This year’s “In Memoriam” segment at the Oscars acknowledged the recent, notable losses of David Bowie and Alan Rickman, while omitting Abe Vigoda, who died in late January. The oversight didn’t go unnoticed by fans, who took the Academy to task on social media. And according to The Associated Press, Vigoda’s family feels “cheated” by his exclusion from the reel that did manage to include Alex Rocco, one of Vigoda’s co-stars in The Godfather.
The late actor’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told the AP that she and her family feel “disappointed and cheated by the Academy. Abe gave his life and heart to acting, and a simple tribute in recognition of his devotion was overlooked.” Fuchs said she had not personally heard from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences regarding the snub, but The New York Times received the following statement:
“Abe Vigoda is among the many worthy artists and filmmakers we were unfortunately unable to feature in the In Memoriam segment of this year’s Oscars show. Vigoda is, however, included in our In Memoriam gallery on Oscar.com.”
When the late Joan Rivers was excluded from the Oscars’ 2015 “In Memoriam” segment, public outcry followed, and the Academy issued virtually the same noncommittal statement, directing fans and reporters to the online gallery. It’s not the first time that a prominent performer was left out of the segment—the late Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur didn’t make it onto the reel in 2010—nor was it the only omission on Sunday night. This year’s “In Memoriam” also neglected to include French director Jacques Rivette and Portuguese filmmaker Manoel De Oliveira, and actress Juliette Lewis also criticized the Academy for failing to include her father, the late character actor Geoffrey Lewis, in the segment.
For now, Fuchs is consoling herself with the knowledge that her late father will most likely be acknowledged for his extensive TV work, which includes a second career as late night’s “ultimate good sport,” a quality that Conan O’Brien encapsulated with his own reel. “I’m sure the Emmys will do it,” Fuchs told the AP. “But that’s still no excuse. The Academy made a mistake. It’s an injustice.”