Every year, the Oscars includes a segment in which movie people from all walks and eras who have died in the previous year are honored.
There are always a few eyebrow-raising names missing, chalked up to their having been more famous for their TV work, having died too close to the ceremony or having simply been regrettably overlooked.
This year, something else happened — dozens of people who should have been guaranteed a slot in the segment were intentionally shunned, and the Academy (so far) has no explanation as to why.
Some of the most shockingly tasteless exclusions:
Dorothy Malone — She was not only an Oscar winner, but the winner of a major prize, Best Supporting Actress for Written on the Wind (1956)
Rose Marie — The trouper may not have had many memorable films, but she was in several shorts as far back as the early '30s, appeared prominently in International House (1933) with legends like W.C. Fields, Bela Lugosi and Burns & Allen, and in 2017 was the subject of a highly regarded intimate documentary
Tobe Hooper — The beloved film director behind Poltergeist (1982) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Glen Campbell — The country legend was a nominee in 2015 and appeared in a number of films, including True Grit (1969)
Dina Merrill — A longtime presence in films, a humanitarian and socialite, she was in — among many others — Butterfield 8 (1960)
John Mahoney — The Frasier actor was actually in a slew of films
Powers Boothe — Ever hear of Sin City (2005)?
Robert Guillaume — Ever hear of The Lion King?! (1994) Are they penalizing film actors who were lucky enough to be even more successful on TV?
Della Reese — She was in plenty of movies, including Harlem Nights (1989)
Adam West — Iconic for his TV Batman, he was nonetheless a film actor as well ... or do the young'uns putting the ceremony together not have Google?
Jim Nabors — He was primarily a TV actor but, gollyyyyy, he did a number of big films in the '80s
Nelsan Ellis — The young actor was in such recent films as The Butler (2013)
Frank Vincent — What's a guy gotta do to be remembered? Appear in Raging Bull (1980) or somethin'? (No, that's apparently not enough.)
This is why Oscars are like a Blue Ribbon for a really nice pie at the County Fair. If anybody’s in charge of anything, it doesn’t show. It’s three hours of “stay on top of that mute button”. They forget Malone (unforgettable in “Written”, a performance none of the 10 women noms could even get near, although Plummer could do it), get confused by envelops, and after 90 years, just embarrass themselves.
Maybe if they were already listed on the Emmys one, maybe the academy felt that was enough?
Nanette Fabray, too.
There are always a couple of people not included, but who should have been. But the omissions from this year’s broadcast are the worst I can recall. While watching it, I thought, “Not too awful this year–not a lot of big names.” Well, yeah, when you don’t include some obviously famous people. Shame on whomever is responsible at the Academy and/or ABC. Yes, I know the Academy wants to include more than just the famous performers, but you don’t cut them just to save time. Make the In Memorium tribute as long as it needs to be. Period.
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I saw a “hairstylist” honored. Not to take away from their good work, but people are not watching the show for hairstylists.