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O'Connell was with dying mom while being bashed at Oscars

March 1, 2007 |  3:52 pm


Oscar's biggest loser Kevin O'Connell is ignoring the slap he got from one winner of the sound-mixing award who dissed him back in the press room soon after claiming the statuette that's eluded O'Connell so far.

"I think Kevin should go away with 19 nominations," "Dreamgirls" champ Michael Minkler told reporters. "Kevin is an OK mixer, but he should take up another line of work."

When I contacted O'Connell via email to ask for a response, I was not aware of a tragic development in his personal life. He replied: "As you may or may not know, my mother Skippy passed away on Sunday night right after the Oscars. I was holding her in my arms when she died. I was not made aware of Mr. Minkler's comments until Monday morning. I have not seen them personally and at this point I have no intention of looking at them or reading about them. I'll get back to you when I get that far down on my list of what is important to me. Take care, Kevin."

Two days ago Kris Tapley of asked O'Connell's sound-mixing partner, Greg P. Russell, for a reply to Minkler's press-room outburst. Russell responded by being far less diplomatic, insisting that Minkler wasn't joshing: "He was absolutely sincere with that BULLS**T. That man has lost whatever respect he had from a ton of people. Kevin, mind you, left the ceremonies right after our award and went to the hospital where his mother passed away in his arms at 11:32 pm. As if Kevin didn't have enough to deal with. He wakes up to this bullshit."

Back in November I interviewed O'Connell for the Times' first Envelope Oscar print supplement of this season and conducted a podcast chat with him for Gold Derby. (CLICK HERE to read or listen.) The Envelope offers the deepest condolences to a top film talent upon having suffered — all that Oscar stuff aside — the biggest loss of all.

Photo: "Apocalypto" sound mixer O'Connell has been a good sport about his frustrating quest for overdue academy acknowledgment. "I haven't won the award yet," he told Gold Derby last November, "but I've had a good run!" It's likely that he'll be nominated next for "Spider-Man 3" since he received past bids for "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 2."