Not every celebrity who died in 2023 made it into this year’s Emmys In Memoriam tribute.
Jerry Springer, Raquel Welch and more late stars were not featured in the awards show segment on Monday, January 15, which featured a performance of “See You Again” by Charlie Puth and The War and Treaty. After the show, Emmys producer Jesse Collins told Entertainment Tonight that the In Memoriam is “one of the hardest parts of the show” to put together, meaning some big names were unable to make the final cut.
“The selection process is handled by the Television Academy, so we focus more on the creative side of it,” Collins explained on Tuesday, January 16. “And it’s just about making sure that when we are acknowledging someone we give them their just due and it’s respectful and loving, and we just try to make sure that we accomplish that. And putting Charlie and War and Treaty together, their voices are just spectacular.”
Welch, well known for her roles in Fantastic Voyage and Bedazzled, died at age 82 in February 2023 from cardiac arrest. “Her career spanned over 50 years starring in over 30 films and 50 television series and appearances,” a rep for the actress told Us Weekly at the time.
Two months later, Springer died at age 79 after battling pancreatic cancer. “Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word,” family spokesperson Jene Galvin told Us in April 2023. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.”
Other celebrities excluded from the In Memoriam included actors Ryan O’Neal, Julian Sands, Al Brown, Tom Wilkinson and Charles Kimbrough.
Springer’s publicist, Linda Shafran, took to X on Monday to call out the Emmys for leaving out the late TV host. “Shame on #emmys #emmyawards for not including TV legend @jerryspringer in their In Memoriam. TERRIBLE!” she wrote.
O’Neal’s son Patrick also expressed his disappointment via social media. “Wasn’t watching #Emmys but someone let me know they left my dad out of the ‘in memoriam,’” he wrote via X on Monday. “Kind of wish I didn’t know right now but I would’ve found out. Sad and mad is a paralyzing combo.” (O’Neal was known for his roles in films such as Love Story and What’s Up, Doc? and TV shows including Bull, Miss Match and Bones before his death at age 82 in December 2023.)
Among those featured in the In Memoriam were Andre Braugher, Suzanne Somers, Norman Lear, Bob Barker, Angus Cloud, Treat Williams, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Leslie Jordan, Len Goodman, Cindy Williams, Paul Reubens and Tommy Smothers.
The tribute also featured a special nod to Matthew Perry, as Puth, 32, and The War and Treaty transitioned from “See You Again” into the Friends theme song, “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts.