Monday, February 25, 2008


Once again, because I work an overnight shift, I watched the Oscars telecast in a time-delay, and I made it through my "divvered" recording in just under an hour this morning.

As usual, the "In Memoriam" section made me choke up with the images of the various actors and production people who passed away last year between the dates of February 1st, 2007 to January 31st, 2008. (This span of time was posted on screen, which I've never noticed them do before; but it did give them the opportunity to bring in Heath Ledger.)

I compared their list to mine of TV actors who passed away last year, thinking there had to be someone who belonged on both lists. And I found several that surprised me by their omission by the Academy.

Putting aside some names because their Television work far outweighed their movie output (like Charles Nelson Reilly, Lois Nettleton, and Tom Poston - although it would have been nice to include him along with his wife Suzanne Pleshette!), there were still four notable actors missing from the tribute:

Ian Richardson
Yes, the actor is better known for his stage and TV work, but this list of movies is not to be dismissed lightly:

"The Fourth Protocol"
"Dark City"
"M. Butterfly"
"Year of the Comet"
"Cry Freedom"
"Man of La Mancha"
"A Midsummer's Night's Dream"

Alice Ghostley
Again, perhaps she was better known for her TV work, but who could deny what she added to these movies:

"The Graduate"
"With Six You Get Eggroll"
"The Flim-Flam Man"
"Rabbit Test"
"The Odd Couple II"
"Viva Max"

Maybe those last three could be written off as inconsequential fluff, but there is also her contribution in "To Kill A Mockingbird", for Bleep's Sake!

Joey Bishop
Just for his Rat Pack connections to the movies in "Sergeants Three" and the original "Ocean's Eleven", the comic should have been included.

Charles Lane
But the biggest oversight was that of Mr. Lane, who passed away in July of last year at the age of 102. He had been making movies since 1931, with his last job in 2006. Probably over 200 movies in all!

Movies like "On The Twentieth Century", "You Can't Take It With You", "It's A Wonderful Life" - Frank Capra cast him in ten movies and called him his "Number One Crutch". He was one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild - for that alone, he should have been honored!

If I was to address the producers of the Oscars telecast over these slights, I'm sure the excuse would be a matter of time. However, I noticed that with the writers' strike resolved, the introductions crafted for the presenters took up more time than many of the acceptance speeches. Those could have been cut down so that these few names could have received their due (and the award winners wouldn't have to be so rushed to get through their acceptance speeches).

Just sayin', is all.....

Toby OB

1 comment:

Brent McKee said...

One other thing about Alice Ghostley. In April 1970 she accepted the Best Actress Oscar. The award was won by her close friend Maggie Smith for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and this was before the time of "Maggie Smith could not be here tonight. The Academy accepts this award on her behalf." At the very least that should have earned Alice a mention.