Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant and More Stars Honored During Emotional In Memoriam Segment at the Oscars
Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant and more were honored on Sunday night's in memoriam section at the Academy Awards
Steven Spielberg introduced the in memoriam segment of Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, saying, “This evening, as we celebrate the artistic highlights of the past year, we also pause to remember those from our community who we lost. Legends and icons, our friends and fellow artists. All who inspired and touched us.”
“They have left an indelible imprint on our industry, our imaginations and our understanding of the world,” he said, before Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell, launched into a cover “Yesterday” by The Beatles.
The tribute started off with a mention of Kobe Bryant before honoring stars such as Rip Torn, Diahann Carroll, Catherine Burns, Danny Aiello , Robert Forster, Machiko Kyo, Anna Karina, Fernando Luján, Andre Previn, Peter Mayhew, Sylvia Miles, Godfrey Gao, Doris Day, Seymour Cassel, Peter Fonda, John Singleton and Kirk Douglas — who died on Wednesday at the age of 103.
However, some of those we have lost over the last 12 months were not included.
Luke Perry, who starred in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and passed away in March 2019, was noticeably absent from the in memoriam footage.
Cameron Boyce, who was predominantly a television action but had a number of film credits to his name, was also not mentioned. Boyce died in July at the age of 20.
The segment closed by paying tribute to Kirk. The iconic actor’s son, Oscar winner Michael, announced the sad news of his father’s passing in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, saying, “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103.”
“To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.”
Michael continued, “But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great-grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”
“Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet,” Michael added. “Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”
He is survived by his wife Anne Buydens, who is 100, and sons Michael, Joel, and Peter.
Bryant, who was the first to appear in the tribute, passed away Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash. The incident also took the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people: John Altobelli, 56, Sarah Chester, 46, Payton Chester, 13, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, Christina Mauser, 38, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.
RELATED: Vanessa Bryant Remembers Late Daughter Gianna’s ‘Amazing Smile’: ‘God I Miss You’
The athlete took home an Oscar in 2018 for Best Animated Short for his sweet film Dear Basketball, based on a poem he wrote about the sport when announcing his retirement in 2015. Bryant worked with animator Glen Keane to bring the short story to life, which Bryant also narrated.
In his short and sweet Oscars speech, Bryant thanked his wife and daughters with a sweet message in Italian.
“To my wife Vanessa and our daughters Natalia, Gianna and Bianka, ti amo con tutto il cuore [I love you with all my heart]. You are my inspiration,” he said.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, 37, and daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.