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Top Ten: Non-Nominated Best Supporting Actresses, 1980s Division

Whew. That title is a mouthful. I know you already know what I mean though, you golden fiends. This very impromptu post is brought to you by a recent Tribeca revival screening of Martin Scorsese's indelible King of Comedy (1983) and this Movie Line interview with Sandra Bernhard herself -- to whom I'm dedicating the list -- who couldn't make it but definitely helped make the movie what it is. My one and only back and forth conversation with Sandra -- over Twitter, the sometimes leveler -- involved how freaking robbed she was for an Oscar nomination for that movie. I couldn't believe I was talking to her but I was not the least bit in doubt that she'd agree with me.

10 Best Non-Nominated Supporting Actress Performances of the 1980s

Honorable Mentions: I think Rosanna Arquette's "Surrender Dorothy" bit in After Hours was quite memorable though the rest of the movie has long since faded; I cherish Martha Plimpton in just about anything but mostly Shy People (1987) and Running on Empty (1988) back in her vibrant teenage River Phoenix-adjacent days.

I Apologize To: Kathy Baker in Street Smart, Mona Washbourne in Stevie (1981), Vanessa Redgrave in Prick up Your Ears and Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places who all won devoted fans for those performances in their respective years (and some awards buzz though not enough for Oscar) but, believe it or not, I haven't seen any of those movies!

10 Bridget Fonda, Scandal (1989)
and nine more divas after the jump...

Fonda had a short run in the movies, opting for family life with composer Danny Elfman instead of the eternally brutal hustle for good roles, but it's hard to not think of her cool barbie doll at the beginning and that needling fermented beach bunny in Jackie Brown near the end and not wonder what we missed out on once she left the screen. 

09 Genevieve Bujold, Dead Ringers (1988)
Is this a lead role? I haven't seen the movie in ages but Bujold was doing top notch intellectually and erotically charged work in the 80s (see also Choose Me... no, really, see it). Boy did she love her pills in this movie. It's not every actress who could so easily convince you that she had an a) mutant vagina and b) an insatiable appetite for pharmaceuticals and c) might actually be more disturbed than Jeremy Irons at his most disturbed. This is classic Cronenberg and we'll return to it this summer in the Hit Me With Your Best Shot series

08 Tracey Ullman, Plenty (1985)
When I think of this movie, I nearly always think of the weird electric jolt I felt when Ullman first entered the frame. Meryl Streep doesn't always fight for her scenes anymore (Viola Davis was superb in Doubt but Streep didn't even bother to challenge her for dominance there in what should have been a major showdown) but back in the 80s and early 90s it was super rare that she'd let someone wrestle them away without a fight. Annette Bening did it in her WHO IS THAT? cameo in Postcards from the Edge but Tracey Ullman was putting up a fight in just about every scene in this terrific movie debut.

07 Anjelica Huston, The Dead (1987) *sigh*
06 Lena Olin, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) *fans self* 

These two actresses were nominated together in 1989 for the now under-seen Enemies: A Love Story but as with many Oscar stories, the film being honored was only part of the story. They had momentum going into it. Huston, just off her Oscar win for Prizzi's Honor and starred for her father for the final time in the elegiac The Dead part of her productive and prestigious run from 1985-1991. Meanwhile Lena was parlaying her Bergman-related fame into an international coming-out party as a stunningly erotic star. I'm confident that I was way too young to fully appreciate either of these movies, and to some extent these women, when I first saw them. These two films were arthouse for adults in the late 80s and, much to their credit, were working as hard as their actresses for their artistic success.

05 Meiko Harada, Ran (1985)
I don't remember much about this movie other than the sprawling impressive visuals courtesy of the legendary Akira Kurosawa and Meiko Harada's absolutely terrifying work as Lady Kaide. I've never quite worked out why Asian actresses have such a hard time winning awards glory but at least the National Society of Film Critics stood up and applauded her with a Best Supporting Actress win.

