Did Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur Belong in the 'In Memoriam' Montage?


Aside from a surprise appearance by Music by Prudence co-producer Elinor Burkett -- the "Kanye of the Oscars" -- no more scandalous event occurred than the omission of Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur from the annual "In Memoriam" montage. Or... was it scandalous? While I've got to say their exclusion threw my In Memoriam pool ballot into a tailspin, there's a case to be made today for leaving out two actresses not exactly best-known for their big-screen work.

Arthur's is a particularly tough case to make, with virtually all of her success having occurred on television between milestones like Maude and The Golden Girls. She did co-star in the Oscar-winning 1970 comedy Lovers and Other Strangers, but her last memorable film role -- as a Roman unemployment clerk in Mel Brook's History of the World, Part 1 -- was an uncredited cameo. So what are you going to do? Tough break, but again, there are only 30 spots, and business is business.

Which makes Fawcett's snub more than a little surprising. The Academy will tell you that when it comes down to folks on the In Memoriam bubble, it has to go with deceased Oscar nominees and/or Academy members before reverting to the celebrity factor. But even setting that factor aside (not to mention the sympathetic goodwill she'd accrued in the last months of her cancer battle, when she became a filmmaker herself, or that her death was culturally overshadowed by Michael Jackson's), Fawcett worked in a pretty broad range of movies since her 1976 debut in Logan's Run, including genre trash (Saturn 3), comedic hits (Cannonball Run), dramatic misses (Extremities), underrated indies (The Apostle), and auteur ensemble fare (Dr. T and the Women). I can't imagine they couldn't shave a single second off four or five other decedents to squeeze Fawcett in there under the circumstances, but again: What are you going to do?

No, really, I'm asking. Did Oscar screw up?


  • Bailey says:

    Michael Jackson wasn't exactly known for his big-screen work either (seriously, what's the justification there? "The Wiz"? "Captain EO"?") but they made room for him.

  • dah says:

    I dunno... I could have done with 15 seconds less of idiotic Martin and Baldwin, and a couple of brief clips of Fawcett and Arthur.

  • toby says:

    Farrah's first movie was 1970s Myra Breckenridge. She has over 10 feature films on her resume. Michael Jackson has 2. Oscar totally screwed up and disrespected.

  • Gayle Miller says:

    Unfunny chit chat or Kristen Stewart unable to read the damned teleprompter would not have been missed by the tributes to Bea Arthur and Farrah Fawcett definitely were missed.
    But can you imagine the shrieking from Rev. Sharpton or Jesse Jackson if MJ had not been included? The Academy took the path of cowardice in this instance.

  • Oh, right, Myra Breckinridge. Thanks.

  • Michael Adams says:

    Then again, this was the Oscars where they said they wanted to honor horror because it hadn't graced the podium in 37 years, only to then include Silence Of The Lambs in the montage (one of only three films to ever win all five major awards), along with Misery (Oscar for Kathy Bates, who was a presenter).
    In said montage, they neglected genre classics such as The Evil Dead, Videodrome, Reanimator, The Thing, etc, to squeeze in Leprechaun (because it had Jennifer Aniston) and The Return Of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (for the flashes it allowed of Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey).
    Way to trivialize the very genre you're supposedly celebrating, not to mention demonstrating your complete lack of awards history knowledge.
    So, in the case of Farrah, yeah, I'm saying they screwed up.

  • stolidog says:

    rather than the path of racism, that some people take.

  • KaBluie says:

    Ed McMahon was left out to. I just checked the IMdB and he was in alot more movies then I thought, but "Fun With Dick And Jane" (The Original, NOT the Crappy remake) was better than any movie Michael Jackson was in. And looking at Bea & Farrah's movies they never made a movie as bad as "The Wiz" either.

  • Meisner says:

    You missed the other big scandal of the night... The Cove crew being prematurely cut-off when one of them held up the "Text Dolphin" sign. They were about halfway into their precious 45 seconds when the mics were cut. Fisher Stevens, the producer, gave out the "thank yous", but the director didn't have a chance to deliver any activist message. A damn shame. Couldn't the Oscar producers be a bit bigger than this? The sign was already up and the "damage" was done, and it was on its way down. So why punish Psihoyos and the message? Won't someone think of the dolphins?

  • Jamie says:

    I could have sworn that I saw a really quick shot of Evil Dead, because I gave that segment my undivided attention. Should have been more, but I'm like 95% sure there was a shot. I'd recognize that blue shirt anywhere - might have been one of the Raimi-cam "chase" shots.

