Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty images
This year's "In Memoriam" segment at the Oscars, a farewell to movie icons who left us too soon this past year, might have been the classiest in recent memory. Accompanied by Grammy-winning chanteuse Esperanza Spalding belting out Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," the tasteful largely black-and-white montage honored cinema giants like Jane Russell, Sidney Lumet, Cliff Robertson, and Peter Falk. One difference from the past is that this segment had no audience applause.
There was some debate whether or not diva Whitney Houston, who died suddenly two weeks ago just prior to the Grammys, would make the cut. That question was soon answered; her portrait appeared early in the montage. Another intriguing inclusion was the late-great Steve Jobs who was not only the genius behind Apple, but also one of the founders of animation juggernaut Pixar.
Others the academy bid farewell to included Ben Gazzara, Jackie Cooper, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, producer Bingham Ray, and experimental filmmaker George Kuchar.
Elizabeth Taylor was given the final, and longest tribute was, which was entirely deserving. The violet-eyed icon was as big a movie star as Hollywood has ever produced.
- Louis Armstrong
- Cliff Robertson
- Sidney Lumet
- Peter Falk
- Esperanza Spalding
- Jane Russell
- Whitney Houston