Every year the Academy Awards has their “In Memoriam” montage, which honors the several stars and contributors to film who had passed away in the previous year. The 86th Oscars tribute is sure to be headlined by today’s passing of Shirley Temple, along with Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic, who died last year after an 11-year battle with cancer. Paul Walker’s death in a car crash was one of the more shocking news stories in Hollywood at the end of last year; however, looking at the snubs throughout the years and Walker’s resume, there is a chance he may be excluded from this year’s montage.
At the 85th Academy Awards last year, some would say Andy Griffith and Larry Hagman were two of the more notable snubs from the tribute. However, despite supporting roles in various films, they were primarily TV actors and did not quite belong in a tribute that honored dozens of filmmakers, stars and contributors to the world of film. Griffith, known for the self-titled The Andy Griffith Show, and Hagman, famous for his role in Dallas, were both later honored in an online gallery to cover the Academy’s bases.
In 2009, another famous TV star, Farrah Fawcett, was left out of the 82nd Oscars Memoriam tribute after a long battle with cancer. The actress’ death was overshadowed by Michael Jackson, who passed away on the same day. During the Oscars, Jackson made the cut despite not being an actor or having any connection to film. Meanwhile, Fawcett, as one of the great TV actors, who also appeared in some supporting roles in film, was completely left off the broadcasts tribute.
Although Paul Walker is a beloved film actor, the question of whether he will be honored at the Academy Awards is still up in the air. This is considering his resume and other questionable snubs of film contributors and stars throughout the years.
In 2008, Brad Renfro was excluded in the montage headlined by Heath Ledger and in 2010, Corey Haim did not make the cut in a list that included Sally Menka, Ronni Chasen, and George Hickenlooper. Both Renfro and Haim were famous child actors who faded away once reaching adulthood, so it could be understood. Nevertheless, the impact they made on the scene when they were young could not be ignored, and paying tribute to one’s death should honor an individual’s lifetime achievements, not the last 10 years of their life.
In 2010, actor Jeff Conaway was excluded to make room for singer Whitney Houston and Apple founder Steve Jobs. Although the Academy has been shown to prefer legendary musicians, Donna Summer was excluded last year, on top of Hagman and Griffith.
Who the Academy chooses to include in their montage seems to be very inconsistent, though putting together an in memoriam list among many unfortunate deaths every year is not an easy task. The question of whether Paul Walker will be honored at the Academy Awards is raised because, aside from the Fast and Furious franchise, he has not had any other notable, leading film roles. Walker spent the early part of his career bouncing around from TV show to TV show, a medium that the Oscars seems to overlook. The late 40-year-old actor has since been in supporting roles in relatively unknown films. The Fast and Furious franchise, which has made a collective $2.4 billion, is all that Paul Walker is pretty much known for and the action flick is not exactly the Academy Awards type of film. Thus, don’t be surprised if the beloved Paul Walker gets snubbed at this year’s 86th Academy Awards “In Memoriam.” The ceremony is less than one month away, airing March 2, 2014.
Editorial By Kollin Lore