The “In Memoriam” segment at the Academy Awards generates controversy pretty much every year for the people it leaves out (this year’s snubs: Gary Shandling and Florence Henderson), but it doesn’t usually go so far as using a photo of a person who is, in fact, alive.
In keeping with this particular ceremony’s track record of massive and unprecedented blunders, a photo of 100 percent living Australian producer Jan Chapman was used next to the name of Australian costume designer Janet Patterson, who died in October 2015.
“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson,” Chapman told Variety over email. “I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up. I am alive and well and an active producer.”
Patterson, a frequent Jane Campion collaborator, was nominated for four Academy Awards for her work on The Piano, Portrait of a Lady, Oscar and Lucinda, and Bright Star. Her last film credit was 2015's lovely Far from the Madding Crowd.