List of 81st Academy Awards In Memoriam tribute honorees
Each year, an In Memoriam tribute, which honors distinguished members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who died during the previous year, is included during the televised presentation of the Academy Awards. Listed below are those who were honored on February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California, during the 81st Academy Awards tribute.
Paul Newman, who appeared last, is considered to be the featured tribute. At the conclusion of the musical accompaniment, a short dialogue by Paul Newman ended the tribute. The Newman dialogue concluded the tribute with the following quote: "The big difference between people is not between the rich and the poor, the good and the evil. The biggest of all differences between people is between those who have had pleasure in love and those who haven't." —Paul Newman as Chance Wayne in Sweet Bird of Youth.
During the 81st Academy Awards, which was hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Queen Latifah was the presenter and a performer for the annual In Memoriam tribute. This was controversial because traditionally the segment is accompanied by instrumental music and displayed without vocal music accompaniment. Live music has previously accompanied the tribute however and cellist Yo-Yo Ma did so during the 77th Academy Awards although his performance was solely instrumental. Latifah sang "I'll Be Seeing You" from the Broadway musical Right This Way during the 81st Academy Awards tribute to honor individuals who had died since the previous year's Academy Award ceremonies. The controversy of the performance was compounded by the visual display from a camera panning wildly around the stage at a distance, leaving television viewers unable to see and read a number of different names/pictures on the large screen at the back of the stage.
There were plans to attempt to dampen the audience applause during the tribute that included cutting the audio feed from the theatre. This effort was intended to disguise audience preferences for certain deceased honorees over others. Some industry insiders speculate that Latifah's performance was a successful effort to minimize audience applause during the tribute.
The tribute had a second break from tradition. Ten years ago when Gene Siskel was omitted from the tribute because as a film critic he was not a member of the academy, host Whoopi Goldberg ad libbed his tribute, which concluded with her giving a thumbs-up at the ceiling (i.e., heaven). The 81st Academy Awards' tribute included film critic Manny Farber. However, the tribute did not go so far as to include the recently deceased movie-ad voice acting specialist Don LaFontaine.
|Name||Career||Birth||Death||Academy Awards recognition|
|Claude Berri||director||July 1, 1934||January 12, 2009||1965 Best Live Action Short Subject win for Le Poulet
1980 Best Picture nomination for Tess
|Joseph M. Caracciolo||producer||June 8, 2008|
|Cyd Charisse||actress||March 8, 1922||June 17, 2008|
|Warren Cowan||publicist||May 13, 1921||May 14, 2008|
|Michael Crichton||writer/director||October 23, 1942||November 4, 2008||1994 Technical Achievement Award|
|Jules Dassin||director||December 18, 1911||March 31, 2008||1960 Best Original Screenplay Writer and Best Director nominations for Pote tin Kyriaki|
|Robert DoQui||actor||April 20, 1934||February 9, 2008|
|Manny Farber||film critic||February 20, 1917||August 18, 2008|
|Nina Foch||actress||April 20, 1924||December 5, 2008||1954 Best Supporting Actress nomination for Executive Suite|
|Isaac Hayes||musician/actor||August 20, 1942||August 10, 2008||1971 Best Original Score nomination for Shaft
1971 Best Original Song win for Shaft
|John Michael Hayes||screenwriter||May 11, 1919||November 19, 2008||1954 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer nomination for Rear Window
1957 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer nomination for Peyton Place
|Charlton Heston||actor||October 4, 1923||April 5, 2008||1959 Best Actor win for Ben-Hur
1977 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
|Pat Hingle||actor||July 19, 1924||January 3, 2009|
|J. Paul Huntsman||sound editor||February 4, 1953||February 21, 2008|
|Kon Ichikawa||director||November 20, 1915||February 13, 2008|
|Charles H. Joffe||producer||July 16, 1929||July 9, 2008||1977 Best Picture win for Annie Hall|
|Ollie Johnston||animator||October 31, 1912||April 14, 2008|
|Van Johnson||actor||August 25, 1916||December 12, 2008|
|Evelyn Keyes||actress||December 26, 1916||March 24, 2008|
|Bernie Mac||actor/comedian||October 5, 1957||August 9, 2008|
|Abby Mann||screenwriter||December 1, 1927||March 25, 2008||1961 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer win for Judgment at Nuremberg
1965 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer nomination for Ship of Fools
|Anthony Minghella||director/producer||January 6, 1954||March 18, 2008||1996 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer nomination for The English Patient
1996 Best Director win for The English Patient
1999 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer nomination for The Talented Mr. Ripley
2008 Best Picture nomination for The Reader
|Ricardo Montalbán||actor||November 25, 1920||January 14, 2009|
|Robert Mulligan||director||August 23, 1925||December 20, 2008||1962 Best Director nomination for To Kill a Mockingbird|
|Paul Newman||actor||January 26, 1925||September 26, 2008||1958 Best Actor nomination for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1961 Best Actor nomination for The Hustler
