(Ok, can I just point out: no, Susan Sarandon, two of those roles could not have been played by women. Preston does one scene at the end of his film in a dress. Fun "drag race" joke, though.)
Supporting Actors come in many forms and flavors. Here are a few of them, taking into account not just 1982's crop, but also the current batch of nominees for the 2017 film year.
The Movie Thief: Though his on-screen time is relatively brief compared to the rest of the cast, his character is unforgettable, the one you leave thinking about. It also helps if he has a big scene, like a monologue or a musical number. For the latter, take Charles Durning's sidestepping guv'nor in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; for the former, Woody Harrelson's sheriff in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.
The 1982 contenders, after the jump....
Charles Durning in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
***Although he has a brief, broad scene afterward, there is little doubt that this nomination is for his big number, "The Sidestep". On that basis alone, it's a worthy nod: Durning is light on his feet, a pleasant singer, and a comic force. In a film already bursting with energy, he inspires a new spark of it.
Louis Gossett, Jr., became the first black actor since Sidney Poitier to win an Oscar. Whereas I...I do love a drag act. I vote for:
(And as for the class of 2017....
Willem Dafoe - *****
Richard Jenkins - *****
Woody Harrelson - ****
Christopher Plummer - ****
Sam Rockwell - ***)
Tomorrow, the nominees for Best Original Song: Best Friends ("How Do You Keep the Music Playing?"), An Officer and a Gentleman ("Up Where We Belong"), Rocky III ("Eye of the Tiger"), Tootsie ("It Might Be You") and Yes, Giorgio ("It Might Be Love").