55th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1983)

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Hosted by Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, Richard Pryor and Walter Matthau, the 55th Annual Academy Awards were presented on Monday, April 11, 1983.

Nominated for 11 Oscars, Gandhi took home eight of them, including Best Picture, Best Director for Richard Attenborough and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley.

This film was dedicated to Pandit Nehru, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and Motilal Kothari, all men of great vision and courage. It was made by my friend Sir Richard Attenborough, another great man of vision and courage. And for all the men and women who worked on the film, this is an Oscar for vision, for courage, and for acting and for peace.” – Ben Kingsley

Though nominated for ten awards, Tootsie won just one, a Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Lange. Lange was also nominated in the Best Actress category for Frances. It was only the fourth time that an actor was nominated in two categories in the same year.

Meryl Streep’s wonderful performance in Sophie’s Choice earned her a second Oscar. Streep said, “Oh, boy! No matter how much you try to imagine what this is like, it’s just so incredibly thrilling, right down to your toes.”

An Officer and a Gentleman’s Louis Gossett Jr. won Best Supporting Actor. He was only the third African-American to win a competitive Oscar and the first in his category.

Zbigniew Rybczyński, who won Best Animated Short for Tango, earned his place in the trivia books by becoming the first Oscar winner to spend some time behind bars on Oscar night. Rybczyński had stepped outside the theatre for a smoke, and when a security guard tried to stop him from re-entering a scuffle ensued and he was arrested. He was released a few hours later when his identity was confirmed.

Meanwhile, George C. Scott’s ban on the Oscars apparently only extended to accepting them, as he and his wife attend the 55th ceremony.


Best Picture

  • Gandhi
    Richard Attenborough [Producer]

Best Directing

  • Gandhi
    Richard Attenborough

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Gandhi
    Ben Kingsley

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • An Officer and a Gentleman
    Louis Gossett Jr.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Tootsie
    Jessica Lange

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Volver a Empezar ('To Begin Again')

Best Art Direction

  • Gandhi
    Stuart Craig [Art Direction], Bob Laing [Art Direction] and Michael Seirton [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography

  • Gandhi
    Billy Williams and Ronnie Taylor

Best Costume Design

  • Gandhi
    John Mollo and Bhanu Athaiya

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • Just Another Missing Kid
    John Zaritsky

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • If You Love This Planet
    Edward Le Lorrain and Terri Nash

Best Film Editing

  • Gandhi
    John Bloom

Best Makeup

  • Quest for Fire
    Sarah Monzani and Michèle Burke

Best Music (Original Score)

  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
    John Williams

Best Music (Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score)

  • Victor/Victoria
    Henry Mancini [Song and Adaptation Score by] and Leslie Bricusse [Song Score by]

Best Music (Original Song)

  • An Officer and a Gentleman "Up Where We Belong"
    Jack Nitzsche [Music by], Buffy Sainte-Marie [Music by] and Will Jennings [Lyric by]

Best Short Film (Animated)

  • Tango
    Zbigniew Rybczynski

Best Short Film (Live Action)

  • A Shocking Accident
    Christine Oestreicher

Best Sound

  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
    Robert Knudson, Robert Glass, Don Digirolamo and Gene Cantamessa

Best Sound Effects Editing

  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
    Charles L. Campbell and Ben Burtt

Best Visual Effects

  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
    Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis Muren and Kenneth F. Smith

Best Writing (Screenplay - based on material from another medium)

  • Missing
    Costa-Gavras and Donald Stewart

Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

  • Gandhi
    John Briley

Honorary Award

  • Mickey Rooney
    Note: …in recognition of his 60 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances.

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

  • Walter Mirisch

Gordon E. Sawyer Award

  • John O. Aalberg

Scientific or Technical Award (Academy Award of Merit)

  • August Arnold [of Arnold & Richter, GmbH] and Erich Kaestner [of Arnold & Richter, GmbH]
    Note: …for the concept and engineering of the first operational 35mm, hand-held, spinning-mirror reflex, motion picture camera.

Scientific or Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

  • Colin F. Mossman and The Research and Development Group of Rank Film Laboratories London
    Note: …for the engineering and implementation of a 4,000 meter printing system for motion picture laboratories.
  • Sante Zelli [of Elemack Italia S.r.l., Rome, Italy] and Salvatore Zelli [of Elemack Italia S.r.l., Rome, Italy]
    Note: …for the continuing engineering, design and development that has resulted in the Elemack Camera Dolly System for motion picture production.
  • Leonard Chapman
    Note: …for the engineering design, development and manufacture of the PeeWee Camera Dolly for motion picture production.
  • Dr. Mohammad S. Nozari [of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.]
    Note: …for the research and development of the 3M Photogard protective coating for motion picture film.
  • Brianne Murphy [of Mitchell Insert Systems Incorporated] and Donald Schisler [of Mitchell Insert Systems Incorporated]
    Note: …for the concept, design and manufacture of the MISI Camera Insert Car and Process Trailer.
  • Jacobus L. Dimmers
    Note: …for the engineering and manufacture of the Teccon Enterprises' magnetic transducer for motion picture sound recording and playback.

Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)

  • Richard W. Deats
    Note: …for the design and manufacture of the "Little Big Crane" for motion picture production.
  • Constant Tresfon [of Egripment], Adriaan De Rooy [of Egripment], Edward Phillips [of Matthews Studio Equipment] and Carlos DeMattos [of Matthews Studio Equipment]
    Note: …for the design and manufacture of the “Tulip Crane” for motion picture production.
  • Bran Ferren [of Associates and Ferren]
    Note: …for the design and development of a computerized lightning effect system for motion picture photography.
  • Christie Electric Corporation and Lavezzi Machine Works Incorporated
    Note: …for the design and manufacture of the Ultramittent film transport for Christie motion picture projectors.
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