The Academy Awards are always contentious, and not just because of who is or isn’t nominated. It seems like every year, there are always a few individuals who are left out of the Oscars’ In Memoriam segment, which honors famous actors and other Hollywood figures who’ve passed away since the previous year’s ceremony. The 92nd Academy Academy Awards was no exception, and among the actors who people felt were slighted was Luke Perry, particularly since he’d appeared in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, one of the Best Picture nominees.
The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment. An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time. All the submissions are included on Oscar.com and will remain on the site throughout the year. Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce are remembered in the Oscar.com gallery.
So evidently the executive committee in charge of putting together the Oscars’ In Memoriam list had to go through hundreds of candidates, and since the tribute is just a small portion of the ceremony (which was approximately three and a half hours this year), naturally only so many people can be shown in the broadcast. However, Luke Perry and everyone else who was submitted for the list, but didn’t make the cut, can be seen on the Oscars website.
That’s a reasonable explanation, but going a step further, let’s not discount that it was decided to omit Luke Perry because he was better known for his TV work rather than his time in movies. Sure, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was his final appearance, and people also know him from things like the 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 1997’s The Fifth Element, but he’s arguably more famous for his time on the small screen on shows like Beverly Hills, 90210, Oz and Riverdale.
Looking at the situation through that lens, it would make sense why certain other actors were omitted from the In Memoriam segment, such as Cameron Boyce, who appeared in a scattering of films during his much-too-short career, but was chiefly recognized for his Disney Channel work, especially playing Carlos in the Descendants trilogy. However, that’s trickier territory when it comes to actors like Sid Haig and René Auberjonois whose credits a more even mix of movies and TV.
Luke Perry passed away on March 4, 2019 at the age of 52 after suffering a stroke. At the time, he was playing Fred Andrews on Riverdale, and his final episode aired on April 24, with the Season 4 premiere last September killing the character off. Perry was included in the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards’ In Memoriam segment that same month.
In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Luke Perry played actor Wayne Maunder, who performed in the pilot of the Western series Lancer that Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton guest-starred in. The Quentin Tarantino-directed movie was nominated for nine Oscars, and walked away with two: Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Production Design. For this year's In Memoriam tribute, Billie Eilish performed a cover of The Beatles "Yesterday" alongside her brother, Finneas O'Connell.