Jeff Conaway among those omitted from Emmy 'In Memoriam' segment


Image Credit: Everett Collection

It seems to happen every year at every awards ceremony: A notable star or Hollywood industry member who recently passed away is left out of the “In Memoriam” segment. This year’s Emmys was no exception, as many were stunned to see that Jeff Conaway, who was best known for his work on the small screen in shows like Taxi, Babylon 5, The Bold and the Beautiful, and, sadly, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, was omitted from the montage that paid tribute to those who died in the past year.

Conaway, who passed away on May 27 at the age of 60
due to complications from pneumonia, was among some of the surprising names to be left out of the Emmy “In Memoriam.” In addition to Conaway, Len Lesser, better known as “Uncle Leo” from Seinfeld,was another instantly noticeable snub.

In response, the Emmys posted this message on the “In Memoriam” page of their website, “Unfortunately, due to inevitable time limitations, the producers of the telecast are not able to include all of the worthy television professionals who have passed away from year to year. Therefore, in an effort to pay tribute to as many people as possible, the Television Academy created an In Memoriam database on its website,” Conaway, Lesser, and another actors omitted from the televised segment, including The Cosby Show‘s Clarice Taylor and The Soup favorite, QVC’s Jeanne Bice, are all listed on the page of the website.

Read more:
Jeff Conaway, star of ‘Taxi’ and ‘Grease,’ dies
Marilu Henner remembers friend, co-star Jeff Conaway
Danny DeVito ‘fondly’ remembers Jeff Conaway

Comments (173 total) Add your comment
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  • Elizabeth

    David Nelson — from TV’s longest running live action sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” (14 years & 435 episodes) was a major omission & faux pas considering it was such an iconic & groundbreaking television show.

    • Annie

      Wow, that is a GLARING omission.

      • anonymous

        Jeff went downhill after his Kenickie days !

      • @ gary

        This is NOT a good place to meet friends. Get up from the computer, pull your pants up, and go outside.

        Of course, if you are blog spamming as part of your work from a call center, carry on. Do these posts actually work?

      • ????

        What I don’t get and this may sound bad is that they obviously had time to fit in Andy Whitfield (from Spartacus) who passed away only a week ago and Uncle Leo from Jimmy Kimmel who passed away a few weeks ago…yet couldn’t find the time to fit in people who passed away months ago? it does not make sense to me

      • Personally

        I’d rather see someone like Andy Whitfield, who struggled to live being in the “In Memorium” than someone like Jeff Conaway, who pi*ssed away his chance and spent the last DECADES of his life struggling to die.

      • I agree

        and I don’t understand the need to say how sorry we are he died again, anyway. The news broke, the stories ran, we all reminisced, and now it’s over. Why does anyone need to bring up Jeff Conaway’s death yet again? Learn a lesson from Jeff’s tragedy: move on and get on with your lives and stay off drugs and be happy for the day.

    • Scobes

      That’s really surprising actually. And Conway is a really familiar face to TV-watchers of many generations, I was especially surprised but that omission.

    • lisa g.

      Jeanne Bice ….gtfoh!

    • ib lobar

      what a shame about omitting Dave Nelson and I’m sure afew others that deserved mentioning,,,by the way Gary/manuel2011,,go to craigslist for ur cruising crap!!!!

    • Lana

      Out of all the tv greats who died this year (I didnt even consider Liz Taylor and Cliff Robertson would be there for tv, but I adored both of them) the only one I could think of and really cared about was David Nelson. I thought Randy Savage might be there since wrestling was on tv. The more I think about his snub the madder I get cause he really was tv star. I even forgot Jeff and Ryan Dunn (who was there) and I was always a fan of both of them. But David really gets me. He was the last member of a family who helped CREATE tv, and if it wasn’t for shows like Ozzie & Harriet’s there would be no Emmys. He literally grew up on tv. The Nelsons could even be considered the first family of television. Just awful that the big shots left him out. Apparently they don’t realize that in a round about way they owe their jobs to people like him. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one though and other people remembered him

  • Lisa

    Time is a BS excuse. They had extended camera time for the singers, whoever the heck they were. There was plenty of time to fit in additional people.

