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Private Funeral, Entombment for Child Star

February 6, 1988 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Family and celebrity friends including Henry Winkler, Linda Purl and Ricky Schroeder gathered in a chapel Friday for a simple funeral for ″Poltergeist″ child star Heather O’Rourke.

Heather died Monday from infection caused by a congenital intestinal defect. She was 12.

″To all who knew her, she was genuine. In a world of plastics, she was real,″ the Rev. Dennis Estill told the 120 mourners during a 20-minute service in the Westwood Memorial Park Chapel.

Estill, a family friend, said Heather wanted two things in her life.


″She wanted an Academy Award. She wanted a Rolls-Royce,″ the minister said, adding that now ″she is wearing a crown to wear through eternity.″

″We’ve all been blessed to share in the love of Heather,″ Estill concluded.

Heather’s open pink-and-gray metal casket was set amid several floral arrangements. After the funeral, the casket was carried 100 yards to a sun- splashed mausoleum wall and sealed in a ground-level crypt near that of actor Peter Lawford.

Thirty yards away is the grave of one-time child star Natalie Wood, who drowned off Santa Catalina Island in 1981 at age 43, and another 100 feet away is the crypt of Marilyn Monroe, who died at 36 of a drug overdose in 1962.

Heather died during emergency surgery at Children’s Hospital of San Diego of shock caused by infection in the blood, which in turn was caused by a birth defect that made a section of her intestine abnormally narrow.

In the first ″Polgergeist″ movie, the blond youngster’s character warned ″They’re heeeere 3/8″ In the sequel, it was ″They’re baaaack 3/8″

Filming was completed on a third ″Poltergeist″ movie last June.

Heather also appeared in several television shows, including ″Happy Days″ and ″Webster.″