The Oscars In Memoriam Tribute

One of the most poignant moments during each year's Academy Awards ceremony is the montage segment called "In Memoriam." It has become a tradition in which the many talented people from the film industry who passed away during the previous year are recognized. It's a somber but classy way to honor those who dedicated so much to show biz, providing for them one last moment on the big screen. Each year, however, the selection of who is featured becomes cause for controversy, because some names are bound to be left out.

This year was no different.  Even though the segment highlighted the noteworthy Peter O'Toole, Paul Walker, Harold Ramis, and Shirley Temple, it left out Dennis Farina and Jean Stapleton, who both had significant motion picture credits.

James Gandolfini was included, but others were left out who also might be remembered more for their television roles than for their appearances in the movies, even though they too worked in cinema -- James Avery (The Prince of Egypt, Dr. Doolittle 2), Russell Johnson (This Island Earth), and Cory Monteith (Final Destination 3).

Comedy legend Sid Caesar was up there, but Jonathan Winters was not, even though they both starred in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

They included Elmore Leonard whose novels were adapted into major films, but inexplicably excluded best-selling author Tom Clancy.

They even left out Ruth Duccini, who played a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, despite the fact that they celebrated that beloved movie's 75th anniversary during the broadcast.

It's obviously an overwhelming task to include everyone, especially since they also include talent beyond just actors and actresses, some of whom are not always household names. Yet, one would hope that as the segment continues to be a popular and expected part of the program, the Academy would keep a list throughout the year and find a good editing team among its ranks who can create a fitting tribute that would do justice to their memories without unintentionally leaving anyone out.