Though the 95th Academy Awards were dominated by LGBTQ+ stories, no mention was made of either Leslie Jordan or Anne Heche during its In Memoriam segment.
Known for his roles in Will & Grace and American Horror Story, Jordan -- an openly gay comedic actor -- passed away tragically in October of last year. He was 67 years old. While he may have been known for his television roles, he also appeared in The Help and The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
Recently, Jordan's cause of death was confirmed by a coroner’s report to be a "sudden cardiac dysfunction," per People. The event resulted in Jordan crashing his car into a Hollywood, Calif., building, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
Anne Heche, the LGBTQ+ trailblazer who famously dated Ellen DeGeneres, passed away in August of last year following a car accident. Heche's death resulted in an outpouring of support from major figures in the industry.
Heche starred in the films Walking and Talking, Donnie Brasco, and the remake of Psycho.
During each Oscars award ceremony, the In Memoriam segment pays tribute to artists and filmmakers who died during the preceding year. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' digital magazine, the 95th Oscars In Memoriam remembered those who "made an indelible impact on the world of cinema." But while Heche, Jordan, and others are listed on the site's In Memoriam page, they were left absent from the live ceremony.
The segment was introduced by John Travolta and featured a stirring performance by Lenny Kravitz, who played a piano-based rendition of his 2004 hit "Calling All Angels." Among those featured during the sequence were Jean-Luc Godard, James Caan, Ray Liotta, Kirstie Alley, and Irene Papas. In addition to Jordan and Heche, other notable snubs include Tom Sizemore, Tony Sirico, and Charlbi Dean.
This is not the first time that a queer celebrity has been excluded from the Oscars In Memoriam. In 2017, actor Patricia Arquette told Vanity Fair’s Michelle Collins how "bummed" she was that her trans sister, Alexis Arquette, had been left out of that year's In Memoriam.
The Oscars pay tribute to the actors, filmmakers, executives and craftspeople who passed away over the past year with the Oscars 2023 In Memoriam.