transcend the usual clichés, and Troller certainly succeeded. Rand's grave, marked by Troller's beautiful two-cubed headstone, can be found in Beth El Cemetery, New Jersey.

Compiled by Laura Bradley, Daisy Woodward and Jane Fayle