The Oscars aired its annual ‘In Memoriam’ segment during Sunday’s broadcast to honor the actors, directors, and other Hollywood stakeholders who died in the past year. Every year, the program selectively omits a few names that fans believe should have made the cut. And every year, the producers of the live telecast blame time constraints for their unenviable job at narrowing down the list of ‘worthy’ celebs for the montage.
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Sunday’s telecast, however, drew more ire than normal when it selectively omitted multiple household names from the tribute. Tom Sizemore, Anne Heche, and Leslie Jordan all missed the cut. Maybe most egregiously, though, was Paul Sorvino’s absence, prompting his widow, Dee Dee Sorvino, to release a statement calling the actor’s exclusion “unconscionable.”
“Paul Sorvino was one of the greatest actors in cinematic history in Hollywood. It is unconscionable that he would be left out of the ‘In Memoriam’ segment of the Oscars,” Dee Dee Sorvino said of the Goodfellas star. “It’s a three-hour show, they can’t give a couple more minutes to get it right? Paul Sorvino gave decades to this industry. Everyone loved him.”
Dee Dee also publicly bashed the QR code that producers added to the telecast. “Paul was not the only deserving soul left out, and a QR Code is not acceptable. The Academy needs to issue an apology, admit the mistake, and do better.”
Besides his mobster roles, Paul Sorvino also starred in the second season of Law & Order
Sorvino steadily worked in Hollywood for decades. Beyond his regular work as mafia characters (thanks to his burly size and Italian heritage), he also played a number of cinematic fathers over the years — including the father of Juliet (Claire Danes) in Romeo + Juliet, and the patriarch of The Goldbergs. Sorvino also fathered two future actors in real life, Michael and Mira.
Mira Sorvino even won an Oscar in 1995 for her work in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite. She posted a touching tribute to her father over the weekend.
“On this Oscars night I am so happy for all of the nominees and the winners, but I am also moved in a thousand different ways when I think of the night I got to share my Academy Award with my Dad, the very great actor Paul Sorvino, who was never nominated,” Mira wrote on Instagram alongside video of her ’95 victory. In that speech, she thanked her father for “teaching me everything I know about acting.”
Her post concluded, “On this first year after his passing it is truly a bittersweet but beautiful memory. I love you Dad, I miss you so much.”
Paul Sorvino died at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, in July 2022 at age 83.