1963 Best Actor nomination for Hud
1967 Best Actor nomination for Cool Hand Luke
1968 Best Picture nomination for Rachel, Rachel
1981 Best Actor nomination for Absence of Malice
1982 Best Actor nomination for The Verdict
1985 Honorary Award
1987 Best Actor win for The Color of Money
1993 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
1994 Best Actor nomination for Nobody's Fool (1994 film)
2002 Best Supporting Actor nomination for Road to Perdition
|Maila Nurmi||actress||December 21, 1921||January 10, 2008|
|Harold Pinter||writer||October 10, 1930||December 24, 2008||1981 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer nomination for The French Lieutenant's Woman
1983 Best Adapted Screenplay Writer nomination for Betrayal
|Sydney Pollack||director/producer||July 1, 1934||May 26, 2008||1969 Best Director nomination for They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
1982 Best Picture and Best Director nominations for Tootsie
1985 Best Picture and Best Director wins for Out of Africa
2007 Best Picture nomination for Michael Clayton
2008 Best Picture nomination for The Reader
|Leonard Rosenman||composer||September 7, 1924||March 4, 2008||1975 Best Original Score win for Barry Lyndon
1976 Best Original Score win for Bound for Glory
1983 Best Original Score nomination for Cross Creek
1986 Best Original Score nomination for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
|Charles H. Schneer||producer||May 5, 1920||January 21, 2009|
|Paul Scofield||actor||January 21, 1922||March 19, 2008||1966 Best Actor win for A Man for All Seasons
1994 Best Supporting Actor nomination for Quiz Show
|Bud Stone||executive||February 16, 1928||April 18, 2008|
|Ned Tanen||executive producer||September 20, 1931||January 5, 2009|
|David Watkin||director of photography||March 23, 1925||February 19, 2008||1985 Best Cinematography win for Out of Africa|
|James Whitmore||actor||October 1, 1921||February 6, 2009||1949 Best Supporting Actor nomination for Battleground
1975 Best Actor nomination for Give 'em Hell, Harry!
|Richard Widmark||actor||December 26, 1914||February 10, 2008||1947 Best Supporting Actor nomination for Kiss of Death|
|Stan Winston||special effects||April 7, 1946||June 15, 2008||1981 Best Makeup nomination for Heartbeeps
1986 Best Visual Effects win for Aliens
1987 Best Visual Effects nomination for Predator
1990 Best Makeup nomination for Edward Scissorhands
1991 Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects wins for Terminator 2: Judgment Day
1992 Best Makeup nomination for Batman Returns
1993 Best Visual Effects win for Jurassic Park
1997 Best Visual Effects nomination for The Lost World: Jurassic Park
2001 Best Visual Effects nomination for Artificial Intelligence: AI
During the tribute, an incorrect photograph of Kon Ichikawa was included. This necessitated a formal apology by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which they have posted on their Oscar.org website. Maila Nurmi was included, although her death occurred in the prior February 1 – January 31 period, while James Whitmore was included although his death occurred after it. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences compiles a list of those eligible for next years tribute based on having died after the annual February 1 cutoff.
Several past Academy Award nominees and winners were not included in the tribute. Many of those excluded were nominated writers: Irving Brecher – 1944 Writing (Screenplay) – Meet Me in St. Louis, Malvin Wald – 1948 Writing (Motion Picture Story) – The Naked City, Oscar Brodney – 1954 Writing (Story and Screenplay) – The Glenn Miller Story, Fred Haines – 1967 Writing (Screenplay based on material from another medium) – Ulysses, Donald E. Westlake – 1990 Writing (Screenplay based on material from another medium) – The Grifters. David Lee, a one-time winner for Sound in 2002 Chicago, was omitted. Two-time Music (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation) nominee, Angela Morley, for 1974 – The Little Prince and 1977 – The Slipper and the Rose--The Story of Cinderella and two-time Documentary (Feature) nominee, Alex Grasshoff, for 1966 – The Really Big Family and 1973 – Journey to the Outer Limits were not included. Two Scientific or Technical Award (Class II) winners were omitted: Edward Efron – 1972 and James L. Wassell – 1962. Several other past one-time nominees were omitted: Howard G. Minsky – 1970 Best Picture – Love Story, J.C. Melendez – 1970 Music (Original Song Score) – A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Jonathan Bates – 1982 Sound – Gandhi, Edmund F. Penney – 1973 Documentary (Feature) – Walls of Fire, Maury Winetrobe – 1968 Film Editing – Funny Girl
Several other notable individuals, including George Carlin (six-time Emmy Award nominee), Bernie Brillstein (nine-time Emmy Award nominee), Neal Hefti (Emmy Award nominee) Beverly Garland (Emmy Award nominee), Estelle Getty (Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner), Eartha Kitt (Emmy Award nominee), Harvey Korman (four-time Emmy winner, Golden Globe Award winner), John Phillip Law (Golden Globe Award nominee), and Patrick McGoohan (two-time Emmy Award winner, BAFTA TV Award winner), were not included in the "In Memoriam" tribute, though they died within the last year. Heath Ledger died shortly before the previous year's ceremony, and a tribute to him was included then.
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