The 2020 Oscars took a moment to share some love and respect for all of the beloved entertainment icons who died over the last year, leaving behind incomparable legacies.
However, fans online were quick to point out that the Academy left out two actors who died in 2019 — Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce.
Perry, who was best known as Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210”, was featured in one of the night’s Best Picture nominees. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was his final onscreen appearance before his shocking death last March following a massive stroke at age 52.
Boyce’s untimely death at age 20 also shocked Hollywood last July. It was revealed that he suffered a fatal seizure in his sleep.
In response to the backlash, the Academy released a statement Monday, explaining their decision process.
“The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment,” the statement read. “An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time. All the submissions are included on Oscar.com and will remain on the site throughout the year. Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce are remembered in the Oscar.com gallery.”
Among those honoured in the heartfelt segment were NBA legend and Los Angeles legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California — along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others, on Jan. 26. He was 41.
On top of Bryant’s five NBA championship rings, the celebrated star also took home an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for “Dear Basketball”, which Bryant wrote and narrated. The win made him the first African American to win an Oscar in that category, and the first professional athlete ever to be nominated and win an Oscar in any category at all.
The emotional tribute also remembered a number of other past Oscar nominees, including the legendary producer of “Chinatown” and “The Godfather”, Robert Evans, screenwriter Buck Henry — best known for penning “The Graduate” and “Catch-22” — “Cross Creek” and “Men in Black” star Rip Torn, “Blade Runner” star Rutger Hauer, French documentarian and “Faces Places” director Agnes Varda, as well as “Pillow Talk” actress and singer Doris Day.
Celebrated filmmaker John Singleton was also honoured in the emotional video package. Singleton — who died on April 28 at the age of 51 after suffering a stroke — made Oscars history in 1992 when he became both the first African American filmmaker and the youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars for his film, “Boyz n the Hood”. His work in the groundbreaking drama also earned him a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Among the many other actors whose lives and legacies were fondly remembered were Robert Forster, comedy icon Tim Conway, “Monty Python”s Terry Jones, Danny Aiello, Diahann Carroll, Peggy Lipton and Peter Mayhew, among many others.
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