Although both actresses may be best known for their roles on TV, their career highlights include prominent films. Fawcett won critical acclaim for 1986's "Extremities;" Arthur acted opposite Lucille Ball in 1974's "Mame." Both earned recognition from other awards committees during their life: Fawcett's work won her multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations; Arthur held a Tony and Emmy awards under her belt.
In a statement to Radar Online, Academy Awards executive producer Bruce Davis conceded it's impossible to include every actor and actress who passed away every year. (Patrick Swayze, Natasha Richardson, Ron Silver, David Carradine and Dom DeLuise were among those who made the telecast's tribute.)
“It is the single most troubling element of the Oscar show every year," Davis said. "Because more people die each year than can possibly be included in that segment. You are dropping people who the public knows. It’s just not comfortable."
Academy publicity director Leslie Unger echoed Davis in an e-mail statement to ABCNews.com. "It's impossible to include everyone who passed away during any given year," she said. "Very difficult decisions have to be made and no matter who is included, there will always be a hundred more who are not."
What do you think about Fawcett and Arthur being left out of this year's Oscars?
– Sheila Marikar