    • Rigby

      I totally agree! They didn’t even start the montage until the song was underway and it ended before the song did. PLENTY OF TIME! Lazy, lazy, boooooooooo.

      • ChaCha

        Ditto! Maybe they should just omit the whole thing…it’s a downer and this omission stuff happens every year followed by a lame-o excuse the next day.

      • Acaseofgeo

        I totally agree!! Time is a Bull Shot excuse. When you have more than 5 ridiculously boring and inappropriate musical numbers, then time is NOT an issue. You mean to say you couldn’t muster THREE SECONDS to show his face? And I’m not even a Jeff Conaway fan.

      • Kwise

        Agreed. They showed the singers way too much as it is. The in memorium should be about the deceased only, not publicity for an up and coming group. They could have showed the singers less (no cheesy walking down the aisles, for ex) and fit In more deceased notables.

    • Mia

      Totally agree. What a lame excuese. I mean, it’s not like they have been dying of the plague in Hollywood this year…

      • Michael

        Coucou EREINE,Enfin des nouvelles de toi !!!nous suovins la course en direct et aussi ton blog. Courage et arrive au bout de cette course, pour la me9canique on voit que tu es bien entoure9e On compte sur toi Barbie.BIZZZZFABIENNE ET LOIC

    • c

      just like the Oscar telecast they are too busy trying to showcase the Singers and lose focus on what the segment is supposed to be about, paying tribute to the belevod stars we lost, they should go back to just showing clips with names with soft music in the background, and stop trying to make into a music video, The Golden Globes and SAG awards surprisingly does it the best!

      • Joseph G. Mitzen

        You’re losing focus on what the SHOW is about, which is to honor the accomplishments of LIVING people first, entertain viewers second. That’s why they have musical numbers… it keeps people awake. People don’t tune in to hear the names of dead people being read, and it’s got nothing to do with what is supposed to be a happy occasion (at least for the winners). Given that people are always going to complain that this or that minor celebrity didn’t get mentioned, they should just eliminate the whole bit.

      • c

        I call BS on that the whole point of a “In Memoriam” segment is to remember those who passed, it is in the name, I am sorry if you don’t have the patience to watch a 3 minute segment dedicated to honor those who are no longer with us without being entertained! do it right they should show as many as possible, we do not need to see some no name quartet from canada sing a song that is not approprate in the first place!…maybe you should watch “The Voice” instead, friggin idiot!

      • c

        call BS on tha!!!!…..t the whole point of a “In Memoriam” segment is to remember those who passed!.., it is in the name, Dimwit!…, I am sorry if you don’t have the patience to watch a 3 minute segment dedicated to honor those who are no longer with us without being entertained! do it right they should show as many as possible, we do not need to see some no name quartet from canada sing a song that is not approprate in the first place!…maybe you should watch “The Voice” instead, friggin idiot!

      • elr

        to Joseph G Mitzen: I stopped watching because of the musical numbers. Any more than two musical segments is too much. And I agree they should have focused on the people who died and not the singers. It is called the In Memoriam section for a reason.

    • Anonymous

      You are so right. It’s pretty disrespectful in my opinion. I never understand why they even show the singers at all.

    • kim in kentucky

      Agree! As we were watching it, I said instead of showin the singers, they could be showing more of the deceased

      • Joseph G. Mitzen

        …because people have a preference for hearing deceased people’s names over musical numbers?

      • kellybelly

        Yes, Joseph G.Mitzen, yes we do.

      • Musica1

        @Joseph It isn’t that we love hearing the names of deceased people, it’s that when we hear their names or see their faces, it brings back fond memories of shows and actors you loved. I remember sitting with my mom and dad, laughing while watching Taxi. My parents have both been gone for many years, but I still enjoy the memories. That’s what the in me Orion is all about.

