Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Jennifer Aniston pays tribute to lost friends at the 2017 Oscars


In 2016, we lost many of the acting world’s great and good – and so it’s only fitting that they should be remembered at the 2017 Oscars.

Dressed in a shimmering Versace gown, Jennifer Aniston took to the stage to lead this year’s In Memoriam tribute at the Academy Awards.

Noting that the producers of the montage had not had time to include the late Bill Paxton, who tragically died just hours earlier, the Friends star took it upon herself to pay homage to the late Titanic actor.

Read more: Viola Davis steals the show at the 2017 Oscars with empowered speech

Beginning her speech with a nod to the late Prince and Carrie Fisher, Aniston said: “Whether a Prince leading the musical revolution, or a princess leading a rebellion in a galaxy far far away, every one was a cherished member of our Hollywood family.”

After taking a moment to compose herself, Aniston continued: “As was beloved friend and actor who left us just yesterday, Bill Paxton.

“Let us remember their lives and their beautiful work. All were loved, and all will be missed.”

As Sara Bareilles sang a cover of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, images of Mary Tyler Moore, Gene Wilder, Kenny Baker, John Hurt, Prince, Robert Vaughn, Anton Yelchin, Garry Marshall, Garry Shandling, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Debbie Reynolds, and Carrie Fisher flashed across the screen.

Alan Rickman and David Bowie were not included in the montage, as they had been already remembered at last year’s ceremony.

Read more: La La Land incorrectly announced as Oscars’ best Picture winner over Moonlight

Paxton died on Saturday at the age of 61, after suffering a stroke because of issues stemming from his recent heart operation.

Best known for his work on films such as Twister, True Lies, and A Simple Plan, his unexpected passing cast a shadow over the 89th Oscars ceremony.

Bill Paxton died on Saturday 25 February at the age of 61

Bill Paxton died on Saturday 25 February at the age of 61

A statement released by his family on Sunday read: “A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and film-maker.

“Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”

Read more: The best behind-the-scenes pictures from the 2017 Oscars

At the time of his death, he was working on a crime thriller TV series - Training Day - for the US network CBS.

He played a morally dubious LAPD officer, Detective Frank Rourke.

Shortly after his death was announced, celebrities took to Twitter to pay homage to Paxton.

Jamie Lee Curtis, who co-starred with Paxton in True Lies in 1994: “Nooooo. Bill Paxton is gone. Such a funny, talented, loving human.”

Tom Hanks, who appears with Paxton in the forthcoming film The Circle, said: “Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man.”

And Arnold Schwarzenegger, who acted alongside him in Terminator and True Lies, said: “Bill Paxton could play any role, but he was best at being Bill - a great human being with a huge heart. My thoughts are with his family.”

Images: Rex Pictures


viola davis].jpg

Viola Davis’ empowering speech completely stole the show at the Oscars

emma stone best actress oscars 2017.jpg

Emma Stone uses Oscars 2017 dress to make powerful feminist statement

Watch Moonlight win over La La Land at the Oscars 2017

Oscars 2017: La La Land incorrectly announced as Best Picture winner


8-year-old bug enthusiast defies bullies to co-author scientific paper

Sophia Spencer was mocked for her love of bugs – but she’s now a published expert

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Shania Twain is touring the UK: here’s everything you need to know

2018 is shaping up nicely

by Amy Swales
20 Sep 2017

Why Avril Lavigne is the ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search online

Think twice before clicking on that link.

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Serena Williams writes an emotional open letter to her mother

“You are one of the strongest women I know”

by Susan Devaney
20 Sep 2017

Handmaid’s Tale star confirms secret wedding in most low-key way ever

“We ended up jumping in the lake in our suit and gown, just to cool off”

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Sep 2017

Andy Murray defends female tennis players – again

Once more proving himself a feminist ally

by Susan Devaney
19 Sep 2017

All the best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Sienna Miller’s backstage abode to Poppy Delevingne’s new look

by Nicola Colyer
19 Sep 2017

Hillary Clinton tweets a killer comeback to Donald Trump – again

After he shares a GIF of himself hitting her with a golf ball

by Susan Devaney
18 Sep 2017

Gossip Girl fans, this is who was originally set to play Serena

Things would have been VERY different…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Sep 2017

You have to read Lena Waithe’s awe-inspiring Emmy acceptance speech

The Master of None star is the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing

by Moya Crockett
18 Sep 2017