The Ever-Infuriating Oscar Memorial Reel: Who Got Snubbed In 2019?
I used to slog through the bloated Oscar show every year just to see the honorary awards for Lifetime Achievement, which were grudgingly doled out to classic stars and directors the Academy had criminally ignored throughout their careers. But then a few years ago, they banished them to a smaller event that’s not even televised. (“You’re being honored for decades of brilliant work? Hey, we’ll be sure to post a link on YouTube!”) Then this year, they planned to squeeze the Cinematography, Editing, Live-Action Shorts and Makeup/Hairstyling awards into commercial breaks. (They claimed they were “forced to,” but somehow when folks like Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron blasted them for it, they backed down. So “forced to” was really more like “try to get away with.”)
If they shaft living Academy members this shamelessly, God help those who are gone. Which brings us to our annual list of snubs from the Oscar memorial reel.
As usual, they somehow found time to get several publicists in there, and who among us doesn’t count their press releases among our favorite film moments. But they left out Stanley Donen. I actually had to rewind the whole thing to make sure that was true. How long would it have taken to make a last-minute addition for a Lifetime Achievement Oscar winner?!?
Just as a palate cleanser, to get that awful taste out of your mouth, here he is accepting his award in 1998, and throwing in a little soft shoe:
Also snubbed were actors Verne Troyer, Ricky Jay, R. Lee Ermey, David Ogden Stiers, Charlotte Rae, Hugh Dane, Scott Wilson, Dick Miller, Jo Andres, Anthony Vajna, Eunice Gayson, Philip Bosco, Michele Carey, Peter Donat, Douglas Rain, Louise Latham, Dolores Taylor, Sondra Locke, Bob Einstein, Pamela Gidley, Harry Anderson, Liliane Montevecchi, Vanessa Marquez, Ken Berry, Bibi Ferreira, Carmen Argenziano, Joe Sirola, Nita Bieber, Kristoff St. John, Clive Swift, Louisa Moritz, Kevin Barnett, Verna Bloom, Robert Mandan and Louis Zorich; writers Harlan Ellison and Christopher Knopf; producers Arnold Kopelson, Meg Randall, Alan Johnson, Gary Kurtz and Philip D’Antoni (who produced Bullitt and won an Oscar for The French Connection); directors Stan Dragoti, Michael Anderson, Vijaya Bapineedu, Larry Brand and Lewis Gilbert; composer Arthur B. Rubinstein; stuntman Jimmy Nickerson; and designer Hubert de Givenchy.
Classic film always seems to get slammed especially hard in the memorial reel, which gets more painful as there are ever-fewer artists left to honor. Left out along with Donen were Donald Moffat, Allyn Ann McLerie, Mary Carlisle (still an active supporter of classic film when she was over 100), Connie Sawyer (whose career spanned ten decades), William Phipps, Tom Reese, Dewey Martin, Jean Porter, Liz Fraser, Jerry Maren, Carol Channing, Kaye Ballard, Chuck McCann, Julie Adams, Joseph Campanella, Patricia Morison, Clint Walker, Rose Marie, and Charles Aznavour. And Gloria Jean and Susan Miller, who, 77 years after co-starring in W.C. Fields’ Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, died five days apart.
Whenever they’re called out on their slights (even overlooking Oscar winners), the Academy’s stock responses are: the show is so very short on time (while still managing to fit in lame bits, canned banter, and endless commercials), and there’s a longer list on the website. But all that does is set up a creepy A-list/B-list for dead people. (Does this never end in Hollywood?) It’s gotten to the point where pre-show lobbying campaigns have become a sad annual ritual.
I don’t know what the answer is. But as long as they keep dissing people, we’ll keep trying to honor them here. And the ones we miss, please point out in comments so we can add them (the timeframe is from last year’s March 4 telecast to tonight’s show).
Godspeed and heartfelt thanks to all of them—from the little people out here in the dark…
- Posted in: Festivals/Events ♦ Gone Too Soon ♦ Movie News
- Tagged: 2019 oscar in memoriam, 2019 oscar memorial reel, Alan Johnson, Albert Finney, Allyn Ann McLerie, and Susan Miller, ann v. coates, Anthony Vajna, Aretha Franklin, Arnold Kopelson, arthur rubenstein, Barbara Harris, Bernardo Bertolucci, Bibi Ferreira, Bob Einstein, Bruno Ganz, burt reynolds, Carmen Argenziano, Carol Channing, Charles Aznavour, Charlotte Rae, Christopher Knopf, Chuck McCann, Claude Lanzmann, Clint Walker, Clive Swift, David Ogden Stiers, Dick Miller, Dolores Taylor, Douglas Rain, Eunice Gayson, Gary Kurtz, Gloria Jean, Harlan Ellison, Harry Anderson, hubert de givenchy, Hugh Dane, Isao Takahata, James Karen, Jerry Maren, jimmy nickerson, Jo Andres, Joe Sirola, john carter, Joseph Campanella, Julie Adams, Kaye Ballard, Ken Berry, Kevin Barnett, kitty o'neil, Kristoff St. John, Larry Brand, Liliane Montevecchi, Liz Fraser, Louisa Moritz, Louise Latham, Margot Kidder, Meg Randall, Michael Anderson, michel legrand, Michelle Carey, Milos Forman, Nancy Wilson, Neil Simon, Nicolas Roeg, Nita Bieber, oscar in memoriam, oscar memorial reel, oscars, Pamela Gidley, Patricia Morison, Penny Marshall, Peter Donat, Peter Tork, Philip Bosco, Philip D’Antoni, R. Lee Ermey, Raymond Chow, richard kline, Ricky Jay, robby muller, Rose Marie, Scott Wilson, Sondra Locke, Stan Dragoti, stan lee, stanley donen, Stephane Audran, Susan Anspach, tab hunter, Vanessa Marquez, Verna Bloom, Verne Troyer, Vijaya Bapineedu, William Goldman