      • Go watch “Taxi” then…

        it should hold plenty of memories for you.

    • steveh420

      I agree that they spent way too much time showing the guys that were singing. As far as I am concerned they could have just played the music as a recording, paid more tribute to deceased and allowed the people in the audience get up to go pee and feel like they were being rude. Or skip the whole segment altogether and us the memoriam segments as bumpers into commercials….

      • damaris cortes

        Omitting the names of professional actors who gave their all is disgraceful the networks were really happy when Jeff conaway made them money,he was also a movie and broadway actor how about remembering him for time served….

  • Bobby’s Robot

    If time constraints were indeed the issue, they still should have included Conaway over Ryan Dunn.

    • A

      When I saw his picture, I was like, “Really? REALLY??”

    • Aprilcot26


    • District 12

      Totally agree!!!!

    • Brenda Barrett

      I don’t even know who Ryan Dunn is. I assume some reality show nobody.

      • Terry

        To answer your question, Brenda, he was on “MTV’s Jackass”.

      • Brenda Barrett

        Thanks. And I mean no disrespect to the guy; I just don’t feel that people on reality shows should be considered celebrities…

      • Ana

        I think you mean, Brenda, that people on reality shows shouldn’t be considered stars. They are definitely celebrities, since the only criteria for becoming one is to be well-known. A “star” on the other hand is someone who is well-known for artistic or athletic ability.

    • Aunt Sassy

      I couldn’t believe they included Dunn either. Don’t get me wrong – I could care less about Conway not being included (sorry, he was SUCH a mess on Celeb rehab), but besides Bamm Morgara who truly cared about Ryan Dunn murdering his friend and commiting suicide?

      • Abbey

        A LOT of people cared about Ryan Dunn dying. And he didn’t intentionally murder his friend and kill himself. It was a car ACCIDENT. It’s not like he wanted his friend or himself to die.

      • sara allred

        drinking and driving is NOT an accident

      • Kim

        @ Abbey. It’s called a car crash, not car accident. I don’t think you would use the word accident to describe an event where your loved one is killed by a drunk driver.

      • Aunt Sassy

        Oh Abbey, you keep telling yourself that. The FACTS are that he got behind the wheel of his car intoxicated and drove like the idiot he was and killed his “friend” and himself. I honestly could care less, but let’s state the facts as what they are shall we?

    • Kvinna


    • Valley Girl


    • cg

      I don’t really think Conway cares. Actually, he died a lonnng time ago.

  • ks

    I knew someone was missing!!!

  • A

    Then I say, make the “In Memoriam” segment longer, and cut the crappy musical performances that aren’t necessary.

    • Elizabeth

      Or don’t do it at all. If you can’t bother to honor everyone, don’t bother at all. It doesn’t seem very sincere to me.

      • Dyanna

        I agree with Elizabeth

  • Ben

    Probably the Only people who get the In Memoriam film right is Turner Classic Movies. They show an In Memoriam film at the end of December and I never hear, or read, about someone’s name left off. In addition, at some of the televised shows, the camera is on the singer, not the screen showing the faces of the departed. Also, it sometimes turns into an applause meter, the more popular the person, the biggger the clapping.. Today (Sept. 19), TCM is showing their Cliff Robertson movie tribute.

    • Belle

      TCM gets it right because they do not care about ratings which equals revenue. They actually care about the entertainment. They respect the people in show business behind and in front of the camera. Emmys could have taking away 2mins of showing the Canadian Tenors and added more people to the Memoriam Reel. I mean they had Cliff Cliff Robertson added and he just died last week! Jeff has been dead for a few months.

    • Meier

      And there’s a also a fairly good chance that Jeff will be in the “In Memoriam” segment for the Oscars. The omission from the Emmys is indeed enormously disrespectful, but perhaps the Academy will remember the talent behind one of the key supporting roles of ‘Grease’ (not to mention ‘Pete’s Dragon’, ‘Man on the Moon’, etc.)

