Andy Griffith, Richard Dawson and Lupe Ontiveros MIA from Oscars In Memoriam

Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith

Bookended by the ever-classy George Clooney and the ever-brassy Barbra Streisand, the Oscar In Memoriam segment paid tribute to some of the Hollywood greats who died in the past year, including Ernest Borgnine, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jack Klugman, Ray Bradbury, and Charles Durning.

However, as is usually the case, there were some notable people who were omitted from the montage.

Arguably the most notable omission this year was Andy Griffith, who rose to prominence as the star of Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd" and went on to headline the situational comedy "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968) and the popular legal drama "Matlock" (1986-1985). He most recently appeared in the acclaimed independent comedy “Waitress” (2007), co-starring Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion and Jeremy Sisto. Griffith died on July 3 at the age of 86.

Other "In Memoriam" snubs include football player/wrestler/actor Alex 'The Mad Duck' Karras, director Gore Vidal, "Dallas" star Larry Hagman, "Family Feud" (and "The Running Man") host Richard Dawson and "Emmannuelle" herself, Sylvia Kristel.

Updated Tuesday, February 26, 2013:

Another Hollywood artist that wasn't included in the "In Memoriam" presentation was Lupe Ontiveros, whose roles included Yolanda Saldivar in "Selena" (1996), Nora in "As Good as It Gets" (1997) and Juanita 'Mama' Solis on "Desperate Housewives." One of her most memorable comedic turns was as Rosalita, the would-be house-packer plagued with descriptions of how to organize illegal drugs in dresser drawers and of sexual torture devices in the attic by the Spanish-speaking Mouth (Corey Feldman) in "The Goonies" (1985). Ontiveros died on July 26, 2012 at the age of 69.

The Academy has been called out for this oversight by Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Nogales also questions why Ontiveros was denied membership to the Academy in an open letter to the organization dated February 26, 2013.

To the Members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences:

I write to you on behalf of the thousands of Lupe Ontiveros' fans indignant of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences' neglect to include Ontiveros in the Oscars in Memoriam. Lupe Ontiveros passed away last July.

We understand from the Lupe Ontiveros family that she wasn't a member of the Academy, hence her omission from the Oscars tribute. We also understand that Lupe Ontiveros applied, with the support of Miguel Sandoval and Edward James Olmos, to be a member of the Academy and that she was denied membership. We want to know the reasons why Lupe Ontiveros was denied membership to the Academy.

It is astonishing that an actress of Ontiveros' caliber and experience was denied membership to the Academy. Lupe worked in the entertainment industry for thirty five years, her film credits include: "El Norte," "The Goonies," "Selena," "Real Women Have Curves," "As Good as it Gets," and "Chuck & Buck."

As the controversy of the Academy's omission of Lupe Ontiveros in the Oscars in Memoriam subsides, we ask that the Academy take a moment to pause and reflect on its commitment to the growing U.S. Latino talent.


Alex Nogales
President & CEO [National Hispanic Media Coalition]

Other late Hollywood artists who were included in the memorial slideshow on the official site of the Oscars but not on the broadcast include "Snakes on a Plane" director David R. Ellis, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" director Mel Stuart, "Gone with the Wind" star Ann Rutherford, R&B singer Donna Summer and Oscar nominees Joyce Redman and Susan Tyrrell.