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These 2 legends were left out of the Oscars’ ‘In Memoriam’ tribute, and fans are upset

There were some big names missing.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Feb 23, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 11:41 am CDT

The Oscar snubs weren’t limited to the awards itself.

The ceremony’s annual “In Memoriam” segment, which honored those we lost this year, likely had some of the attendees in the Dolby Theater in tears or grabbing for their tissues. Instead of using clips from the person’s film career, the Academy chose to go with a drawing of each person.

But people online are fuming about the omission of Joan Rivers, who arguably made the Red Carpet what it is today.

Rivers had a career in reality TV and reporting on Oscar fashion later in life, but she also appeared in The Muppets Take Manhattan, Spaceballs, and many others in her decades-long career. She also appeared in the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.

But Rivers wasn’t the only person left out of the ceremony. Elaine Stritch had a career mostly in TV spanning decades, but she appeared in a few films during her lifetime and also was the subject of a documentary. Rivers’s and Stritch’s documentaries were not nominated for Oscars.

Jan Hooks got a tribute during Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special, but she was also missing from the segment. The Academy also left out Richard Kiel, Gottfried John, Taylor Negron, and George Sluizer, among others.

The Academy’s website has a photo gallery of all 129 professionals who died this year, and Rivers and Stritch are among those immortalized on the website. If they’d been Academy members, it seems, their chances of making the tribute might have increased.

From the New York Times, in 2013:

Those remembered on the show itself do not have to be Academy members, Mr. Robertson said. But institutional service can help. Frank Pierson, a screenwriter and former Academy president who died in July, for instance, appears to have a strong case for inclusion this year.

H/T Salon | Photo via Underbelly Limited/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2015, 11:32 am CST