Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Missing Farrah Fawcett on the Oscars

Post-Academy Awards on Sunday night, I've been reading several comments about the omission of Farrah Fawcett from the "In Memoriam" section of the show. No doubt the Academy made a mistake. Though Fawcett, who died last June after a long battle with cancer, made her fame primarily in television, she did appear in a number of films -- Logan's Run, Saturn 3 and others -- the Academy thought enough of her to invite her to present on three occasions.

In 1978 she presented for "Best Film Editing", in 1980 she was on again for "Best Visual Effects" (of course an obvious nod to her looks), and back again for her last presentation job again for "Best Film Editing". To not include her in the memorial section was not a good decision and actually makes her omission overshadow the importance of some of those who were included.

Another Academy memorial miss was the great Bea Arthur, who though clearly primarily a television performer and a true legend, had also been a presenter on the Academy Awards on 1973 for the "Short Subjects" category and made a few films (at right, in Mame). It seems as though if they decided to put Michael Jackson in there, who primarily achieved his fame in music and a few movie roles, then they could have squeezed Farrah and Bea in there. Woulda...coulda...shoulda.

The fact that there are complaints about these omissions shows that it could have been done better. If it's that they have to cut the list down for time, expand it. Better to have more names and faster than leave someone out. This is their last hurrah, after all. And if they had appeared on a past Academy Award telecast, of course they should make the cut.

I will be writing soon about Farrah's groundbreaking television movie The Burning Bed very soon. I just re-watched it, and it still works.


Judith said...

not to have farrah and bea, but particularly not to have farrah fawcett is absolutely absurd. she was one of the most famous people in the world over the last 40 years. she had a career of consequence and she presented on the show. having worked with the academy folks for many years i know how arrogant they are. i could just hear the meeting.

Lisa said...

Judith, I can only imagine what the discussion was like when they decided to omit her...wouldn't have been pretty. I hope the meeting is your head isn't any uglier than my version of it in mine. It's awful enough.

I particularly think Farrah's omission was downright cruel and totally disrespectful on the Academy's part. Did they not remember that she had helped out their telecasts in the past? Did they not care? Either interpretation is horrible.

Tom said...

I didn't know that Farrah was a presenter so many times. If that was the case, then they probably should have included her, maybe included a scene from Cannonball Run and then have Dom Deluise after it.

There really is only so much time, and people do get omitted every year. Unlike the SAGs and TCM clips the Oscars try to include people from many other fields. I think that Bea and Farrah just have so many more fans than some of the other lesser known stars, which is why they are all mad. Other than some classic film bloggers, I don't recall anyone getting upset last year when Anita Page was omitted, or this year when Richard Todd was omitted, and he was nominated for Best Actor one year.