"As of April 25, 2021, there were recorded over 3 million souls lost around the world to COVID alone," she shared. "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."
"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," she continued. "Let us as one community say thank you, you will remain, as we remember you in our hearts, always."
This In Memoriam segment had even more stars to honor, due to the fact that it's been more than a full year since the last Academy Awards ceremony, and many past Oscar winners and nominees have died over the last 14 months.
The segment paid a powerful tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who has the distinction of being the only posthumously nominated actor at this year's show, for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman died in August following a battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
Oscar-winning performers who were honored in the segment included Sean Connery -- who died in October at age 90 -- as well as Cloris Leachman, who died in January at age 94, and Christopher Plummer, who died in February due to complications from a fall. He was 91.
The segment also honored two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland, who died in July at the age of 104.
The segment also celebrated the lives of many past Oscar nominees, including Hal Holbrook, Ian Holm, George Segal, Cicely Tyson and Max von Sydow, among others.