By Hilary Lewis | The Hollywood Reporter
The 2014 Oscars “In Memoriam” segment left out Glee star Cory Monteith, former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star James Avery and Tom Clancy among others.
The segment acknowledged most of the many stars who died over the past year, including the deaths of Roger Ebert, James Gandolfini, Paul Walker, Sid Caesar, Shirley Temple Black, Ray Dolby, Tom Sherak, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Harold Ramis. The segment even acknowledged camera assistant Sarah Jones, who died when she was struck and killed by a train during pre-production on the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider. [See additional note below.]
But, the Oscars left out several noteworthy stars and public figures who died over the past year. In addition to the names above, the Oscars’ segment skipped Nelson Mandela (subject of the biopic for which U2 was nominated for best original song), Dennis Farina, Gary David Goldberg, Marcia Wallace, Lisa Robin Kelly, Lee Thompson Young, and musicians Phil Everly, Phil Ramone, Lou Reed and Pete Seeger.
Other noteworthy names left out include Ruth Robinson Duccini (ironic given the Oscars’ Wizard of Oz tribute since she played a munchkin in the film), Gilligan’s Island star Russell Johnson, producer Jim Jacks, Clive Burr, Joan Fontaine, Jonathan Winters, “Marlboro Man” and actor Eric Lawson, Gone With the Wind’s Alicia Rhett and French director Alain Resnais, who, to be fair to the Oscars, just died Saturday.
Also left out of the tribute was Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer, the subject of The Lady in Number 6, the Oscar winner for best documentary short, who died last week at 110.
During the acceptance speech for that award, writer-director Malcolm Clarke, paid tribute to Herz-Sommer’s “extraordinary capacity for joy and her amazing capacity for forgiveness,” dedicating the awards he and producer Nick Reed received to her. “She was a woman who taught everyone on my crew to be a little bit more optimistic and a little bit more happy about all the things that were happening in our lives and, see the film, she’ll help you live, I think, a much happier life,” Clarke said.
In the past, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has received heat for leaving out Donna Summer and Lupe Ontiveros (2013), Jeff Conaway (2012), Corey Haim and actress Betty Garrett (2011), Farrah Fawcett (2010), George Carlin (2009) and Brad Renfro (2008).
The names included in the segment are compiled by an “In Memoriam Committee” that puts together a list of 25 to 30 people who will be highlighted during the ceremony. They are asked to focus on people who have made significant contributions to the industry and people from a variety of different sectors of the industry.
Academy membership is not a prerequisite to be included.
Glenn Close introduced the tribute and suggested in her remarks that they lost more people than they can recognize during the brief segment.
After a series of photos of those who died flashed across the screen, Bette Midler appeared for her first performance on the Oscars, to sing “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”