Thewas a time of celebration, but it also marked an occasion to remember stars who died over the last year.
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Several tribute segments were incorporated into the awards show Sunday night at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
Among those honored was Cory Monteith, the "Glee" star.
"Cory was a beautiful soul," said his co-star Jane Lynch. "He was not perfect, which so many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction."
There was some controversy over the producers' decision to hold a special tribute for Monteith, who never received an Emmy nomination or win during his lifetime.
Jack Klugman meanwhile,, had three Emmy wins and another seven nominations during his career but did not receive a tribute segment during this year's awards show.
Some, including Klugman's son, saw this as a snub.
"It's an insult," said Adam Klugman in an interview with the Associated Press, "and it really seems typical of this youth-centric culture that has an extremely short attention span and panders to only a very narrow demographic" of young adults.
Others came out to defend the segment.
"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."
Later on in the evening, Edie Falco, who playedwife Carmela on "The Sopranos," presented a tribute to her former on-screen husband, who died in June after suffering a heart attack in Rome. Gandolfini was 51.
Falco, who now stars in "Nurse Jackie," said she was very lucky to know "Jim the man."
"And it's Jim the man, the very dear man, that I will miss most of all."
There were several other memorial segments presented throughout the night.
Rob Reiner honored his "All in the Family" co-star; Robin Williams remembered his friend and mentor ; and Michael J. Fox paid tribute to "Family Ties" producer Gary David Goldberg.