Funeral home to the stars celebrating 125 years protecting high-profile clients

They look drop-dead beautiful.

Funeral home to the stars Frank E. Campbell permits the households of celebrities to carry of their well-known family members’ personal make-up artists, hairdressers and stylists to make A-Listers look their finest for his or her subsequent chapter.

“Any celebrity in New York City, they’re not doing it all themselves . . . so that doesn’t end for that person,” William Villanova, director at the famed Upper East Side establishment, instructed The Post.

“We’re integrating what was important to them in their life here at the funeral home. It may be the person who does their makeup every day or it’s their hairstylist or the person that selected their clothing for them.

frank e campbell funeral home
Frank E. Campbell, located on the corner of Madison Avenue and 81st Street, has hosted and or arranged the funeral services for many of New York’s elite. Frank E. Campbell

The funeral home at the corner of Madison Avenue and 81st Street — which is celebrating its 125th anniversary — has arranged the funerals for New York’s biggest boldfacers, including John Lennon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, former Mayor Ed Koch, mobster Frank Costello, Aaliyah, Heath Ledger, Biggie Smalls, Joan Rivers and Ivana Trump.

Villanova, 54, revealed the most expensive casket Frank E. Campbell offers to the rich and famous — the Pharaoh sarcophagus, which goes for over $150,000 and is made of cast bronze.

“It’s one of a kind, never to be made again,” he stated.

William Villanova has been the funeral director at Frank E. Campbell for 25 years. J.C. Rice

Founded in 1898 by Frank E. Campbell, the funeral home’s star-studded historical past dates again to their first buzzed-about viewing, in 1926 for actor Rudolph Valentino.

The providers for Valentino, who died out of the blue from a ruptured ulcer at age 31, attracted more than 30,000.

“I can’t tell you how many times that we have walked out of the funeral home with a casket and there are just tourists standing there in their shorts. They have no clue who the person is,” stated Villanova, who has been at the helm there for 25 years.

ohn F. Kennedy Jr., Caroline Kennedy, Edwin Schlossberg and Maurice Tempelsman follow the coffin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as it exits St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ kids John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy comply with their mom’s coffin because it leaves St. Ignatius Loyola on the Upper East Side. Getty Images

When Jackie O died in 1994, she was waked at her Fifth Avenue house, however a hearse from Frank E. Campbell got here to her residence to transport her physique to the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on the Upper East Side for her funeral.

The casket of “Dark Knight” actor Heath Ledger, who died in 2008 at 27 in his SoHo house from an unintentional drug overdose, left the constructing swarmed by photographers and headed to the airport to be transported to his native Australia.

heath ledger body outside of frank e campbell
Frank E. Campbell additionally organized the funeral providers for Heath Ledger in 2008. WireImage

To shield their high-profile clients, the funeral home hires personal jets to transport our bodies, creates unique visitor lists and works with the NYPD to safeguard the constructing and its environment.

“If we know that there’s going to be a head of state that we’re providing funeral services for or a head of state is going to be here in attendance, we’ll work with anti-crime, anti-terrorism, they will come here, sweep the building and we lock down appropriately,” Villanova defined.

“When we go to a church, the building remains in lockdown because for that person, if they have to leave that church, they know that there’s at least one safe space that is clean.”

rudolph valentino funeral
Frank E. Campbell’s star-studded historical past dates again to their first buzzed-about service for Rudolph Valentino in 1926. Bettmann Archive
The hearse carrying John Lennon's body outside of Frank E.. Campbell
The hearse carrying John Lennon’s physique exterior of Frank E. Campbell Getty Images

The Port Chester, NY native, who grew up working for his godfather’s funeral home and earned a level in mortuary science, stated they go above and past to honor the deceased.

“We’ve had services here where the person loved the beach and we brought sand in,” he stated.

“We’ve had families bring their motorcycles into the funeral home. We’ve had classic cars out front. One gentleman loved golf, and we set up a small putting green.”

The four-floor constructing features a rooftop terrace and a chapel, which simply underwent a $20 million renovation, and even a proper eating room the place households can herald catered meals for his or her friends.

frank e campbell funeral home
The four-floor constructing features a rooftop terrace, chapel and formal eating room. Frank E. Campbell

Villanova tries to guarantee the sanctity of the providers and personally intervenes if he sees somebody try to take pictures inside the constructing.

“We’ve had families say no phones or recording devices should be admitted into a specific area,” he stated.

“There’s been many times where I’ve seen people take out their phone out like they’re going to do a selfie in the building or take a photo, so it’s important to say to them quietly, ‘Do we think that this is what the best thing is to do right now?’”

Last yr, the enterprise was featured in HBO’s “Succession,” the place Villanova was on set as a marketing consultant and even starred as the funeral director in the service for Brian Cox’s character.

He stated it was extra grueling than a day at the funeral home.

“Every time they said, ‘Reset,’ we had to move this casket again and put it back in the hearse,” he recalled.

“Our team may do one or two funerals a day, but we did over 15 funerals that day.”

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