Special tributes during the Primetime Emmys to Cory Monteith, James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton, Jonathan Winters and Gary David Goldberg, each of whom passed away in the past year, came as leadouts to commercials, beginning nearly 30 minutes into the ceremony.
Jane Lynch presented the tribute to “Glee” co-star Monteith.
“I’m here to say that all that warmth and that charm, that open-hearted quality we loved him for, was no act,” Lynch said, adding that his death was a reminder of the “painful” effects of addiction.
“For a generation that loved Cory so, this gifted and wonderful young man was worthy of your love,” Lynch said.
Edie Falco, co-star of Gandolfini on “The Sopranos,” grew emotional during her concluding tribute.
“His portrayal of Tony Soprano had such depth and dimension that a lot of people had trouble believing that’s not really who he was,” Falco said. “Jim was quite different. Jim had tremendous warmth and heart.
“One got the feeling Jim was not comfortable with all the attention he got, in part because he said it every chance he got. He was far more interested in turning it onto people he considered more worthy,” such as war veterans. “It’s Jim, the very dear man, that I will miss most of all,” Falco concluded.
The tributes began with Robin Williams speaking of his one-time “Mork & Mindy” co-star, Winters.
“His riffs on our show were like epic movie categories,” Williams said. “Jamming with Jonathan was like dancing with Fred Astaire. … The beauty of Jonathan was that he was a big, brilliant kid who never grew up.”
This year “marked the second time we said goodbye to Edith Bunker,” said Jean Stapleton’s onscreen “All in the Family” son-in-law, Rob Reiner, noting that show creator Norman Lear “decided that the death of Edith would be a dramatic and emotional point of the series.”
Quoting Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker, Reiner said, “You had no right to leave me that way without giving me one more chance to say I love you,”
Michael J. Fox spoke of “Family Ties” and “Spin City” exec producer Goldberg.
“Gary was my mentor, benefactor, second father and beloved friend,” Fox said. “He created not only families we recognized, but symbolized families we wanted to be.”
In another somber point of the show, Don Cheadle manned a segment that devoted time to the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennnedy’s assassination.
Toward the end of the ceremony, the following were acknowledged in the traditional In Memoriam segment: David Frost, Dennis Farina, Annette Funicello, Eydie Gorme, Dale Robertson, Larry Hagman, Leslie Frankenheimer, Conrad Bain, Maxine Stuart, Lee Thompson Young, Preston Davis, Alan Kirschenbaum, James Loper, Lou Myers, Milo O’Shea, Fran Bascom, Lois Smith, Roger Ebert, Emily Squires, Bonnie Dore, Eileen Brennan, Bonnie Franklin, Russell Means, Milt Hoffman, Jack Shea, Jeanne Cooper, Allan Arbus, Henry Bromell (winner of the drama writing Emmy earlier in the evening), David Connell, Charles Durning, Richard Matheson, Harry Carey, Jr., Ken Venturi, Pat Summerall, Steve Sabol, Alex Karras, Jack Klugman, Jenni Rivera, Eddie Michaels, Michael Ansara, Charles Lisanby, Fay Kanin, Emanual Steward, Ray Dolby, Julie Harris, Deborah Raffin, Patti Page and Andy Williams.