Betting on the last person to appear in the In Memoriam sequence during the Academy Awards may be a morbid betting proposition but one thinks that Bwin’s novelty market has more than the wrong favourite – it has the wrong favourites.
Leonard Nimoy was the last person to feature in last year’s Academy Awards In Memoriam package and Bwin is tipping that another deceased star who found fame in science fiction will be this year’s feature tribute. Carrie Fisher, who died of cardiac arrest between Christmas and New Year, is Bwin’s Academy Awards In Memoriam false favourite.
One is not doubting that Fisher was much loved in Hollywood but she did not receive a single Academy Awards nomination throughout her career in which, most famously, she starred as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars film series. And that is only one of the obvious knocks against Fisher. Another is that it will be difficult for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to favour Fisher over her even more famous mother, Debbie Reynolds, who died one day after her troubled daughter passed away. One would be very surprised if either Fisher or Reynolds – Bwin’s favourite and sixth favourite respectively – was the last person to appear in this year’s Academy Awards In Memoriam item.
Bwin is offering fairly short odds about Leonard Cohen, George Michael and Prince as well. Cohen had no Academy Awards pedigree and neither did Michael so one cannot have either the Canadian or the Briton ahead of one’s selection. Prince, however, did lift the Best Original Song Score gong at the Academy Awards for Purple Rain so he could win but one cannot go past Gene Wilder at odds of +800 with Bwin.
Wilder, who died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in August, had kept knowledge of his condition private so the world was shocked to hear of his death. According to Wilder’s nephew, Jordan-Walker Pearlman, the 83-year-old actor had not wanted to sadden his young fans who has watched him playing Willy Wonka in his most iconic role.
While Wilder did not pick up an Academy Award he did receive two nominations – his first for Best Supporting Actor as Leo Bloom in The Producer and his second for Best Adapted Screenplay for his Young Frankenstein work alongside Mel Brooks. So the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were fans of Wilder’s efforts on and off the silver screen.
Wilder, Mary Tyler Moore, Fisher and Reynolds were the last four people featured in the Screen Actors Guild Awards In Memoriam segment earlier this month. One suspects that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not want to copy the Screen Actors Guild so that is another negative for Fisher and Reynolds. Headlining Wilder would go down well with the audience both in and out of the Dolby Theatre.
This year’s Academy Awards will take place on Sunday 26 February and one does not expect Bwin to trade its market until the day of the event because of security issues.
Gene Wilder to appear last In Memoriam
Academy Awards, 26th February 2017
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