Lupe Ontiveros’ Family And Friends Angered By Oscars In Memorium Omission

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February 26, 2013 | 2:26pm EST

The producers of the 2013 Oscars have come under fire from activists at the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts after omitting actress Lupe Ontiveros from Sunday’s In Memorium segment.
The veteran Latina, best known for playing convicted killer Yolander Saldivar in the 1997 biopic Selena, lost her battle with liver cancer last July but she was not included in the ceremony’s televised tribute to the stars who have died in the past year, despite featuring in films like As Good As It Gets and The Goonies.
George Clooney, who introduced the somber In Memorium footage, warned viewers that not everyone would be featured, telling the audience, “For for those friends who are on this list tonight, and many others who aren’t, we thank you for the memories.”
But Ontiveros’ son, Elias, tells the whole family was “disappointed” by his mother’s absence from the special segment, and now a spokesperson for the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts has hit out at telecast producers, insisting the omission speaks volumes about the relationship between the Latino community and those in Hollywood.
Chairman and organization co-founder Felix Sanchez tells Fox News Latino, “The Oscar telecast tried to move forward with Family Guy humor (with creator Seth MacFarlane as host), but what would Consuela (the housekeeper in the animated comedy) have said about the failure to acknowledge Lupe Ontiveros’ death? While Lupe Ontiveros may not have had Ernest Borgnine’s storied career, she brought humor and reality to her roles.
“U.S. Latino actors remain mostly on the lower rungs of official Hollywood. The catch-22 comes from the disparity of the work: Latino actors of Lupe’s generation played mostly low socioeconomic roles, and despite this truth, Lupe’s filmology is substantial and many of her acting film credits are from films honored by their inclusion in the Library of Congress’ prestigious National Film Registry.”
Ontiveros was not the only star missing from the In Memorium line-up – actors Larry Hagman, Phyllis Diller, Sherman Hemsley and Andy Griffith were also overlooked, as was playwright and director Gore Vidal, among others.