On Sunday night, the 91st annual Oscars included their regularly scheduled In Memoriam video, which honored Stan Lee in the wake of his passing in November 2018. Lee was among a small group of well-regarded Hollywood actors, directors, writers, producers, and more whose memories and contributions to film were honored during Sunday night's show.
Although the In Memoriam segment is a tradition at the Oscars, the names featured every year change and that means fans of film watch with a heavy heart as they're reminded of all of the talented people who leave behind important bodies of work. Actors like Burt Reynolds and Margot Kidder, directors like Bernardo Bertolucci, and writers like Neil Simon were among the short (but by no means complete) list of people honored during the segment.
This year's Oscars tribute to those that Hollywood has lost over the course of the last year was certainly as touching as it was a sobering reminder of all the great talent that has left the world behind. One of those towering, memorable talents was Lee, who died at the age of 95 in November 2018 from health complications late in his life. In the video, Lee was credited as a comic book writer and executive producer, although lifelong fans of Lee's know that those job descriptions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this truly legendary figure. Lee is not only remembered for creating characters, like Spider-Man, that have stood the test of time and appeared in numerous artistic mediums, but he was also the rudder that guided Marvel Comics, a man who brought joy through his cameos in nearly all Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and a man who made time for his fans and admirers.
Lee was not only remembered during the In Memoriam video, but his legacy was also honored on Sunday night in various tributes both at the Oscars and on the Internet. During the show, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won Best Animated feature and during their acceptance speech, as Indiewire reported, co-director Bob Persichetti attempted to thank Lee and Marvel colleague Steve Ditko for their impact on the film before they were unceremoniously cut off. Persichetti was later able to give his thanks to Lee and Ditko backstage in the interview room while his colleague, Rodney Rothman, also tweeted out thanks to Lee.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED SPIDERVERSE AND THANK YOU STAN LEE AND STEVE DITKO pic.twitter.com/3EWojzEksw— rodneyrothman (@rodneyrothman) February 25, 2019
Similarly, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Ming-Na Wen also tweeted out her praise and remembrance of Lee, calling Lee "our Generalissimo" before singing the praises of the awards won by Spider-Verse and Black Panther.
I believe our Generalissimo was up there enjoying all the @marvel wins at the #oscars tonight. 🥰Congrats!! 2 wins for #blackpanther & 1 for #SpidermanIntoTheSpiderverse! 👏👏RIP @TheRealStanLee. 🙏 https://t.co/meflkyjbrg— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) February 25, 2019
The Oscars' In Memoriam segment is never easy to watch, if only because it's a sentimental reminder that we no longer have some of entertainment's most beloved artistic minds living and working anymore. But, if Lee's mention in this year's lineup is any indication, it's that we recently lost some extraordinary, truly irreplaceable talents that we can only dream of replicating elsewhere.