The inclusion of young “Glee” actor Cory Monteith among individual salutes at the Emmy Awards was a tough topic on the red carpet.
Monteith, who was 31 when he died in July of a drug overdose, was chosen by show producers over such veteran actors and Emmy nominees as Larry Hagman of “Dallas,” Charles Durning of “Evening Shade” and Jack Klugman of “The Odd Couple.”
“Cory had a very special place in our cultural history this year,” said Mayim Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory.” '‘It’s such a hard thing to handle either way. Different people are honored for different reasons.”
Veteran actress Margo Martindale of the new show “The Millers” called Hagman, Durning and Klugman “icons for me.”
“Everyone should be included,” she said. “Is it that there could only be so many people and so little time?”
The individual segments were in addition to the traditional “in memoriam” piece that groups together industry members who died in the past year.
Monteith was by far the youngest of the individuals singled out and had never been nominated for an Emmy.
Others honored individually were “The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton of “All in the Family,” comedian and actor Jonathan Winters and “Family Ties” producer Gary David Goldberg.