1986 Oscars 58th Academy Awards

1986 Oscars 58th Academy Awards

  • Winners Announced: March 24, 1986
  • Held at: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, California
  • Hosts: Alan Alda, Jane Fonda and Robin Williams
  • Eligibility Year: 1985


  • Dynamic Hosting Trio: Alan Alda brought his charm, Jane Fonda added an activist’s perspective, and Robin Williams unleashed his comedic energy as hosts.
  • Out of Africa Dominance: The film Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, won seven awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Sydney Pollack.
  • Comedy and Drama: Prizzi’s Honor was noted for its mix of dark comedy and drama, earning Anjelica Huston a Best Supporting Actress award.
  • Spielberg’s First: This year marked the first Best Director nomination for Steven Spielberg for his work on The Color Purple, though he didn’t win.
  • The Age of Cocoon: Don Ameche, at the age of 77, won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Cocoon, beating younger talents.
  • Geraldine Page’s Win: Geraldine Page finally snagged a Best Actress win for The Trip to Bountiful after seven previous nominations.
  • Song Hit: Say You, Say Me by Lionel Richie from White Nights won Best Original Song.
  • Foreign Flair: The Official Story from Argentina took home the Best Foreign Language Film award.

1986 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Picture:
Out of Africa – Sydney Pollack, producer (WINNER)
The Color Purple – Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Quincy Jones, producers
Kiss of the Spider Woman – David Weisman, producer
Prizzi’s Honor – John Foreman, producer
Witness – Edward S. Feldman, producer
Best Director:
Sydney Pollack – Out of Africa (WINNER)
Héctor Babenco – Kiss of the Spider Woman
John Huston – Prizzi’s Honor
Akira Kurosawa – Ran
Peter Weir – Witness
Best Actor:
William Hurt – Kiss of the Spider Woman as Luis Molina (WINNER)
Harrison Ford – Witness as Detective Captain John Book
James Garner – Murphy’s Romance as Murphy Jones
Jack Nicholson – Prizzi’s Honor as Charley Partanna
Jon Voight – Runaway Train as Oscar “Manny” Manheim
Best Actress:
Geraldine Page – The Trip to Bountiful as Carrie Watts (WINNER)
Anne Bancroft – Agnes of God as Miriam Ruth
Whoopi Goldberg – The Color Purple as Celie Harris Johnson
Jessica Lange – Sweet Dreams as Patsy Cline
Meryl Streep – Out of Africa as Karen Blixen
Best Supporting Actor:
Don Ameche – Cocoon as Arthur Selwyn (WINNER)
Klaus Maria Brandauer – Out of Africa as Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke
William Hickey – Prizzi’s Honor as Don Corrado Prizzi
Robert Loggia – Jagged Edge as Sam Ransom
Eric Roberts – Runaway Train as Buck
Best Supporting Actress:
Anjelica Huston – Prizzi’s Honor as Maerose Prizzi (WINNER)
Margaret Avery – The Color Purple as Shug Avery
Amy Madigan – Twice in a Lifetime as Sunny Sobel
Meg Tilly – Agnes of God as Sister Agnes
Oprah Winfrey – The Color Purple as Sofia Johnson
Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
Witness – Screenplay by Earl W. Wallace and William Kelley; Story by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace and Earl W. Wallace (WINNER)
Back to the Future – Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale
Brazil – Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeown
The Official Story – Luis Puenzo and Aída Bortnik
The Purple Rose of Cairo – Woody Allen
Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium:
Out of Africa – Kurt Luedtke based on the memoir by Isak Dinesen and the books Silence Will Speak by Errol Trzebinski and Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller by Judith Thurman (WINNER)
The Color Purple – Menno Meyjes based on the novel by Alice Walker
Kiss of the Spider Woman – Leonard Schrader based on the novel by Manuel Puig
Prizzi’s Honor – Richard Condon and Janet Roach based on the novel by Richard Condon
The Trip to Bountiful – Horton Foote based on his teleplay
Best Foreign Language Film:
The Official Story (Argentina) in Spanish – Luis Puenzo (WINNER)
Angry Harvest (Federal Republic of Germany) in German – Agnieszka Holland
Colonel Redl (Hungary) in German – István Szabó
Three Men and a Cradle (France) in French – Coline Serreau
