Jessica Lange has been voted your favorite Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner of the 1980s for her performance as soap opera star Julie Nichols in “Tootsie.” The iconic actress won by a strong margin over all other 1980s winners, as voted on by the readers of Gold Derby in a recent poll.
Lange took in 36% of the vote, more than enough to clinch a win. Olympia Dukakis (“Moonstruck”) and Dianne Wiest (“Hannah and Her Sisters”) tied for second at 17% each, the only other winners to earn double digit percentage points. Next up was Linda Hunt (“The Year of Living Dangerously”) at 9%, while Anjelica Huston (“Prizzi’s Honor”) rounded out the top five with 7%.
Brenda Fricker (“My Left Foot”) followed at 6% in our poll and then came Geena Davis (“The Accidental Tourist”) with 4%. Peggy Ashcroft (“A Passage to India”) and Mary Steenburgen (“Melvin and Howard”) were next at 2% apiece. Maureen Stapleton (“Reds”) was the only Best Supporting Actress winner of the ’80s to not earn a single percentage point.
“Tootsie” was one of Lange’s first few roles in film. As Julie Nichols, Lange is very sweet and charming as a woman who befriends Dustin Hoffman‘s crossdressing character. While not necessarily the kind of scenery-chewing performance we’ve come to expect from Lange in her later years, her gentle, understated approach to this character cemented her status as a charismatic performer worth watching.
This was Lange’s first Oscar victory, before going on to win Best Actress for “Blue Sky” (1994). For that performance she came in second place on Gold Derby’s poll of Best Actress winners of the ’90s, in a tie with Jodie Foster in “The Silence of the Lambs.” In recent years, Lange has gravitated toward juicy roles in television, winning two Emmys for “American Horror Story” from four nominations and earning another nom for playing Joan Crawford in “Feud: Bette and Joan.”