"You will remain, as we remember you in our hearts always."
Angela Bassett was on hand to introduce the ceremony's In Memoriam, beginning with a quote from Civil Rights activist Vernon Jordan: "We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give."
"In 2020, we were united by loss," Bassett said onstage. "As of April 25, 2021, there were recorded over 3 million souls lost around the world to COVID alone. Considering the enormity of our collective loss, and the often incomprehensible times we're living through, we wish to also acknowledge those precious lives lost to the violence of inequality, injustice, hatred, racism, and poverty."
"To all of those who left our lives too soon, we cherish the moments that we had the honor of having with you," she continued. "Tonight, we want to celebrate the artists who gave us permission to dream, the technical pioneers and innovators who expanded our experience of movie love. Let us, as one community, say: thank you."
Set to Stevie Wonder's "As," the video tribute honored such greats as directors Michael Apted and Joel Schumacher, actors Sean Connery, Irrfan Khan and Hal Holbrook, actresses Dame Diana Rigg, Olivia de Havilland and Cloris Leachman, and composer Ennio Morricone, among others.
Take a moment to look back in remembrance on everyone we lost this past year in the In Memoriam video below: