Oscars: Halle Berry Pays Tribute to Lena Horne

Despite being criticized for the lack of black nominees, Oscar pays homage to the legendary actress and singer.

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Oscar winner Halle Berry pays tribute to legend Lena Horne.

The 83rd Academy Awards aired last night, and The King's Speech cleaned up, winning four awards, including best director, best actor, best director and best screenplay. The surprise of the evening came in a tribute to Lena Horne. In a year in which Peter Graves (who was left out of the "in memoriam" segment, not to mention Corey Haim), Jill Clayburgh, Dennis Hopper, Dino De Laurentiis and Lynn Redgrave passed away, Oscar had a terrific pool of actors to honor. The Academy chose Horne, who was introduced by Halle Berry, the first African-American woman to win a best actress Oscar, in a lovely tribute. Not everyone was pleasantly surprised by the tribute.

Comedian Sinbad tweeted: "Funny whenever there are no current black actors being nominated they go deep in the vault and do a tribute to a black actor/actress."

We don't know about deep in the vault, because Horne's illustrious career warrants such a tribute. We get his cynicism at including Horne while excluding contemporary artists. Nonetheless, it is always inspiring to see and remember Horne, even if it is in the context of an awards show. After all, she is as much a legend as the others, if not more.

Read more at TV Squad. Watch video of the "In Memoriam" segment and Halle's intro of Lena Horne's tribute.

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