04 Carmen Maura, Law of Desire (1987)
I promised this list would be off the top of my head... so forgive me that this probably belongs in the leading category but when I think of Law of Desire I have a difficult time pulling away from the scorching sex-a-thon of Antonio Banderas gayish thug. But once I do there's no question that the film's soul is Maura's lonely slip-clad transsexual. I saw this in short succession with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and there's still just no one like Maura for me as Almodovar muses go. 

03 Sonia Braga, Kiss of the Spider-Woman (1985)
No one speaks of Braga anymore and that's a shame. She was so damn good in the 80s and especially here in a tricky triple role. She played the mystical title character, the actress William Hurt obsesses over in film clips, and the lover of his cellmate Raul Julia. Interestingly enough Braga did have something of an awards presence. She was Golden Globe nominated for this film and for her also-fine comic work in Moon Over Parador (1988) which reunited her with Raul Julia three years later.

02 Sandra Bernhard, King of Comedy (1983)
Unnerving. Unhinged. Unforgettable.  

01 Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface (1983)
This is the role that temporarily defined Pfeiffer's icy mystique, before she refined it and thawed it just so, entering the pantheon with The Fabulous Baker Boys five years later. Elvira Hancock is one of about two handfuls of La Pfeiffer's inarguably great performances and she's one of the most enduring film characters of the 1980s, too. Michelle Pfeiffer never won many trophies but damn did she ever excel at playing one.

You may have noticed that my top two choices were from 1983. Cher and Linda Hunt were sucking up all the awards traction that year for Silkwood and The Year of Living Dangerously. And, well, it's all in the timing isn't it? Bernhardt was a ferocious unOscary newcomer giving a purposefully offputting star turn and no one was yet ready to take La Pfeiffer's craft seriously... the absurd beauty was still very much in the way. It was never going to happen for either but I've never forgotten or gotten over either of them. 

Which Oscar-dismissed supporting ladies do you often think of? 

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Reader Comments (62)

LOVE Margolyes, her 3 appearances on Graham Norton have made that show - but isn't it a 90's movie rather than an 80's movie?/Subtle hint to do the nineties if you ever have the time :P
Followed by a 00's and already, I mean Nicole clearly tops the list for the 10's, if that's a thing yet? :D

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermorganisaqt

Didn't Ann Sothern nominated for The Whales of August? It was the year where all Supporting Actress nominees were first-time nominee. Olympia Dukakis won.

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Number one = Pat Carroll in The Little Mermaid

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

PFEIFFER is NOT that good & I can think of several actress who never won/were not even nominated: Huppert-Rowlands-Close-Ardant...

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

in chronological order -

beverley d'angelo - coal miners daughter
karen allen - raiders of the lost ark
dana hill - shoot the moon
sandra bernhard - king of comedy
jan hooks - pee-wee's big adventure
tracey ullman - plenty
judi dench - a room with a view
mia farrow - radio days
martha plimpton - running on empty
mercedes ruehl - married to the mob

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

I believe Ann Sothern was nominated, Nathaniel, no? Am I wrong? Anyone?

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulien Faddoul

Beverly D'Angelo, Coal Miner's Daughter
Isabella Rossellini, Blue Velvet
Sandra Bernhard, The King of Comedy
Jennifer Grey, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Shelley Duvall, The Shining (Is it a supporting performance though? I don't consider Wendy a lead character.)
Mia Farrow, Radio Days and Broadway Danny Rose
Michelle Pfeiffer and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Scarface
Nancy Allen, Blow Out
Barbara Hershey, The Last Temptation of Christ
Theresa Russell, Insignificance

Bonus: Kathleen Turner as the voice of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

10 performances, chrono order:

Helen Mirren in 'The Long Good Friday'
Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez in 'Diva'
Sandra Bernhardt in 'The King of Comedy' (definitely #1 of these 10 performances)
Rebecca de Mornay in 'Risky Business'
Nastassja Kinski in 'Paris, Texas'
Lili Tomlin in 'All of Me'
Barbara Hershey in 'Hannah and Her Sisters'
Dianne Wiest in 'Radio Days'
Mia Farrow in 'Radio Days'
Anjelica Huston in 'Crimes and Misdemeanors'

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

,,Moore, Adjani, Deneuve, Ullman, Gainsboug, Williams...