  • Ted Gideonse says:

    Bea Arthur was in Mame, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for supporting actress. Again, if you let MJ in for The Wiz, you gotta put in Bea Arthur.
    The Farrah Fawcett omission, however, makes no sense at all.

  • Isaac Whiting says:

    While I was glad to see Michael included, they could have left him out, only because he's more famous for his music than the two movies he was in. Of course, it would have been weird not to have him included. On the other hand, Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur should have gotten the respect they deserve. Estelle Getty was included the year before after she died. Why not put another Golden Girl in there? It would have made sense!

  • lucas says:

    there was much wrong with that whole tribute. the writing and the delivery were down right hostile. and seemed slapped in rather than actually thought about. and then the choice of selections was off. they really stretched the definition of horror including things like Beetlejuice and even Twilight (have a vamp in it, that makes me horror. uh no)
    that whole intro felt like those two kids thought they were get much more to say and more eloquent stuff to say and then someone backstage was like 'we had to change it up so just read the teleprompter' and dashed out a shorter intro right there.
    probably written by the same guys that made up most of the jokes.

  • Doug Abramson says:

    Right or wrong, the Academy has had this policy for years and all of the nominees are notified about it.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    I texted that number and was immediately called back by a recording of an orchestra playing me off.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    I think the Academy made the right decision because those precious seconds were needed for multiple Stiller deadpans.

  • mikesd says:

    poor farrah..."upstaged" on her day of passing by MJ and then again at the oscars... her work and spirit lives on though!!!

  • Victor Ward says:

    A case can be made for why Bea Arthur should have been included:
    The gays.
    Who else has stuck with the Oscars, through Chris Rock, Uma Oprah, and Crash?!
    It's like CBS firebombing the AARP.

  • anonymous says:

    They definately should've been included. I would've preferred another minute or two added to the in memoriam montage in place of that ridiculous and unnecessary dance sequence.

  • neo espresso says:

    Did they leave them out to create a controversy.

  • Brian says:

    Michael has been in eight feature films, besides he’s DEAD, how the hell is it his fault that Farrah wasnt included, people can be so ignorant its unbelieveable. He was an actor although he was not primarily known for that because he was the worlds biggest entertainer. But you cant say he doesnt belong their as much as Farrah, The academy should have made the segment a bit longer cut a few speeches short. Blame the academy not MJ , give the man a break ,hasnt he suffered enough because of the media bloodsuckers and public haters when he was alive?.Geez. 1978 The Wiz 1986 Captain EO 1988 Moonwalker 1997 Ghosts 2002 Men in Black II 2004 Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls 2009 Michael Jackson’s This Is It Michael Jackson’s “This is it” film is the highest grossing documentary of all time making 260 million dollars surpassing michael moores farenheight 9/11 that made 222.6 million. so yes he does deserve to be there. RIP to them Both.

  • Sick of Hearing it says:

    Why is Michael Jackson's fault? They could have included Bea, Farrah and Ed as well as Michael Jackson. The show was 15 million hours long, so they could have devoted another 30 seconds to give space to all of them. I'm sick of everybody bashing Michael Jackson, like he has some pull from the grave and it was his decision to bump people to make room for himself. I think if he had that kind of clout he would have wanted to be alive watching the Oscars in his livingroom like every one else.
    Whatever he was or wasn't he was a big star and the academy chose to recognize him, bottom line.

  • Over the Oscars says:

    Agree that is was wrong to exclude Farrah, Bea and Ed, especially when so much dross was included. Bad decisions were all over the Oscars, and I am not really interested in following them anymore. What's the big deal about the Oscars? Too old fashioned, too dumb, and way way too boring. I'd rather cobble together some SAG-Grammy-Indie-Globe action than watch the arrogant Oscars again.

  • Rochelle says:

    Apparently when you make a deal with aaaaaa the powers that be… they dust off the old “seal of Solomon”, and make all your dreams of being a beautiful blonde angel come true…. Only problem is…. Michael, no matter how hard he tried, could not turn into Tinkerbell, even with the fairy dust the academy tried to anoint him with…. Sorry, but in order for the magic hoodoo to work, one has to be in their own body…. Michael checked out long ago… and while Miss Fawcett played an angel , she was to most of us mere mortals, very human, which trumps all, as no book, nor movie could ever make us forget the true temple, not even their Messiahs can destroy the soul of mankind. That being said… May they rest in peace.