On Sunday night, Lakers icon Kobe Bryant was remembered at the 2020 Oscars.
Introducing Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell's performance of the Beatles’ “Yesterday” in the In Memoriam segment, famed director Steven Spielberg told the star-studded audience, “This evening, as we celebrate the artistic highlights of the past year, we also pause to remember those from our community who we lost, legends and icons, our friends and fellow artists, all who inspired and touched us.”
“They have left an indelible imprint on our industry, our imaginations and our understanding of the world,” Spielberg added.
Kobe's was the first face to appear in the tribute, which also honored Rip Torn, Diahann Carroll, Catherine Burns, Danny Aiello, Robert Forster, Machiko Kyō, Anna Karina, Fernando Luján, André Previn, Peter Mayhew, Sylvia Miles, Godfrey Gao, Doris Day, Seymour Cassel, Peter Fonda, John Singleton, Kirk Douglas, and others.
Before the show, “Extra’s” Billy Bush spoke with Billie, who dished on the performance. Watch!
Some of the stars fans noticed were missing from the segment included Luke Perry (whose final film was the Oscar-nominated "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"), Michael J. Pollard, Sue Lyon, Carol Lynley, René Auberjonois, Jan-Michael Vincent, Valentina Cortese, Valerie Harper, Sid Haig, Katherine Helmond, Ron Leibman, Bill Macy, Morgan Woodward, Tim Conway and Cameron Boyce, among others.
Earlier in the show, NFL player Matthew A. Cherry paid tribute to Kobe after winning Best Animated Short for his work on “Hair Love.” Cherry became the second athlete to win the award after Kobe in 2018 for his work on “Dear Basketball.”
Cherry said, “This award is dedicated to Kobe Bryant. May we all have a second act as great as his was."
On the red carpet, director Spike Lee honored Kobe by wearing a purple-and-gold tuxedo with #24 on the front and back. That was the number that Kobe wore for the second half of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 62-year-old also paired his tux with purple glasses and Nike kicks designed by Bryant.
Just days before presenting at the Oscars, Lee opened up about Kobe’s shocking death. He told “Extra’s” Mark Wright, “I’m still shook, I’m still shook.... It’s like some Greek tragedy, some kind of crazy thing, and with his daughter… especially here, L.A. is the epicenter. I just got here this morning and I see on the bus, everywhere, you can’t miss it.”
“L.A., the world, but especially L.A., he grew up here, came in when he was 17 years old, and again, all of us human beings, and I include myself, we take for granted this great gift we have of being alive,” Lee emphasized about Kobe, who played his entire career for the Lakers. “But tomorrow’s not guaranteed and I know I was not the only one, I know I was not the only husband in the world that hugged his wife and kids. I did, and that’s the first thing you think about.”
Two weeks ago, Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Giana, and seven other victims perished after their helicopter went down in Calabasas, California. They were on their way to the Mamba Academy, where Gianna’s team was scheduled to play basketball.