Watch: Alan Rickman has Uptown Funk playing at his funeral
Alan Rickman chose to have 'Uptown Funk' played at his funeral.
The 'Harry Potter' actor died of pancreatic cancer in January 2016 aged 69 and his widow, Rima Horton, revealed he planned all the details of how his loved ones would say their final farewells to him, including the choice of the Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson hit, as well as songs by Tom Waits and The Walker Brothers.
Rima revealed: "He designed his own funeral. Ian Rickson (theatre director) was put in charge. Alan chose where it would take place, who would speak and what music would be played.
"He was surrounded by people who loved him and up until 13 January was still in control of everything that was going on around him. But he wasn’t there after that, and he died at 9.15 in the morning of 14 January 2016. I was there. He wasn’t in pain. He just went.
"Alan was cremated on the morning of 3 February with close friends and family present. The funeral service was held that afternoon in the Actors’ Church in the heart of London’s theatre district.
"The chosen music was 'Uptown Funk' and 'Take It with Me' by Tom Waits. We finished with everyone singing 'The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore'.
"Then, in keeping with tradition, the Reverend Richard Syms asked us to give Alan 'one last wonderful standing ovation.' "
Rima told how she and her husband tried to keep life as normal as possible in the months before he died, and he was always happy to see friends.
In an extract from 'Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries', which was published by The Observer newspaper, she wrote: "All through the autumn he was eating less and often feeling sick.
"But we continued to do most of the things that had always been part of our life. We saw films and plays, met friends, went out to dinner or entertained at home.
"Alan also spent a lot of time watching TV – his two favourite programmes at that time were 'Don’t Tell the Bride' and 'Say Yes to the Dress'.
"Our trip to New York in November was very important. To stay in our flat again and see so many of the friends who had meant so much to us over the years. Alan loved New York.
"He went downhill after that. He was admitted to hospital on 20 December and never left.
"The last two weeks of Alan’s life were extraordinary. His hospital room was turned into a salon. Belinda [Lang] produced a table-top Christmas tree, Emma [Thompson] brought in a standard lamp, cushions and a throw to cover the sofa. And an infuser. Miranda [Richardson] added a window bird-feeder. I brought a beautiful table lamp from home.
"Different friends came in each day. Sometimes, Alan told me who he wanted to see. Otherwise, they just came. There was often a lot of laughter. Alan was in bed but always a major voice in the proceedings."