Direct Cremate

12 Surprising Celebrities Who Chose Cremation

Some of the wealthiest people in the world have opted for cremation. You’ll probably be surprised to find that the 12 celebrities on this list choose cremation, even when burial was much more common.
12 Surprising Celebrities That Choose Cremation

Affordability is a benefit of cremation, but it isn’t the only reason people choose to be cremated instead of buried. Case in point are celebrities that are cremated.

Walt Disney

There are rumors that Walt Disney had his head or whole body preserved, but that’s far from reality. Disney’s request was that his body be cremated, and it was honored. Although it’s not as extreme as getting cryogenically frozen, cremation was far from the norm when Disney passed away in 1966.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein may have donated his brain to science, but his body was cremated. Einstein not only specified he wanted to be cremated in his will, he also included where he wanted his cremains to be scattered. 

Joan Rivers

The outrageous comedian Joan Rivers was never afraid to do things her way in life and that wasn’t about to change in death. Rivers was cremated in 2014, but years before she had cracked jokes that she wanted her cremains to be mixed with her dogs’ remains. 

John Lennon

John Lennon’s death was almost as famous as the life he led as a musician. After being murdered at the age of 40 Lennon was cremated and his cremains were scattered in a part of Central Park that can be seen from the apartment he shared with Yoko Ono. 

David Bowie

David Bowie is another legendary musician that chose to be cremated rather than buried after he lost his battle with liver cancer in 2016. Bowie had made his wishes known that he wanted direct cremation and to have his cremains scattered by his family at an undisclosed location.  


When Prince suddenly died in 2016 it was a shock to the world. Once it was revealed Prince died of an overdose, it brought the dangers of fentanyl to the forefront. The family held a small memorial after the autopsy and cremation. 

Kurt Cobain

In his short life Kurt Cobain was very influential because he wasn’t afraid to do something different than what society expected. In 1994 his wishes were carried out and he was cremated after committing suicide. Cremation wasn’t the norm at that time, but Washington (Cobain’s home state) is now one of the states with the highest cremation rate

Bea Arthur

Bea Aurthur is another Jewish female comedian who bucked traditions and chose cremation. The Golden Girl passed away in 2009, and her family reportedly has possession of the cremains. 

Karl Lagerfield

The always poised creative director of Chanel and Fendi wished for things to maintain very low key after his death. Karl Lagerfield chose not to have a funeral and instead chose direct cremation. His cremains are in an undisclosed location with the cremains of his long-time partner and mother. 

Christopher Reeve

The Man of Steel proved that a debilitating injury couldn’t slow him down. After a horse riding accident in 1995 left him paralyzed from the neck down, Christopher Reeve continued his career as a director and began a foundation devoted to spinal cord injury research. After his death nearly a decade later Reeves was cremated and his family scattered his cremains. 

Carrie Fisher

Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, Carrie Fisher was also an eccentric writer who openly discussed her struggles with mental health issues and drug use. It’s not surprising that Fisher chose to be cremated or that her urn is a replica of a large Prozac pill which she owned before death and loved. 

Robin Williams

Funny man Robin Williams tragically died in 2014, and it was only after the autopsy that his family discovered he had developed Lewy Body Dementia. Before his death Williams had made his wish to be cremated known. Like his mother, Williams’ remains were scattered across San Francisco Bay where he got his start in comedy. 

If you’d like to know more about the direct cremation process, please give Direct Cremate a call or email any day of the week.