At this point it could be its own question on everyone’s annual Oscars ballot: Who will fail to make it into the In Memoriam segment this time? And in 2023, the list of those snubbed was particularly bewildering, with Anne Heche, Tom Sizemore, Leslie Jordan, Charlbi Dean, Lisa Marie Presley, and Gilbert Gottfried all failing to make the cut.
Also noticeably missing was Paul Sorvino, the character actor and opera singer known for radiating cool-headed menace in films like Goodfellas, The Gambler, and Romeo + Juliet. Sorvino died of natural causes last July at age 83.
On Monday, Sorvino’s family responded to his omission, calling it “unconscionable” and “baffling beyond belief.”
The first to respond was Sorvino’s eldest daughter, actor Mira Sorvino. Just hours after the awards show, she tweeted, “I for one am remembering Dad on this Oscars night…” The tweet linked to an Instagram reel of her father visibly weeping at the 1996 Oscars after her win for Best Supporting Actress.
In an amended version of the caption, Mira wrote that she’d posted the reel before learning “of Dad’s omission and that of several other incredible artists from the in Memoriam section.”
“Incredibly hurt and shocked that my father’s lifelong, irreplaceable, enormous contribution to the world of cinema was overlooked by whomever made that list,” she continued. “We his adoring family, and you, his adoring public, know just how unique and incredible he was.”
“We hope @theacademy does something to put this right.”
On Monday afternoon, Mira again slammed the omission on Twitter, calling it “baffling beyond belief that my beloved father and many other amazing brilliant departed actors were left out.”
“The Oscars forgot about Paul Sorvino, but the rest of us never will!!” she concluded.
Dee Dee Sorvino, who married Sorvino in 2014, chimed in on the matter with a withering statement to People.
“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,” she said. “It’s a three-hour show, they can't give a couple more minutes to get it right?”
Acknowledging that Sorvino was a beloved figure who worked in the industry for decades, Dee Dee added, “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.”
When asked about the matter during a morning appearance on The Joe Piscopo Show, Dee Dee demanded to know the identity of “the flunkie who put this list together.”
“Not even a freakin’ cannoli! What the heck?” she joked, according to the New York Post. “There is a Mafia hit that needs to go out on this situation.”
Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, the executive producers of this year’s Oscars, told The Hollywood Reporter that they were not involved with the segment’s deliberation process. An Academy spokesperson later told the outlet that the segment’s selection committee “features a representative from each of the organization’s 17 branches, and some names that are more familiar to audiences cannot be included because all branches are entitled to representation during the limited time allotted for the segment.”
The statement linked to a site where Sorvino—and other stars missing from the live presentation like Tony Sirico, Sacheen Littlefeather, Estelle Harris, Marsha Hunt, and John Aniston—were memorialized.