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Elaine Stritch's acerbic over-the-hill movie star/gangster moll in Woody Allen's under-seen "September" is nothing short of brilliant.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Your Pfeiffer exercises are a gas. The ability you have to wedge her wherever you can while, concocting an elaborate but, noble ruse is Pulitzer worthy.

You must write a sole piece on Anjelica Huston. I like her too, yet I can feel your overreaching for compliments and I have a strong theory on why her career isn't exciting anyone in her base or herself for that matter.

I love Genevieve Bujold in Ringers — an actress who deserved more.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Nate, what do you mean by "fans self" in regard to Lena Olin?

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I think Dolly Parton's best screen performance is in Steel Magnolias, but I'm not sure it (or anything in that movie) needed nominating.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDusty


He's fanning himself because she's so hot.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I would add one name to that list, solely by the fact that I love the movies so much: Lea Thompson in Back to the Future trilogy. She was the teenager in 1955, she was two different types of mother in 1985 in two alternate universes (one of which was surgically-enhanced and alcoholic), she was the grandma in 2015. She even played another character in the third film.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Harada and Bujold, a 1000000000000 times YES!!! Both startling, complex performances. They mean so much for the movies they're in.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGustavo

Ann Sothern WAS indeed nominated!!

Great great list overall... I would add Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo

no mention of Laura San Giacomo in SEX LIES & VIDEOTAPE? i thought she was best in show in what is arguably Steven Soderbergh's best film

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkent

CHARLOTTE RAMPLING "Stardust Memories"('80)
SANDAHL BERGMAN "Conan the Barbarian"('82)
LAINIE KAZAN "My Favorite Year"('82)
DIANNE WIEST "Independence Day"('83)
BETTY BUCKLEY "Tender Mercies"('83)
TERI GARR "After Hours"('85)
ANITA MORRIS "Ruthless People"('86)
SALLY KELLERMAN "Someone to Love"('87)
JULIE WALTERS "Prick Up Your Ears"('87)
MELINDA DILLON "Staying Together"('89)

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Haven't watched too many films from 80s, here is my unsung list of supporting ladies

Jennifer Jason Leigh "Last Exit to Brooklyn"
Laura San Giacomo "Sex, Lies and Videotape"
Fiona Shaw "My Left Foot"

Maria Barranco "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"

Joan Chen and Vivian Wu "The Last Emperor"

Tilda Swinton "Caravaggio"
Laura Dern "Blue Velvet"

Judi Dench "A Room with a View"
Eileen Brennan and Madeline Kahn "Clue"

Nastassja Kinski "Paris, Texas"
Tuesday Weld "Once upon a Time in America"
Elizabeth Berridge "Amadeus"

Eileen Atkins "The Dresser"

Jane Birkin, Maggie Smith and Diana Rigg "Evil Under the Sun"

Ljiljana Blagojevic "Do You Remember Dolly Bell?"
Helen Mirren "Excalibur"

Anne Bancroft "The Elephant Man"
Paola Borboni "La Cage Aux Folles II"

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlasttimeisaw

Ken -- ooh, thanks for the off the beaten track list. I have always meant to see INDEPENDENCE DAY because i've heard that Wiest is sensational in it. and I definitely like Rampling and Bergman and Garr from your list.

April 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

PJ -- i do remember thinking that Lea Thompson was surprisingly good in the second part of that trilogy.

CMG -- i almost included Theresa Russell for Insignificance because i remember thinking she was great in her interpretation but then I thought "wasn't she the lead?" but the movie is a distant memory.

April 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

- I accept Carmen in the supporting actress category for Law of Desire if we include her in the leading one for Women.

