To help viewers pay tribute to the stars we lost this year who paved the way for younger actors in Hollywood, the Oscars always puts together an annual In Memoriam segment but, this year, fans were left a little confused when they noticed that Broadway actress Carol Channing was not included in the emotional round-up.
“Did I miss Carol Channing in the [In] Memorium? Tell me she wasn’t overlooked!?! #oscars,” one person tweeted during the awards show and another similarly wrote, “Wow no Carol Channing in the in memoriam? Ridiculous.”
Since Carol — who died at age 97 on Tuesday, January 15 — was nominated for an Oscar in 1968 for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Thoroughly Modern Millie, her fans thought that it was insensitive for the Academy Awards to leave out The First Traveling Saleslady star. “Disgraceful omission of Carol Channing, entertainment icon and #AcademyAwardNominee from the In Memoriam #oscars,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “Justice for Carol Channing,” another added.
Not only was Carol excluded from the In Memoriam segment, but the Oscars also left out Stanley Donen, who’s known for directing the classic 1952 musical Singin’ in the Rain. The Hollywood star passed away on the eve of the Oscars at age 94 so it’s possible that the Academy didn’t have enough time to include him in the segment.
Before Carol’s death, she told Closer Weekly that she had no regrets about her prolific life and career. “Even the poor choices contributed to lessons I needed to learn and God’s ultimate plan for my life,” she said. “I am convinced the most healing experience in the world is work, if you enjoy what you do.”
Carol has had such a successful career in Hollywood that it was hard for her to choose a favorite role. “The next one is always my favorite,” she once explained. “You can’t pick one over another, because in order to do a good job, you have to be completely in love with that character. If you’re not, the audience knows. Love and laughter may be the most important ingredients to achieve longevity.”