In a poignant tribute to television stars, creators, and producers who had left an indelible mark on the industry, Monday's 75th Primetime Emmy Awards aired its In Memoriam segment. However, the absence of two beloved figures, Ryan O'Neal and Ray Stevenson, did not go unnoticed by an observant audience, and social media erupted with discontent.
Ryan O'Neal, whose illustrious career in television spanned over six decades, dating back to the 1960s, was a notable omission. His contributions to the small screen, including his work on iconic shows like "Good Sports," the enduring soap opera "Peyton Place," and the crime procedural "Bones," left an indelible mark on the industry.
O'Neal, who passed away on December 8 at 82, was celebrated for his versatility as an actor and his ability to transition between comedy and drama seamlessly. Another cherished television personality, Ray Stevenson was also excluded from the In Memoriam montage.
Stevenson, whose career in television flourished since the 1990s, had recently graced screens in the Disney+ Star Wars series "Ahsoka." His remarkable performances in acclaimed series such as "Dexter," "Rome," and "Vikings" had endeared him to audiences around the world.
Tragically, Stevenson's life was cut short on May 23 at the age of 58, leaving a void in the television landscape.
In Memoriam Segment Omissions
The controversy did not end with the omission of O'Neal and Stevenson. The In Memoriam segment also overlooked the passing of chat show host Jerry Springer, the iconic Night Court performer Richard Moll, and producer Kevin Turen.
Notably, these omissions are highlighted on the official Emmys website's In Memoriam section, intensifying the debate surrounding the Emmy Awards' selection process for the televised segment. The In Memoriam segment began with a heartfelt tribute to the legendary Norman Lear, a six-time Emmy winner, who passed away on December 5 at the remarkable age of 101.
Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers led the tribute, honoring Lear's immense contributions to the world of television. Following the tribute to Norman Lear, the talented musician Charlie Puth took the stage, performing his hit song "See You Again" alongside the musical duet The War and Treaty.
As the emotional performance unfolded, a video montage featuring departed luminaries from the television industry was screened. Viewers were reminded of the enduring legacies of Andre Braugher, Angela Lansbury, Barbara Walters, Angus Cloud, Lance Reddick, Bob Barker, Paul Reubens, and other beloved celebrities.