It is typically the most somber part of the Academy Awards ceremony: the In Memoriam tribute to notable entertainers who have died over the past year.
On Sunday night, John Travolta was visibly choked up as he walked on stage to the song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Olivia Newton-John, Travolta’s “Grease” co-star who died of cancer in August 2022.
“Since tonight is a celebration of the work and the accomplishments of our community in this past year, it is only fitting then that we celebrate those we’ve lost, who’ve dedicated their lives to their craft, both in front of and behind the camera, through their immeasurable contributions,” a visibly emotional Travolta said.
“Each of them left an individual and indelible mark, that shared and informed us, they’ve touched our hearts, they’ve made us smile, and became dear friends, who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to.”
The spotlight then shined on Lenny Kravitz who played his 2004 hit, “Calling All Angels” as the Academy showed portraits of those who passed.
Newton-John was featured along with Kirstie Alley, James Caan, Ray Liotta, Angelo Badalamenti, Jean-Luc Goddard, Irene Cara, Julie Reichert, Burt Bacharach, Angela Lansbury, Mary Alice, and Raquel Welch.
However, many noticed there were quite a few names absent. Among them: Anne Heche, Leslie Jordan, Paul Sorvino, Tom Sizemore, Gilbert Gottfried, Charlbi Dean, Tony Sirico, Barbara Walters, and Topol.
The Academy has a full list of those who passed away on its website here, which was mentioned on Sunday night.
Actress Mira Sorvino took to Twitter to express outrage over her father’s omission.
“It is baffling beyond belief that my beloved father and many other amazing brilliant departed actors were left out,” Sorvino tweeted Monday. “The Oscars forgot about Paul Sorvino, but the rest of us never will!!”
Some also noted that Sacheen Littlefeather was not mentioned, even after the Academy recently formally apologized for how she was treated at the 1973 Oscars when she declined Marlon Brando’s Best Actor award for “The Godfather” and spoke about stereotypes of Native Americans in the film industry.
This can likely be explained by Littlefeather’s sister’s request to leave her out, claiming Littlefeather was not of Native American heritage. Rosalind Cruz claims her parents were of Mexican and European heritage.
“I don’t think she should be mentioned at all – period. It’s fraudulent and has no bearing in truth,” Rosalind Cruz told the NY Post. “The only thing she could be mentioned as is a woman who refused an Oscar for Marlon Brando who called herself Sacheen Littlefeather but was not of Native American heritage.”