Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast paid tribute to the many film-industry figures who passed away this year, but Joan Rivers was not mentioned.
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Rivers’ omission is not egregious, as she was mostly a TV star and stand-up comedy pioneer. But Vanity Fair credited Rivers and daughter Melissa Rivers as having “revolutionized the red carpet from a runway — with little celebrity-reporter interaction — into its own brand of entertainment that, for many, was just as interesting as the awards ceremony that followed.”
Joan, who died in September 2014, had roles in films such as The Muppets Take Manhattan and The Smurfs and had voice roles in Shrek 2 and Spaceballs. She was the subject of the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, an Oscar rep explained the decision to not include the iconic comedian. “Joan Rivers is among the many worthy artists and filmmakers we were unfortunately unable to feature in the In Memoriam segment of this year’s Oscar show,” reads the statement. “She is, however, included in our In Memoriam gallery on Oscar.com.”
Lorena O’Neil contributed to this report.
Feb. 22, 11:00 p.m. Updated with statement from the Academy.