Thursday, May 23, 2024

Yikes! Oscar Winning “Platoon” Producer Arnold Kopelson and “Star Wars” Producer Gary Kurtz Also Omitted from In Memoriam


I’m getting all kinds of emails this evening about the Oscars In Memoriam– and I’m on plane!!

The Academy really really goofed. They left out Oscar winning “Platoon” producer Arnold Kopelson and Gary Kurtz, nominated for producing “Star Wars.”

Jeez Louise.

Arnold Kopelson was beloved. Beloved! He also produced movies like “The Fugitive” and “US Marshalls.” The Kopelsons are an integral part of the Hollywood community for more than 40 years. What went wrong here? You can’t believe the mail I got on this one.

Gary Kurtz not only produced the original “Star Wars” movie, now called “A New Hope,” but he also co-produced George Lucas’s “America Graffiti” with Francis Ford Coppola, his first Oscar nomination. He also produced “The Empire Strikes Back” (the second “Star Wars” movie at that time), and Monte Hellman’s classic “Two Lane Blacktop.”

Yesterday I wrote about the other glaring omissions including Carol Channing and Stanley Donen.

It seems like if we’re going to support the new, very expensive Academy Museum, then we’ve got to pay respects to the people who made the museum possible content-wise.

So I will make this offer to the Academy for next year. Free of charge, no salary, nothing– I will personally vet the In Memoriam names starting mid December right  through the morning of the Oscars– February 9, 2020. Please, let me do it. No one wants mistakes like these. And I’m happy to help.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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