- I sign your Huston/Olin paragraph

More names:
-Jessica Harper, Pennies from Heaven
-Barbara Harris, Peggy Sue Got Married
-Elaine Stritch, September
-Anne Bancroft, Torch Song Trilogy
-Shirley MacLaine, Steel Magnolias
-Laura San Giacomo, Sex, lies, and videotape

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

/3rtful -- right? I will wedge her in anywhere. It helps that she's so thin.

Alex -- i should see that again. I remember thinking it was underrated at the time (given that it arrived during a peak time for Woody and got a huge cold shoulder) and that Weist was amazing (when isn't she?) as the guilty adulteress but I have only slim recall of Stritch. which is weird since Stritch is such a legend and one of my best memories of life in terms of showbiz was seeing Stritch's one woman show "At Liberty" on Broadway.

April 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Michael C -- the worthiest of voice work surely. Pat Carroll as Ursula forevs.

stjeans -- "Pfeiffer is Not that good"... hmmm. I tried this sentence in Google Translate and it still doesn't make any sense to me.

peggy sue -- it's always been my dream to rewatch/watch for first time like 40 movies for each film year and do retroactive film bitch awards but when to ever find the time. would love to really dig into the early 80s (beyond the usual famous suspects) since i missed so many each year until the 90s.

April 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Elaine has this great scene in front of a dressing table in September. It would be an interesting Monday Monologue.

That would be worth reading, but time flies so fast! I must confess I'm always a bit scared when I re-watch a beloved film of mine of the 80s, but most times is worthy. The first time I saw The Dead I was 11 or so and no one in my family had died. When I saw it again more recently, I was deeply moved. It stayed with me for weeks.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

/3rtful -- regarding Anjelica Huston. I didn't actually write anythign that effusive this time - just a 'sigh" because she's lovely in that movie The Dead and just a statement that she was in the middle of a prestige run which you have to admit would be very silly to argue against.

Look at what she did in a seven-year period.

PRIZZI'S HONOR (Oscar win in a Best Picture nominee)
THE DEAD (Multiple Critical Orgasms. Classic Auteur's Final Film)
ENEMIES: A LOVE STORY (Oscar nomination)
CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (Bafta nomination, critical raves)
THE GRIFTERS (Oscar nomination. And an almost Best Picture nominee)
THE WITCHES (adaptation of classic, passionate pockets of critical support)
and capped it off with...
ADDAMS FAMILY (Golden Globe nomination, Mainstream Blockbuster!)

that's QUITE a run that anyone would be proud of full stop. no overreach I understand you're a Kathy Bates partisan so you probably have issues with my very tiny issues with Bates win for Misery (my concrete opinion: the Oscar should have gone to Meryl or Anjelica that year but since they'd both won and Bates was a worthy/unusual nominee (and probably my Bronze Medalist, it was definitely a fine result.)

April 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel- That is a hard movie to figure out regarding lead and supporting since it is a split up ensemble but her Marilyn is definitely the most memorable thing about it.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG


1. Sandra Bernhard, The King of Comedy (this is genius stuff from any angle.)
2. Joan Chen, The Last Emperor (crazily good, doing loads to elevate her prestige fare)
3. Katharine Helmond, Brazil (juicy passive aggressive goodness wrung out by Gilliam)
4. Nastassja Kinski, Paris, Texas (She only really has a single (9 minute continuous) scene, but she nails it)
5. Kim Greist, Brazil (Jonathan Pryce's completely inscrutable object of desire.)
6. Catherine O'Hara, Beetlejuice (Do I need to say anything? This is was her peak moment.)
7. Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface (The semi-unknowable, whacked out of her head trophy wife of Tony Montana.)
8. Penelope Milford, Heathers ("Emotional outpouring, of emotion." It's a thin character given unusual amounts of weight and gravity, even with the occasionally floaty line deliveries.)
9. Kathleen Turner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Sue me for having not seen enough, but voice work still needs some stumping.)
10. Ruby Dee, Do the Right Thing (No, she's nowhere close to, say, Aiello, but she's still a nice cool glass of sympathy in the film. I think, at least, that this perf is a lot of the reason why she wound up nominated for "the slap.")

