Well, it seemed like a really thorough recap — until viewers realized Emmys 2021 left one of their own out of the “In Memoriam” segment.
Amid an emotional montage of tributes to lost stars — ranging from Michael K. Williams and Cloris Leachman to Norm Macdonald and Cicely Tyson — at least one Emmy winner was forgotten.
Michael Constantine, the Emmy-winning star of the classic TV sitcom “Room 222″ and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” died of natural causes earlier this month at his home in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was 94.
He was left out of the televisted tribute, but classic TV fans will remember Constantine from his 1970 Emmy-winning role as Walt Whitman High School principal Seymour Kaufman in the ABC series “Room 222,” which ran from 1969 to 1974. He was nominated for an Emmy a second time in 1971.
Several other TV veterans were left out of the on-air memorial: “Charlies Angels” and “The ’70s Show” actress Tanya Roberts, who was confirmed dead at 65 of kidney and liver failure amid some confusion in January; legendary director Richard Donner (he got his start on the small screen’s classic “The Twilight Zone” and “The Rifleman”), who passed away in July; and writer Larry McMurtry, who penned the Pulitzer Prize-winning book that inspired the Emmy-winning 1989 miniseries “Lonesome Dove.” (McMurtry, who died at 84 in march of undisclosed causes, was nominated for an Emmy himself in 1988 for “The Murder of Mary Phagan.”)
Meanwhile, some diehard fans were quick to call out that DMX, the rap icon who guest-starred on TV shows such as “South Park,” “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Eve,” was not included in the segment. The performer died at 50 on April 3 from a cocaine-induced heart attack which cut off blood flow to his brain.
Other notable omissions were veteran actor Michael Nader, who starred opposite Joan Collins in the ’80s prime time soap “Dynasty” before moving to daytime for a decade-long run on “All My Children” from 1991 to 2001. He died August 23 at his northern California home of an undisclosed type of cancer.
Fellow daytime veteran Jay Pickett — who starred in “General Hospital,” “Days of Our Lives” and “Port Charles” over the last two decades — was also left out. The native of Spokane, Washington, died at age 60 while shooting the film “Treasure Valley” on July 30.
Although they weren’t included in the on-air memoriam, Constantine, Donner, McMurtry, Pickett and the late hip-hop legend and film star DMX are listed on the In Memoriam section of TV Academy’s Emmy’s website.
Ahead of the ceremony’s broadcast, Emmys Executive Producer Reginald Hudlin hyped the number as “moving and powerful song,” while fellow EP Ian Stewart said viewers have likely belted it out during drunken karaoke.
“There are so many people that we love that we lost this last year, and the only way to deal with it is to treat everyone fairly and equally because they are all magnificent talents that made such a huge impact on our industry,” Hudlin said.
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