Academy Awards: 1981-1983

53rd Academy Awards

The 53rd Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 1980, were presented March 31, 1981. The ceremony was originally scheduled for the previous day, but was postponed due to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
Johnny Carson was the host. The year’s winner of acting categories marked the closest age span between the four winners, all of whom were under 40 when they won the award. Robert De Niro was aged 37 when awarded Best Actor, Sissy Spacek was aged 31 when awarded Best Actress, Timothy Hutton was aged 20 when awarded Best Supporting Actor, and Mary Steenburgen was aged 28 when awarded Best Supporting Actress. In addition, Hutton was the youngest ever Best Supporting Actor winner.

Best Supporting Actress nominee Eva Le Gallienne was born in 1899, which made her the last acting nomination to ever happen at the Oscars for someone born in the 19th century.

Here are the nominees and winners of the acting categories, as well as Best Picture and Best Director:

Best Picture

Winner: Ordinary People

Coal Miner’s Daughter
The Elephant Man
Raging Bull

Best Director

Winner: Robert Redford – Ordinary People

David Lynch – The Elephant Man
Martin Scorsese – Raging Bull
Richard Rush – The Stunt Man
Roman Polanski – Tess

Best Actor

Winner: Robert De Niro – Raging Bull

Robert Duvall – The Great Santini
John Hurt – The Elephant Man
Jack Lemmon – Tribute
Peter O’Toole – The Stunt Man

Best Actress

Winner: Sissy Spacek – Coal Miner’s Daughter

Ellen Burstyn – Resurrection
Goldie Hawn – Private Benjamin
Mary Tyler Moore – Ordinary People
Gena Rowlands – Gloria

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Timothy Hutton – Ordinary People

Judd Hirsch – Ordinary People
Jason Robards – Melvin and Howard
Michael O’Keefe – The Great Santini
Joe Pesci – Raging Bull

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Mary Steenburgen – Melvin and Howard

Eileen Brennan – Private Benjamin
Eva Le Gallienne – Resurrection
Cathy Moriarty – Raging Bull
Diana Scarwid – Inside Moves

54th Academy Awards

The 54th Academy Awards were presented March 29, 1982. The ceremonies were presided over by Johnny Carson.

Chariots of Fire was the surprise winner (Reds was the favored nominee) of the Best Picture Oscar this year. It was the first time in 13 years that a British film won the Academy’s top honor. Next year’s winner, Gandhi, was also a British production.

Henry Fonda won his only competitive Oscar this year, as Best Actor for On Golden Pond. At 76 years of age, Fonda became the oldest winner in the Best Actor category in Academy history. The only other nomination he received in his career was Best Actor for his performance in The Grapes of Wrath 41 years ago – a record gap between acting nominations. His co-star, Katharine Hepburn, won her fourth Best Actress award that year, making it the most amount of Best Actress wins by any actress.

This year’s nominations also marked for the very first time that there’s three different films to be nominated for the “Top Five” Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay. The three films were On Golden Pond, Atlantic City and Reds. However, none of them winning the Best Picture prize, losing to Chariots of Fire. This also marked the first year that the award for Best Makeup was presented; the winner was Rick Baker for his work on An American Werewolf in London.

This year was the last year till the 2005 Oscars where all 5 picture nominations were also nominated for best director.

Here are the nominees and winners of the acting categories, as well as Best Picture and Best Director:

Best Picture

Winner: Chariots of Fire

Atlantic City

On Golden Pond

Raiders of the Lost Ark


Best Director

Winner: Warren Beatty – Reds

Louis Malle – Atlantic City
Hugh Hudson – Chariots of Fire
Mark Rydell – On Golden Pond
Steven Spielberg – Raiders of the Lost Ark

Best Actor

Winner: Henry Fonda – On Golden Pond

Warren Beatty – Reds
Burt Lancaster – Atlantic City
Dudley Moore – Arthur
Paul Newman – Absence of Malice

Best Actress

Winner: Katharine Hepburn – On Golden Pond

Diane Keaton – Reds
Marsha Mason – Only When I Laugh
Susan Sarandon – Atlantic City
Meryl Streep – The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: John Gielgud – Arthur

James Coco – Only When I Laugh
Ian Holm – Chariots of Fire
Jack Nicholson – Reds
Howard E. Rollins, Jr. – Ragtime

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Maureen Stapleton – Reds

Melinda Dillon – Absence of Malice
Jane Fonda – On Golden Pond
Joan Hackett – Only When I Laugh
Elizabeth McGovern – Ragtime

55th Academy Awards

The 55th Academy Awards were presented April 11, 1983. The ceremonies were presided over by Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, Richard Pryor, and Walter Matthau.

Louis Gossett, Jr. became the first African-American actor to win Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the tough and principled drill sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman.

Here are the nominees and winners of the acting categories, as well as Best Picture and Best Director:

Best Picture

Winner: Gandhi

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
The Verdict

Best Director

Winner: Richard Attenborough – Gandhi

Wolfgang Petersen – Das Boot
Steven Spielberg – E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Sydney Pollack – Tootsie
Sidney Lumet – The Verdict

Best Actor

Winner: Ben Kingsley – Gandhi

Dustin Hoffman – Tootsie
Jack Lemmon – Missing
Paul Newman – The Verdict
Peter O’Toole – My Favorite Year

Best Actress

Winner: Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice

Julie Andrews – Victor/Victoria
Jessica Lange – Frances
Sissy Spacek – Missing
Debra Winger – An Officer and a Gentleman

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Louis Gossett, Jr. – An Officer and a Gentleman

Charles Durning – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
James Mason – The Verdict
Robert Preston – Victor/Victoria
John Lithgow – The World According to Garp

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Jessica Lange – Tootsie

Kim Stanley – Frances
Teri Garr – Tootsie
Lesley Ann Warren – Victor/Victoria
Glenn Close – The World According to Garp

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