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I come across as an unreliable source. Yes, I am a Bates partisan also, a hostile enemy combatant of Streep mythology but, I cannot wrap my head around, Huston ever being her equal (Streep's) or, would have been as effective as Bates in the same role (Misery).

My Huston on the contraries aren't centered on the 63rd Best Actress race. Consider the advantage she had over Bates, after the '91 ceremony, thinness and exotic flare. You mean to tell me she couldn't parlay any of those traits into something desirable for Hollywood? Were they being ignored or simply her competition of other actresses is usually stronger than the impressions she makes?

As I said I like Huston too, and loved her as kid. She's done plenty of '91 that should have been taken more seriously but, her underrated martyrdom is a huge stretch of suspension of disbelief.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

3rtful -- where are you getting "underrated martyrdom" from. Hmmmm.

Volvagia -- yeah, do the right thing definitely helped with her legacy and thus with her nomination for The Slap though it's possible it would have happened without that.

April 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Wow, there are some SENSATIONAL choices on that list and some of the others--I especially like Pfeiffer, Huston, Maura and Bujold (but I'd nominate her for her astonishing work in "Choose Me"). Also Farrow and Thompson, who both deserved serious props for their comedic work.

And a few more:

1) Vanessa Redgrave, "Prick Up Your Ears"--never sexier or funnier (YOU MUST SEE THIS!)
2) Ally Sheedy "The Breakfast Club"--her deadpan line readings are immortal
3) Dee Wallace, "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"--the warm, earthy center of the movie
4) Barbara Hershey, "Hannah and Her Sisters" (watch the lunch scene with the 3 again)
5) Michelle Pfeiffer, "Sweet Liberty"
6) Miranda Richardson, "Empire of the Sun"
7) Melinda Kinnaman, "My Life As A Dog"
8-9) Mark Kay Place & JoBeth Williams, "The Big Chill"
10) Dianne Wiest, "Radio Days"

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDback

And I completely forgot one of my all-time favorite comedic performances: Carrie Fisher in "When Harry Met Sally..." Bliss. (Fisher also wrote several of her most trenchant lines.)

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDback

Volvagia - I 100% agree on Catherine O'Hara in Beetlejuice. I think the very first time that young Mike in Canada started reading nominations lists and realized she hadn't been nominated that year, it was my first (naive) taste of Oscar outrage.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Definitely O'Hara in Beetlejuice.

And that blonde actress in She-Devil (although it's usually considered a co-lead, I disagree).

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Ouch, that top five is pretty flaw free. My favorite actually being Meiko Harada, who was sensational and a pure fireball of vengeful passion in Ran.

I saw Kiss of the Spider-Woman for the first time just last year and I remember questioning why neither of Hurt's excellent co-stars were Oscar nominated, Braga included. She was fantastic! In three roles! Totally different styles of acting! Nails them!

Someone mentioned Nastassja Kinski in Paris, Texas and I'd like to champion her as well. The furry red sweater, that claustrophobic play room, the blonde hair, the beautiful sad empty eyes. She was serving January Jones before January Jones. Her hidden dance she does with Harry Dean Stanton is the real soul of that film.

Anyways, fun topic and great list!

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Cathy Tyson in "Mona Lisa," though it's arguably a lead.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterzig

...you haven't seen Trading Places?

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScottieboy

Actually 11 because I have a couple of split decisions in two films. In descending order.

