Actress and icon Farrah Fawcett, who showed the reality of cancer treatment to millions, was left out of the In Memoriam segment at the 2010 Academy Awards.The snub was deliberate.
Among the first to notice was film critic and cancer survivor Roger Ebert. "No Farrah in the memorial," he tweeted. "They have a lot of 'splaining to do."
Fawcett died at the age of 62 after a three-year struggle with anal cancer. Known as a sex symbol for most of her career, she also left a lasting legacy for cancer patients by allowing cameras to document her treatment for “Farrah’s Story.” The brutally transparent documentary drew 9 million viewers.
Actor Ryan O’Neal, father of Fawcett’s son, said the omission left him stunned and shocked. "It was a terrible decision and very hurtful," O'Neal told Radar Online. "Farrah was a member of the Academy for over 40 years and we could not believe she did not get a mention." O’Neal, a leukemia survivor, said he intended to ask the Academy for an explanation.
"I think this is what Farrah struggled with her entire career," said Craig Nevius, Fawcett's close friend and Farrah's Story producer. He told E!Online, "She struggled with respect and told me many times she felt she was put in a box. She loved television, and she was primarily a star on TV, but she was also a star on stage and film. You know, how you can discount Extremities (Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama), The Apostle (Independent Spirit nomination for Best Supporting Actress) and Dr. T and the Women, I don't know.”
Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger said, "In any given year there will always be some people that other people think should have been included and that there's more justification for one person versus another." "It is impossible to include everybody." The executive director of the film academy said Fawcett wasn't included because she was better known as a TV star.
Fawcett died on June 25, 2009. Her death was overshadowed by media coverage of the death of Michael Jackson, known primarily for his work in the music industry. Jackson was included in the In Memoriam segment of the 2010 Oscars.
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