  • Ann

    I bet if producers would stop having live singers singing to cut to during the montage, they’d be able to fit more people in the in memoriam…How many seconds did they waste by cutting the camera away to show the singers last night? I don’t need to watch people singing during a montage. Take a few seconds away from those Canadian Tenors and put in Conaway and Uncle Leo!

    • Vedat

      J’adore la photo avec les poireaux !!! Vous eates super poothge9niques. Enfin non Vous eates beaux en fait, c’est tout ^^La photo en noir et blanc (la premie8re e9videmment :p) est vraiment tre8s belle.

  • TR

    I was surprised that they mentioned Liz tTaylor…aside from a couple of TV movies, I wouldn’t say she was a TV star. While David nelson and Jeff Conaway were less well-known, they deserved to be mentioned more than Liz.
    Likewise, they mentioned Cliff Robertson…again, not primarily a TV star.
    Perhaps the Emmy folks should call the Iscar staff and decide who will get mentioned where (remember last year the Oscars got hit with the same issue and they replied “he was primarily a TV star”)?
    Also, how hard would it be for a Emmy (TV Academy) staff member to keep a list as people pass away and give it to the producers of that years show?

    • Squishmar

      Yes, leaving out Farrah Fawcett. Yes, she was primarily known as a TV star but she definitely had a movie career… at least more so than Michael Jackson whom the Academy decided to include.

  • Missy

    What about Frances Bay? She has a recurring role on The Middle and has been in many other shows. She definitely should have been up there

    • Bobby’s Robot

      Well, to be fair, news of her passing probably came after the montage was completed. But that’s no excuse for others being left out.

      • Jt

        This is Hollywood and they can’t make a splice into an existing produced number… this age of technology? I can even put slides into a presentation I have already saved; I think most people over the age of 4 can figure that one out! HP and Apple, be on standby, they may need your help with the program and system to make this happen

      • dan

        Andy Whitfield from “Spartacus” was in there and he also died last week. They left out Mary Fickett, the original Ruth from “All My Children” who was the first performer from a daytime show to be awarded an Emmy. She also appeared in primetime shows over the years. To be fair, her death was announced several days after it happened so maybe it was too late to include her.

  • BHM1304

    Funny to me that these a-holes that create this garbage remembered to include Andy Whitfield but they sure as hell didn’t invite him to the party when they could have lat year. F anyone associated with the Emmys in any way shape or form.

  • Brett

    Um, yeah. Frances Bay was up there.

  • Brett

    No wait =-that was a post-Emmy’s news segment. My mistake.

  • wg

    I am saddened at the lack of acknowledgement for Jeff Conaway but I was gratified that they at least included Andy Whitfield – what a strong impression he made in such a short time in the TV spotlight.

  • Jeff

    Such BS. It takes all of THREE SECONDS to flash his name & picture on the screen.

    Ryan Dunn was included, and Conaway wasn’t? Give me a break.

    • Squishmar

      I thought the same thing… if they could include Ryan Dunn, they could have included Jeff Conaway. A really big snub.

      • cg

        Conway does not care.

    • Tim

      Bingo, that’s BS. At least just admit you forgot, no need to lie about it.

  • Charles

    They also forgot “All My Children” veteran Mary Fickett, who was the very FIRST soap actor to be awarded an Emmy for her work in daytime drama in 1973. She was on that show for 30 years and deserved respect by the Academy.

    • Brenda Barrett


    • Belle

      I think it is because they probably consider her “Daytime” and not Primetime. But yes, sad. Heavens knows the Daytime Emmys will not recognize her unless she was part of the Las Vegas Tourist attraction. Daytime Emmys are the worse offenders. They have become utterly cheesy and tacky. It is not even about the shows anymore. It is one informerical for the city of Las Vegas. Like Vegas needs help marketing their city.

    • Zakry

      If Fickett was considered “daytime,” what was Jack LaLanne considered?

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