oscars 2021

Oscar ‘In Memoriam’ Snubs Include Nominee Adam Schlesinger, Jessica Walter

Adam Schlesinger, the Oscar-nominated songwriter who died on April 1, 2020. Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images

In a year filled with loss — not to mention with 14 months of losses to cover, due to a longer season — the Oscars rushed through its “In Memoriam” segment, cycling through names accompanied by an upbeat cover of Stevie Wonder’s “As.” And, like every year, the ceremony missed a few of the previous year’s major deaths. Most notably, the show did not include Adam Schlesinger, the late songwriter who died of COVID-19 on April 1, 2020. Schlesinger himself had been an Oscar nominee for “That Thing You Do” in 1997, the title song from the movie of the same name; along with his tenure in Fountains of Wayne, Schlesinger had an equally decorated career writing for film and television, including a regular gig on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. “I don’t know why he wasn’t in the official In Memoriam segment tonight (especially because he wrote one of the greatest film songs of all time) so I’m honoring him here,” his Crazy Ex-Girlfriend collaborator Rachel Bloom tweeted.

Along with Schlesinger, the segment’s notable snubs included Jessica Walter, the late Arrested Development star who also had a decorated list of film credits. Walter, who died in late March, had been nominated for two Golden Globes for roles in 1966’s Grand Prix and 1971’s Play Misty for Me. (Variety noted she was included on the Academy’s “In Memoriam” web page.) Naya Rivera, the late Glee star, and Nick Cordero, the Broadway actor who died after a long bout of COVID-19 — both of whom had worked in film — were also left out.

Oscar ‘In Memoriam’ Snubs Include Nominee Adam Schlesinger