The Biggest Snubs From The 2022 Emmys In Memoriam Segment

Every year as the Primetime Emmy Awards celebrate the various achievements in television, several minutes are set aside to remember those who have been lost in the 12 months since the last ceremony in a segment dubbed "In Memoriam." It's a somber moment — or, at least, it's meant to be — and it's usually accompanied by some appropriately reverent music. 

For the 2022 ceremony, which aired live on Monday, September 12, crooner and EGOT winner John Legend performed his song "Pieces" as the names and images of such recently lost stars as Betty White and Bob Saget were projected across the theater's many screens. Not everyone who passed away can possibly make the In Memoriam segment, though, and people have long held opinions about who should be included. Still, some surprising names were left out of this year's ceremony. Let's take a look at some notable names and faces that were overlooked in the 2022 show.

Olivia Newton-John (September 26, 1948 - August 8, 2022)

While performer Olivia Newton-John may be better known for her movies and her singing career, she also appeared on our television screens for decades. She had roles in five made-for-TV movies, including her starring role in the Wonderful World of Disney original, "A Mom for Christmas." She's also appeared as a guest star in several series, and who could ever forget her indelible "Physical" video in the early days of MTV? She was also a winner at the Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding original song in "As the World Turns." So there is no doubt that her contributions to the small screen were substantial. 

Moreover, at a certain point, a performer becomes so widely beloved that they should be recognized no matter what, or else it will feel like a snub. Olivia Newton-John was an icon of entertainment, and she deserved recognition for that.

Pat Carroll (May 5, 1927 - July 30, 2022)

Betty White wasn't the only television workhorse audiences lost before the 74th Emmy Awards. She was the most famous, surely, and likely the most beloved as a result of her fame, but Pat Carroll also made a huge impact on the TV landscape from the beginning. 

At the 9th Emmys Ceremony, she won a statuette for supporting performance by an actress recognizing her work on the sketch comedy show "Caesar's Hour," starring Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner. In addition, Carroll was the evil stepsister Prunella in the television movie classic "Rodger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella" in 1965. She also appeared on series from "The Danny Thomas Show" to "ER" before moving almost exclusively into voice acting, where she took on a variety of characters, none more iconic than the Sea Witch herself. Saying it was one of her favorite roles of all time, Pat Carroll embraced all opportunities to play Ursula, voicing her not just in "The Little Mermaid" film, but also in the animated spin-off series, several other Disney animated series, and countless video games. Carroll was a trailblazer, even if she wasn't as well-known a name as some of her contemporaries.

Mary Mara (September 21, 1960 - June 26, 2022)

With 60 television credits spanning her 30-year career, Mary Mara was the kind of working character actress almost everyone recognizes from somewhere (frequently known as the "Hey, it's that guy" syndrome). The number of those credits that correspond to Emmy-nominated and -winning series is well over a third of her total body of television work — meaning she had probably been known, at least professionally, by a significant percentage of the 2022 Emmy awards attendees. 

Even though Mara had retired from acting and moved back to her native Syracuse, New York, a few years prior to her death, for an Academy and a broadcast that claims to be a proponent of not just the big stars but the regular, work-a-day casts and crews of the television experience, it's indeed an oversight to not give  Mara some public recognition for her tireless contributions to this collective art form.

Richard Wald (March 19, 1930 - May 13, 2022)

Richard Wald was a prime example of the great American belief that a person can start at the bottom and work their way up to the very top. Starting as a newspaper journalist as a college student, Wald would move onto NBC News in 1967 and become president of the organization in 1973. 

It was after he moved to ABC News in 1977, however, that Wald made his biggest contribution to the television news landscape as we know it. "Nightline" premiered, more or less in its current form, in March 1980 and became a staple of ABC News, and it was the brainchild of Richard Wald. Ted Koppel was the face of the program, the voice of the news, until his retirement in 2005, but Wald was the father. To date, "Nightline" has been nominated for 85 news and documentary Emmys, and has won 25 of them.

Naomi Judd (January 11, 1946 - April 30, 2022)

A legend of the country music scene, Naomi Judd was also a veteran of a handful of television movies, and while the Hallmark Channel or the Lifetime Movie Network might not receive much in the way of professional accolades, they are nevertheless beloved by fans. Judd also had guest roles (not as herself, but actual characters) over the years on quite a few series that had been Emmy darlings in their day, such as "Touched by an Angel" and "3rd Rock from the Sun." She was also a repeat panelist on the Tom Bergeron-hosted "Hollywood Squares," a frequent reality competition judge and mentor, a contestant on "Celebrity Jeopardy" and "My Kitchen Rules," and even had her own short-lived talk show from 2006-2007. If that's not enough evidence of her contribution to television, how about when she and Judd closed out the 1994 Super Bowl Halftime show? Somehow, still, the Television Academy neglected to honor the late country sensation at this year's awards.

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Scott 'Razor Ramon' Hall (October 20, 1958 - March 14, 2022)

Professional wrestling is not just entertainment — it's also theater. It has characters, storylines, arch enemies, bitter defeats, and triumphs of the soul. To paraphrase Shakespeare, the ring and arena were the stage, the wrestlers merely players, and Scott Hall, known professionally in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) as Razor Ramon, was one of those in the cast. 

