Jeff Conaway was missing from last night’s Emmy memorial presentation. What happened?
It happens every year: Someone important is left out of the Emmy memorial presentation. This year fans were left indignant that actor Jeff Conaway was among the missing.
Conaway, who started his career on stage and the big screen — you’ll recognize him from Grease — eventually moved over to TV, starting with a role on Happy Days and later winding up in the original cast of the hit show Taxi, playing out-of-work actor Bobby Wheeler.
While he never won an Emmy (he was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards), his television career spanned four decades and included some hit shows such as Mary Tyler Moore, Kojak, Murder, She Wrote, The Love Boat, Who’s the Boss, Hotel, Hope and Gloria and Babylon 5, as well as daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful.
Also surprisingly snubbed? Jerry Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo Len Lesser and Clarice Taylor of The Cosby Show. The Oscars left out Farrah Fawcett after her death.
In response to media attention over the misplaced honor, the Emmys posted this message on their website:
“Unfortunately, due to inevitable time limitations, the producers of the telecast are not able to include all of the worthy television professionals who have passed away from year to year. Therefore, in an effort to pay tribute to as many people as possible, the Television Academy created an In Memoriam database on its website, Emmys.tv.”
Jeff Conaway died in May after struggling with addiction for much of his adult life.