Jack Nicholson Draws Hunter S. Thompson

The actor pays tribute to the late gonzo journalist by sketching his portrait

Stars such as Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, John Cusack and Sean Penn turned out for the private memorial service of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson last weekend — and Nicholson even paid tribute with his own hand-drawn portraits of the late writer.

In the sketches, photos of which were obtained by PEOPLE, Nicholson depicts Thompson with his trademark cigarette, cap and sunglasses, with quotes such as “All were not wrong” and “How’d ya like the elk heart.” (Thompson once famously delivered a bleeding elk heart to Nicholson’s house as a joke.)

Nicholson was among 150 of Thompson’s closest friends and family who gathered at Aspen’s Hotel Jerome on March 5 for the service. (Thompson committed suicide at his Colorado ranch Feb. 20.) Guests who spoke at the emotional, but often lighthearted, six-hour tribute included Depp, who played the writer in the movie version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Cusack, Nicholson, Penn and Josh Hartnett.

“Bill Murray did a stand-up comedy routine,” says one guest, adding that tables in the ballroom were decorated with Mardi Gras beads, women’s underwear and tubes of red lipstick “to capture Hunter’s spirit.”

Later in the evening, guests were offered Jell-O shots spiked with gin. Explained one attendee: “The family wanted their guests to enjoy something Hunter enjoyed on a daily basis.”

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