The 73rd Emmy Awards ceremony took place Sunday and kicked off in full swing. During the ceremony, everyone took a moment to honor late actors and actresses who unfortunately pass away this year, including Norm Macdonald and Michael K. Williams.
During the In Memoriam segment, the show honored actors, actresses, and entertainment industry members who passed away, with Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste performing River at Sunday’s ceremony.
Actress Uzo Aduba, known for her role on Orange is the New Black, also honored them in her introduction. “Over the past year, we have lost so many of our loved ones. But we treasure our memory of each of them and we rejoice in having them in our lives.”
Stars honored in the ceremony include Norm Macdonald, as well as Michael K. Williams, Ed Asner, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Plummer, Dustin Diamond, Cloris Leachman, and Cicely Tyson. They also included Larry King, Jessica Walter, Alex Trebek, Charlie Robinson, Hal Holbrook, Norm Crosby, and Helen McCrory.
Macdonald died on September 14 at 61-years-old after a 9-year battle with cancer, according to PEOPLE. The comedian joined SNL in 1993 after the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, noticed him while working on Roseanne. He was also known for a plethora of movie and show appearances, his comedy, and his impressions of fellow actors, such as Bob Dole and Larry King.
Michael Williams died on September 6. It’s suspected Michael K. Williams died from an overdose due to drug paraphernalia being found near him, but it is unconfirmed as of now. He was known primarily for his roles on Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, and Lovecraft Country.
Conan O’Brien Fondly Remembers Late Comedy Legend Norm Macdonald
Conan O’Brien fans likely know of the comedian’s fondness for Norm Macdonald. It should serve as no surprise he was emotional upon hearing the news of his friend’s passing. Speaking on Twitter about the loss, O’Brien felt “devasted” to learn about the late actor.
Praising him for his comedic talent, O’Brien says no one could make him laugh like Norm could. He further praised how unique his comedy was.
“I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.”
Additionally, a recent BroBible article had Conan recollect the fact NBC executives wanted to ban Norm Macdonald from his show. NBC and Macdonald had a well-known spat at the time when Macdonald refused to stop making O.J. Simpson jokes. O’Brien fought the request, telling them “you’ve hired me to do the best show I can do, and this is my best guest.”
Don Ohlmeyer, NBC West Coast’s President, responded he “expected better from” O’Brien, but he didn’t care. He and Macdonald had chemistry, and O’Brien “always greedily wanted more Norm.”