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Douglas clan buries brother
By Valentine Low, Evening Standard
9 July 2004

His eyes hidden behind dark glasses, Michael Douglas arrived with Catherine Zeta-Jones for the funeral of his half-brother Eric, found dead in a New York apartment three days ago. About 50 close family and friends attended the Los Angeles service, including their father Kirk, the Hollywood legend now a frail old man of 87.

Michael and his son Cameron were pallbearers. As the coffin was placed in the grave, Michael - his eyes filled with tears - threw a spadeful of earth on top as his father also wiped away a tear.

The service inside the chapel at the Westwood Memorial Park lasted about 30 minutes. The mourners then spent another 30 minutes at the graveside while the family, including Kirk's wife Anne, Eric's mother, said their goodbyes.

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Afterwards Michael and Kirk embraced before he climbed into a waiting car with Zeta-Jones - who flew over from Europe, where she is filming Ocean's Twelve - and Cameron. Eric, who never found a way of living in the shadow of his father's fame, struggling against drug and alcohol addiction, - was buried close to some of Hollywood's greatest names. His grave is near those of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, while other stars who have gravestones or plaques inside the many crypts in the memorial park include Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Natalie Wood.

The reason why Eric died at the age of 46 will not be known for at least 10 days. His body was discovered on a couch by his housekeeper three days ago. An autopsy has proved "inconclusive".

A finding on the cause of death for the onetime actor and minor stand-up comic was not likely for at least another 10 days, said New York medical examiner spokeswoman Ellen Borakove. "A further study is planned to find out what killed him," she added.

The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner's office, but police said Douglas apparently died of an heart attack. There was no sign of foul play, they added.

A source revealed investigators were looking at the possibility of a drug overdose. Investigators discovered anti-depressants in the apartment but did not know if the medication contributed to his death, a police source said.

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