No matter the awards show, there is always controversy surrounding the selections for the “In Memoriam” segment.
Last night’s Academy Awards were no exception. Eddie Vedder performed Tom Petty’s “Room at the Top” while a scroll of those who died in the past year went by. The problem with the Oscars is that there is as much emphasis on the craftspeople as there is on the actors so there is always a long list of those recently passed with a limited amount of time.
Possibly the most curious inclusion was Chuck Berry who died last March at the age of 90. While Berry’s music is heard in a very long list of movies, he was never a big participant in Hollywood productions. He was seen playing in a number of 50’s music-based movies including Rock Rock Rock!, Mister Rock and Roll and Go, Johnny, Go! and had an uncredited appearance in the 1957 film This Could Be the Night, playing a guitarist but he never got into acting.
On the list of those overlooked for the segment was Glen Campbell, who died last August at the age of 81. Like Berry, Campbell started his acting career as an uncredited band member in the 1965 film Baby the Rain Must Fall but his acting resume filled a bit over the next two decades with parts in films such as True Grit (1969), Norwood (1970) and Any Which Way You Can (1980).
In addition, Campbell actually had a history with the Oscars, being nominated in 2015 for Best Song with “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”, written with Julian Raymond, from the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.
The honoring of Berry by the film community and not Campbell just seems to be a major mistake. Berry played guitar in a few films while Campbell was second billed, after John Wayne, in True Grit.
Of course, Campbell was the only major oversight. Twitter and the press also had problems with the omission of Adam West, Della Reese, Dorothy Malone, Powers Boothe, Miguel Ferrer and directors Tobe Hooper and Lewis Gilbert, among others.