For me, the only part of the Oscars worth watching every year is their tribute video, highlighting those in the movie industry that passed away in the previous year. It always puts a lump in my throat and often surprises me due to the passing of people I hadn't heard about. And with the actors who were popular decades ago, it gives me a sense of melancholy nostalgia.
TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has put together their version of a tribute video which you can watch below, and it gave me the same feelings I just mentioned (I wasn't aware they do one every year). It's a beautiful video and very classy. They did miss a couple of people which I mention below.
I would suggest you watch the video before moving on to the list of names below it. It includes actors, directors, composers, screenwriters, animators, etc. A wide cross-section of the many facets of Hollywood film production, and those who make movies possible.
They're all sad of course, but there are a few of particular note to me. Notable in their passing are such greats as Richard Widmark, Charlton Heston, Roy Scheider, Sydney Pollack and Paul Newman. Also striking a chord for me are Edie Adams, Stan Winston, Van Johnson, Robert J. Anderson (he played young George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life), Harvey Korman, Michael Chrichton and Suzanne Pleshette.
Here's the complete list of those who passed away in 2008 and are shown in the video:
Abby MannAnita PageAnthony MinghellaArthur C. ClarkeBen Chapman (he played the title role in The Creature from the Black Lagoon)Bernie MacBrad RenfroBreno MelloCharles H. JoffeCharlton HestonCyd CharisseDelmar WatsonDick MartinDino RisiDody GoodmanDon LaFontaine (voiceover king)Edie AdamsEstelle ReinerEva DahlbeckEvelyn KeyesForrest J. AckermanFred CraneGeorge CarlinGuillaume DepardieuHarvey KormanHazel CourtHeath LedgerIrving BrecherIsaac HayesJean DelannoyJerry ReedJohn Michael HayesJohn Phillip LawJoseph PevneyJoy Page (the young and recently wedded woman in Casablanca)Jules DassinJulie EgeJune TravisKen OgataKon IchikawaLeonard RosenmanLois NettletonMalvin WaldMarpessa DawnMel FerrerMichael ChrichtonMichael KiddMichael PateNina FochOllie JohnstonPaul BenedictPaul NewmanPaul ScofieldPerry LopezRichard WidmarkRobert ArthurRobert Do QuiRobert J. AndersonRoy ScheiderStan WinstonSuzanne PleshetteSydney PollackVampiraVan Johnson
These folks also died this year but were not in the video above:
Bettie PageEartha KittEstelle GettyJim McKayMajel Barrett-RoddenberryRoberta CollinsTim Russert
And I suppose this would be a good place to send out condolences to John Travolta and his family over the death of his son, Jett... money and fame it seems, cannot protect one from tragedy.
Hat Tip: /Film