Oscars In Memoriam: Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Wilder, Others Honored

Debbie Reynolds Carrie Fisher
John Salangsang/BFAnyc.com/REX/Shutterstock

Sara Bareilles helped the Academy pay tribute to lives lost this year during the Oscarcast’s In Memoriam segment. The “Waitress” songstress sang Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” while the annual video honored Carrie FisherDebbie ReynoldsJohn Hurt, Mary Tyler Moore, Anton Yelchin, PrinceGarry Marshall, Ken Howard, and more.

The cutoff for including deaths in the segment is usually around Jan. 31. Therefore, David Bowie was included in last year’s Oscar ceremony. Bill Paxton, who died Saturday, was remembered by an emotional Jennifer Aniston before she introduced the segment.

The segment saluted the more recognizable names and faces in addition to below-the-line creatives and executives. As in years past, the Academy asked attendees to hold their applause until the end to avoid favoritism and any disrespect toward the lesser-known honorees.

“Sara’s unique artistry will honor those we’ve lost in our community, including familiar faces and those behind the scenes who have enriched the art of moviemaking,” show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd explained in a statement before the show.

Other actors honored for their contributions to the craft include “Blazing Saddles” star Gene Wilder, “The Miracle Worker” Oscar winner Patty Duke, Oscar winner George KennedyZsa Zsa Gabor, and Kenny Baker — the actor behind R2-D2.

Alice ArlenWilliam Peter Blatty, and Pat Conroy represented the writers’ branch, while Curtis Hanson, Arthur Hiller, and Hector Babenco hailed from the directors’ branch. Cinematographer Raoul Coutard was also featured in the segment, along with directors Andrej Wajda and Abbas Kiarostomi.

“The Deer Hunter” writer and director Michael Cimino was also honored by the Academy, the same organization that awarded him best picture and best director statuettes for the 1978 war drama. Cimino’s other credits include “Heaven’s Gate” and “Year of the Dragon.”

Ken Adams, “James Bond’s” production designer, died in March. The two-time Academy Award winner also worked on “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Madness of King George” during his six-decade-long career.

This year was a particularly packed presentation. Social media has decried 2016 as one of the “worst years ever,” and the deaths of so many entertainment icons contributed to the sentiment.