In Memoriam at the 87th Annual Academy Awards

Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

Meryl Streep during the 87th Oscars. Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC.
Meryl Streep during the 87th Oscars. Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC.

“Through their work they shared a piece of their soul… There will never be anyone like them” Meryl Streep put it best as she introduced the In Memoriam segment at the 87th Annual Academy Awards. This year the film industry lost some heavy hitters. From famed producers and writers to the beloved actors that graced our screens, the In Memoriam portion is always the hardest and this year we looked back on some incredible people’s work that helped shape the film industry.

Unlike other award shows, this year the Oscars did something different with the In Memoriam segment. There wasn’t anyone singing over the slideshow, clips of the actors work did not appear, it was simply a beautiful photo of each person recognized and the orchestra played in the background. Very simple and very poignant.

The list seemed to continue forever as viewers watched in awe of the amazing talent that left the film industry this year. Some of those recognized in this years In Memoriam were Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Peña, Ed Herman, Maya Angelou, Richard Attenborough, Bob Hoskins, Samuel L. Goldwyn, Misty Upham, Lauren Bacall, James Rebhorn, Ruby Dee, Mike Nichols and of course Robin Williams. This list was pretty comprehensive, but the biggest person left out of the In Memoriam segment? Joan Rivers and Elaine Stritch. Although Joan Rivers, a comedy icon was never nominated for an Academy Award her work on the red carpet and as a comedy legend deserve recognition. After being included in the in memoriam at the Golden Globes The Grammys and other award shows since her sudden and tragic passing it came as a shock that she was unincluded from this list. Elaine Stritch was also left out of the segment which was very interesting as well. The comedy icon died earlier this year and had a major impact on television and the stage. Stritch and Rivers being left out of the In Memoriam were probably the two biggest issues with tonights telecast. 

At the end of the touching In Memoriam slideshow that was sure to bring a tear to your eye, Academy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson came out on stage and sang “I Can’t Let Go” from the NBC show, Smash. Pretty amazing a television show that ended it’s short, two season run in May 2013 had a big enough impact on Hudson’s for her to perform the number at the Academy Awards. The song was written for Smash by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and was featured on the shows second season. Hudson did an amazing job performing the song and it added an extra layer to the In Memoriam piece.

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