The sport might not often get attention from the Emmys, but both "WWE Raw" and "WWE Smackdown" have been eligible for nominations in the outstanding structured reality program category, so even the Television Academy recognizes it as a production and not just a sporting event. Hall, a professional wrestler since the mid-'80s, made his WWE debut in 1992 as Razor Ramon (it was still called the WWF then), who he instantly dubbed "The Bad Guy." He was a major player in the organization through the end of the decade and beyond, "and was usually carrying — or on the hunt for — the Intercontinental Title." He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in April 2014.

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William Hurt (March 20, 1950 - March 13, 2022)

William Hurt might not have been a household name, but he should've been. A veritable chameleon of a character actor, Hurt enhanced every film he was in, with roles as varied as Luis in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (for which he won an Oscar off his first of an eventual four nominations), to Secretary Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — not to mention "Broadcast News, "Children of a Lesser God," and "A History of Violence."

Though Hurt was better known for his stellar work in film, and yes, he was on the Oscars' In Memoriam reel earlier in the year. However, both his first and his last roles were actually in television, and in between, he was Emmy-nominated for his performances in both "Too Big to Fail" and "Damages."

Sally Kellerman (June 2, 1937 - February 24, 2002)

Sally Kellerman was another one of those actresses that you've probably seen pop up in a couple of dozen different places, from "Murder, She Wrote" to "Back to School," and a whole bunch of other series over the course of her incredible 65-year career. 

In fact, over half of her 156 acting credits were in television projects. In addition, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her role in "The Young and the Restless" in 2015. And even though it was Loretta Swit who brought the iconic Hot Lips Houlihan to our television screens, the character originated with Sally Kellerman. That's a contribution creative artists of all mediums can appreciate. Kellerman's death occurred earlier this year, so it was already memorialized at the Oscars, but her passing was about halfway between the 2021 and 2022 Emmy presentations, so it would have been prudent for the ceremony to honor her as well.

Ivan Reitman (October 27, 1946 - February 12, 2022)

Ivan Reitman was a lot of things: He was a director, putting out such comedy movie gems as "Ghostbusters," "Twins," and "Kindergarten Cop"; he was a father of three, including son Jason Reitman, also a director of great renown; and he was a script writer ("Ghostbusters: Afterlife") and even an uncredited actor on several of his projects. 

However, his largest body of work in the industry came as a producer, chalking up 72 credits — a number that eclipses all of his other credits combined — and more than a few of these credits are for television shows. One of these shows was the Emmy-nominated made-for-television movie "The Late Shift" in 1996, a seminal portrayal of a much-discussed water cooler late-night TV scandal. That's right — Ivan Reitman was nominated for an Emmy for producing a television program about television program shakeups. Hollywood loves that sort of thing, and it should've garnered him a spot on the goodbye reel.

Meat Loaf (September 27, 1947 - January 20, 2022)

Born Marvin Lee Aday, Meat Loaf was more than just a performer. More than a singer, more than an actor, he was an experience. The evidence of this was never more apparent than when his 1993 release of his music video for "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)." In it, Meat Loaf cosplays the tragic "Beauty and the Beast" role crossed with some sort of modern murder mystery in what amounts to a nearly 8-minute short film. That video was a cultural touchstone of the decade and cemented Meat Loaf's legendary status in a way none of his previous singles had. Its impact is still seen today as song competition contestants are eager to flex their musical muscles by belting it out. 

Meat Loaf's other cultural impact comes from a song that didn't come near number one — "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" barely got into the Top 40, but it has a cult following of rabid devotees and it's shown up on episodes of "King of the Hill," "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," and "So You Think You Can Dance." Meat Loaf even became part of one of the great long-running gags on late-night TV. He's a part of television history.

André Leon Talley (October 16, 1948 - January 18, 2022)

A fashion expert, a trailblazer, and a major influence on Black women's beauty, André Leon Talley was an absolute legend in fashion circles. His television impact was primarily found behind the scenes or on the red carpets, but he was beloved throughout the industry and is a name that should be remembered and revered. Talley did come in front of the camera on occasion, with guest spots on "Sex and the City" and "Empire," and frequent visits to "The Wendy Williams Show," but his most appearances come from his tenure as a judge on "America's Next Top Model," for cycles 14 through 17. 

According to Slate, Talley made the show what "it pretended to be." Talley, with his signature grace, style, and flair, certainly elevated the series. The Emmys have a habit of overlooking certain types of shows in their remembrances and celebrations. Including Talley here would've given a much–deserved nod to reality TV while also recognizing a legitimate icon the majority of the attendees would've known.

James Michael Tyler (May 28, 1962 - October 24, 2021)

Sometimes an actor needs only one role in one series to etch a permanent place in our hearts. With Gunther, the lovelorn manager of Central Perk on "Friends," James Michael Tyler did just that. From the very first episode, in which Jennifer Aniston's Rachel bursts into the coffee shop in full wedding garb, Gunther is smitten, and some of the show's best moments came from his bitterness towards her other suitors, his dry delivery of sardonic observations, and his hapless confusion. 

The show was a smashing success that made massive stars of its six leads, but it never would've hit the heights it did without the work of so many wonderful and unforgettable supporting characters. James Michael Tyler was a true original. He had other roles — and he actually continued working periodically all the way into 2020, after his cancer had already been diagnosed — but he will be forever remembered and loved as America's favorite barista before most of middle America had even heard the term.