Oscar Ethics Part II: The “In Memoriam” Snubs

For some reason, Luke Perry’s snub (That’s Luke above) has attracted most of the outrage, though he is far from the worst of the omissions, as you will see.

Luke Perry

(October 11, 1966 – March 4, 2019

Perry became a teen idol at 23 after he was cast as the brooding son of a millionaireon Fox’s prime time soap opera,  “Beverly Hills, 90210.”  A riot broke out when 10,000 teen girls attended one of his  August 1991 autograph sessions  While starring in 90210,” Perry appeared in the original film version of Joss Whedon’s” Buffy The Vampire Slayer” (1992). That was pretty much the high point of his film career, though he had a small role in “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.”  Mostly he was a TV actor whose career, after a spectacular launch,  settled into the typical orbit of supporting roles in various series and guest shots in everything from sitcoms like “Will and Grace” to “Law and Order: SVU.”  Between those jobs, voice-over work and regional theater paid the bills and kept him working.

He was, in short, a working professional actor who had one burst of superstardom, which is more than most. Perry was only 52 when he died of a massive stroke.

Michael J. Pollard

(May 30, 1939 – November 20, 2019)

Pollard rose to fame in 1967 as  Bonnie and Clyde’s dim-witted gang member, earning an Oscar nomination along with the other honors racked up by Arthur’s Penn’s ground-breaking, violent epic about the lover-killers. He went on to a long career as a Hollywood character actor, aided by one of the most memorable faces in screen history. That face had made him a familiar TV actor before “Bonnie and Clyde” made him famous: he played the cousin of Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver) on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” and Virgil, the cousin to  Barney Fife (Don Knotts), on “The Andy Griffith Show.” In the first season of the original “Star Trek,” he was  a creepy  teenage cult leader on a planet of children.

Pollard continued to make significant films after his Oscar nomination, such as  “Little Fauss and Big Halsy” (1970), a motorcycle racing buddy film in which he co-starred with Robert Redford. He was Billy the Kid in “Dirty Little Billy” (1972), an inept fireman in “Roxanne” (1987), the friend of a Utah gas station owner  who claimed to be Howard Hughes’s beneficiary in“Melvin and Howard” (1980), and  surveillance expert Bug Bailey in “Dick Tracy.”

Pollard was acting right up until his death: two of his films that yet to be released. Continue reading