With an Oscar season longer than ever, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had even more people to remember in the annual In Memoriam segment. But inevitably, there are complaints on social media that some people have been left out. This year, both “Arrested Development” star Jessica Walter and “Glee” star Naya Rivera were included, both of whom have had their primary careers in television. Walter, however, was a Golden Globe nominee for “Play Misty for Me” and had many other movie roles. Walter was included on the Academy’s In Memoriam website, unlike Rivera.
Those not included in previous years, like Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce in 2020, also worked on television more often. In 2019, Carol Channing and Stanley Donen were among those excluded from the segment. Over the past year, several actors, musicians and artisans died from COVID-19, such as Broadway actor Nick Cordero and composer and musician Adam Schlesinger, but they were not included, despite the Oscar nomination for Schlesinger for the song “That Thing You Do!”
With Stevie Wonder’s “Ace” game, the Oscars recognized many personalities both behind and in front of the camera. The cut ended with Chadwick Boseman, whose death at 43 stunned the world. The “Black Panther” star was nominated for an Oscar posthumously for “My Rainey’s Black Bottom”.
Hollywood has lost several other big stars, including Olivia de Havilland, Sean Connery, Cicely Tyson, Cloris Leachman and Christopher Plummer. Among the prominent filmmakers who have died in the past year has been Michael Apted, the director of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Oh, my God!” director Carl Reiner, Lynn Shelton, Bertrand Tavernier, Joan Micklin-Silver and “Mississippi Burning” director Alan Parker. The cut also included tributes for DMX, Helen McCrory, Kelly Preston, Fred Willard, George Segal and many more.