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Stars Who Were Snubbed From The Oscars 'In Memoriam' Segment

Wow, Oscar, you sure have a selective memory.

Per tradition, Sunday night's Academy Awards telecast featured an "In Memoriam" segment highlighting notable personalities we've lost over the last year — and, also per tradition, a number of beloved entertainment giants were inexplicably omitted. The Twitterverse quickly took notice, and as you might imagine, it had some pretty harsh words for the Academy.

One of the most notable among the many snubs: veteran character actor Dick Miller, whose death we reported on earlier this month. Perhaps best known for his role in the 1984 Joe Dante classic Gremlins and its sequel, Miller's prolific career spanned six decades, with his filmography stretching from the '50s until just last year. Under an image of Miller, user @LilyMarin8 tweeted: "This year #InMemoriam was the worst of my lifetime. Mentioning people not that important in the large scheme of things and ignoring the largest amount of very important people who deserved to be there a lot more than any year I remember." Pop culture website A.V. Club also pointed out the snub, noting that Miller's "ubiquity as a character actor sadly didn't translate to the Oscars." The official Twitter account for L.A.-based genre film festival Beyond Fest tweeted a message that was slightly more succinct: "If @theacademy won't remember Dick Miller, we will."

Also missing from the tribute: film producer Gary Kurtz, whose name probably rings a bell even if you're not quite sure where you've heard it before. His body of work wasn't exactly a mile long, but his legacy lies in one mad gamble of a film he took a chance on back in the '70s. It was called Star Wars; we're going to go out on a limb and say that you may be familiar with it. Kurtz also produced sequel The Empire Strikes Back and Jim Henson's 1982 fantasy feature The Dark Crystal, among others.

Another glaring omission: Carol Channing, who passed away in January and — with roles in such iconic stage productions as Hello, Dolly! and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes — helped to usher in Hollywood's Golden Age of Musicals. Channing received no love despite the fact that she was once nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar (for 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie), a fact which stuck firmly in the craw of user @rdmcphee, who simply stated this fact over and over until he ran out of characters.

While these were among the most egregious snubs, they certainly weren't the only ones. The Academy also failed to make mention of Stanley Donen, the "Master of the Musical" and director of Singin' in the Rain; Verne Troyer, who shot to worldwide fame as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers film series; Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of beloved animated series Spongebob Squarepants; Al Matthews, who appeared in James Cameron's 1986 masterpiece Aliens, one of the greatest science fiction films of all time; John Mahoney, best known for his role as Martin Crane in the long-running TV series Frasier; and comedian Brody Stevens, who starred in his own Comedy Central series and popped up in such films as The Hangover and Due Date.

That's a lot of amazing talent to simply slip the minds of the Academy, but we've saved the worst for last. Also absent from the memorial was Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, arguably the greatest vocalist the world has ever seen and the subject of a moving tribute at this year's Grammy Awards. With a number of film and television credits on her resume (including a standout appearance in the 1980 classic The Blues Brothers), one would have thought that the Academy would deem her worthy of inclusion, being a once-in-several-generations talent and all. One would have thought wrong.

Well, it will shock nobody for us to point out that the Academy often fails to get things right, and this year was certainly no different (especially if you ask Spike Lee, whose excellent BlacKkKlansman was passed over for Best Picture in favor of Green Book, a much tamer and less complex take on race relations). But the "In Memoriam" segment seems to serve as a means for ol' Oscar to reliably shoot himself in the foot time and again, and that is the only respect in which the 2019 edition didn't disappoint.