11. Amanda Donohoe-Lair of the White Woman (a true case of separating the performance, which was terrific, from the film, which was not.
10. Rosemary Leach-A Room With a View (Maggie Smith was great but I thought Mrs. Honeychurch was a delight any time she appeared on screen.)
8 & 9. Bette Midler & Anita Morris-Ruthless People (Not sure if Bette would really be a lead but she's sidelined for portions of the film so I'm going supporting. Both are brilliant!)
7. Martha Plimpton-Running on Empty (Not always a fan but she is great here. A crime that Christine Lahti wasn't nommed for Best Actress for this!!!)
6. Vanessa Redgrave-Prick Up Your Ears (delicious)
5. Mia Farrow-Radio Days (a shame she was never recognized for any of her work but I think this is her most enjoyable and perhaps her most varied)
4. Melinda Dillon-A Christmas Story (Her quite subtle work is so vital to the success of the film)
3. Anne Bancroft-Torch Song Trilogy (Some find her work over the top but knowing women just like her I think she is remarkably true. Watching her final scene with Arnold is watching a master at work.)
1 & 2. Glenda Jackson & Julie Christie-Return of the Soldier (Both cast against type, Glenda the kindly housewife and Julie the haughty bitch, each is equally brilliant. Again not sure if either would be considered a lead since both have about the same screen time, Ann-Margret would be supporting and she is excellent but her character isn't given much to do. But to go up against acting titans Glenda, Julie and Alan Bates and hold your own deserves some kind of prize.)

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Nat,i did what you want to do took me almost 2 years to do a complete 80 - 89 acting category,stevie is actually a 78 release so i include that there because it was eligible in 78 as it showed in la and new york for 1 week.here are some of my supporting non nommed female perfromances

80- blythe danner - the great santini,debra winger - urban cowboy and rampling
81 - kate reid - atlantic city,jessica harper - pennies from heaven
82 - claire trevor - kiss me goodbye,lisa blount - an officer and a gentlemen
83 - pfeiffer of course,eileen atkins- the dresser,kelly mcgillis - reuben reuben plus dianne wiest
84 - elizabeth berridge - amadeus,amy madigan - places in the heart
85- - caroline kava - year of the dragon plus sonia braga
86- cathy tyson - mona lisa,jo harvey allen - true stories,carrien henn - aliens
87 - veronica cartwright - the witches of eastwick plus huston,redgrave and baker
88 - dian venora - bird,sandy dennis - another woman plus reuhl and olin
89 - shirley maclain - steel magnolias,carrie fisher - when harry met sally

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark



April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Oh and María Barranco in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown! Like Maura, she juggles so much in every scene. And her makeover is fabulous. And short of Rossy de Palma's shit-smelling looks of disapproval, she gives all the best faces.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

1988 is just impossible! When it comes to actresses there are like 20 choices in both categories

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Julieta Serrano (Lucia)--Women on the Verge (my favorite comedy of all time)
Isabelle Adjani--Subway (Iroquois!)
Daryl Hannah--Splash, Roxanne and Blade Runner
Anjelica Huston--The Dead (what a great film)
Joanna Cassidy--Blade Runner
Kathleen Turner--Crimes of Passion

Plus I agree with most of the already mentioned.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Henry -- well, lead actresses is a whole nother thing and i love some of those, too.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Anne Bancroft, 'The Elephant Man.'

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Also, Anjelica Huston's omission from the Supporting Actress category in 1987 is a head-scratcher. Not only was she really great, but 'The Dead' was on the Academy's radar and the field that year was rather weak. Plus, it was her father's last film...

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

I am not nearly well-versed enough in or have a good enough memory of 80s cinema to even know which great Supporting Actresses weren't nominated, but from this list I LOVE Meiko Harada, Sonia Braga and Lena Olin.

Of the other suggestions I will definitely co-sign on Catherine O'Hara in Beetlejuice, which is a flat-out genius comic turn, Pat Carroll's inimitable voice work in The Little Mermaid, and Veronica Cartwright in The Witches of Eastwick, who just goes so far above and beyond.

I would add Eileen Brennan and Madeline Kahn in Clue, and Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Thank GOD Oscar came through and Jacki Weaver's performance in Animal Kingdom is not on this list.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I can't rank them but here's the ten I came up with:

Anjelica Huston - Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Paulina Porizkova - Anna (1987)
Edie McClurg - Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Jenette Goldstein - Aliens (1986)
Mieko Harada - Ran (1985)
Grace Jones - A View to a Kill (1985)
Lesley Ann Warren - Clue (1985)
Eileen Brennan - Clue (1985)
Melinda Dillon - A Christmas Story (1983)
Kate Reid - Atlantic City (1981)

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean Troutman

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