When Father Was Away on Business (Yugoslavia) in Serbo-Croatian – Emir Kusturica
Best Documentary Feature:
Broken Rainbow – Maria Florio and Victoria Mudd (WINNER)
The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo – Susana Muñoz and Lourdes Portillo
Soldiers in Hiding – Japhet Asher
The Statue of Liberty – Ken Burns and Buddy Squires
Unfinished Business – Steven Okazaki
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clements – David Goodman (WINNER)
The Courage to Care – Robert H. Gardner
Keats and His Nightingale: A Blind Date – Michael Crowley and James Wolpaw
Making Overtures: The Story of a Community Orchestra – Barbara Willis Sweete
The Wizard of the Strings – Alan Edelstein
Best Live Action Short Film:
Molly’s Pilgrim – Jeffrey D. Brown and Chris Pelzer (WINNER)
Graffiti – Dianna Costello
Rainbow War – Bob Rogers
Best Animated Short Film:
Anna & Bella – Cilia van Dijk (WINNER)
The Big Snit – Richard Condie and Michael J. F. Scott
Second Class Mail – Alison Snowden
Best Original Score:
Out of Africa – John Barry (WINNER)
Agnes of God – Georges Delerue
The Color Purple – Quincy Jones, Jeremy Lubbock, Rod Temperton, Caiphus Semenya, Andraé Crouch, Chris Boardman, Jorge Calandrelli, Joel Rosenbaum, Fred Steiner, Jack Hayes, Jerry Hey and Randy Kerber
Silverado – Bruce Broughton
Witness – Maurice Jarre
Best Original Song:
“Say You, Say Me” from White Nights – Music and Lyrics by Lionel Richie (WINNER)
“Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister)” from The Color Purple – Music by Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton; Lyrics by Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and Lionel Richie
“The Power of Love” from Back to the Future – Music by Chris Hayes and Johnny Colla; Lyrics by Huey Lewis
“Separate Lives” from White Nights – Music and Lyrics by Stephen Bishop
“Surprise Surprise” from A Chorus Line – Music by Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Best Sound Effects Editing:
Back to the Future – Charles L. Campbell and Robert Rutledge (WINNER)
Ladyhawke – Robert G. Henderson and Alan Robert Murray
Rambo: First Blood Part II – Frederick Brown
Best Sound:
Out of Africa – Chris Jenkins, Gary Alexander, Larry Stensvold and Peter Handford (WINNER)
Back to the Future – Bill Varney, B. Tennyson Sebastian II, Robert Thirlwell and William B. Kaplan
A Chorus Line – Donald O. Mitchell, Michael Minkler, Gerry Humphreys and Christopher Newman
Ladyhawke – Les Fresholtz, Dick Alexander, Vern Poore and Bud Alper
Silverado – Donald O. Mitchell, Rick Kline, Kevin O’Connell and David M. Ronne
Best Art Direction:
Out of Africa – Art Direction: Stephen B. Grimes; Set Decoration: Josie MacAvin (WINNER)
Brazil – Art Direction: Norman Garwood; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray
The Color Purple – Art Direction: J. Michael Riva and Robert W. Welch; Set Decoration: Linda DeScenna
Ran – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Yoshiro Muraki and Shinobu Muraki
Witness – Art Direction: Stan Jolley; Set Decoration: John H. Anderson
Best Cinematography:
Out of Africa – David Watkin (WINNER)
The Color Purple – Allen Daviau
Murphy’s Romance – William A. Fraker
Ran – Takao Saito, Masaharu Ueda and Asakazu Nakai
Witness – John Seale
Best Makeup:
Mask – Michael Westmore and Zoltan Elek (WINNER)
The Color Purple – Ken Chase
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins – Carl Fullerton
Best Costume Design:
Ran – Emi Wada (WINNER)
The Color Purple – Aggie Guerard Rodgers
The Journey of Natty Gann – Albert Wolsky
Out of Africa – Milena Canonero
Prizzi’s Honor – Donfeld
Best Film Editing:
Witness – Thom Noble (WINNER)
A Chorus Line – John Bloom
Out of Africa – Fredric Steinkamp, William Steinkamp, Pembroke J. Herring and Sheldon Kahn
Prizzi’s Honor – Rudi Fehr and Kaja Fehr
Runaway Train – Henry Richardson
Best Visual Effects:
Cocoon – Ken Ralston, Ralph McQuarrie, Scott Farrar and David Berry (WINNER)
Return to Oz – Will Vinton, Ian Wingrove, Zoran Perisic and Michael Lloyd
Young Sherlock Holmes – Dennis Muren, Kit West, John R. Ellis and David W. Allen
Honorary Academy Awards
Paul Newman
Alex North
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award:
Charles “Buddy” Rogers