Top 20 Performances of 1981

by Aunt-Peg | created - 26 Aug 2011 | updated - 06 Nov 2015 | Public

These are my top 20 performances listed in order for each category (lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor & supporting actress).

1. Burt Lancaster

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Burt Lancaster, one of five children, was born in Manhattan, to Elizabeth (Roberts) and James Henry Lancaster, a postal worker. All of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. He joined the circus as an acrobat and ...

in Atlantic City (best performance by an actor in a lead role 1981)

2. John Heard

Actor | Home Alone

John Heard was a very talented actor who established himself as a respected thespian in the late 1970s and early '80s, though he is perhaps better known for his turns as Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin')s father in the Home Alone (1990) movies.

John was born in Washington, D.C., to Helen (...

in Cutter's Way (2nd choice)

3. Jeff Bridges

Actor | The Big Lebowski

Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, the son of well-known film and TV star Lloyd Bridges and his long-time wife Dorothy Dean Bridges (née Simpson). He grew up amid the happening Hollywood scene with big brother Beau Bridges. Both boys popped up, without ...

in Cutter's Way (3rd choice)

4. John Hargreaves

Actor | Long Weekend

John Hargreaves was the quintessential Australian man. An actor of sparkling, biting wit, he once said he would easily give up his remarkable career if it ever bored him, in favor of metallurgy because it was something that always interested him. Despite his lengthy list of credits in his home ...

in Hoodwink (4th choice)

5. Philippe Noiret

Actor | Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

Philippe Noiret was one of French cinema's most familiar faces who appeared in more than 140 films in a career that spanned more than half a century.

He was born on October 1, 1930, in Lille, Nord, France, into a middle class family of shopkeepers. His father was fond of literature. Young Noiret ...

in Three Brothers (5th choice)

6. Susan Sarandon

Actress | Thelma & Louise

Susan Sarandon was born Susan Abigail Tomalin in New York City, NY, to Lenora Marie (Criscione), no profession, and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, an advertising executive. She is of Italian (mother) and English, Irish, Welsh, and German (father) descent. Soon after the 1968 Democratic convention, there ...

in Atlantic City (best performance by an actress in a lead role 1981)

7. Sissy Spacek

Actress | Coal Miner's Daughter

As a kid, Sissy Spacek climbed trees, rode horses, swam, and played in the woods. She was born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas, to Virginia Frances (Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Her father's family was of Czech and German origin.

...

in Raggedy Man (2nd choice)

8. Lisa Eichhorn

Actress | Cutter's Way

Lisa Eichhorn was born on February 4, 1952 in Glens Falls, New York, USA as Lisa Warren Eichhorn. She is an actress and writer, known for Cutter's Way (1981), The Vanishing (1993) and About Time (2013). She has been married to Richard Moxon since August 31, 2005. She was previously married to Ben ...

in Cutter's Way (3rd choice)

9. Kate Nelligan

Actress | The Cider House Rules

Cando-American actress Kate Nelligan has had a successful acting career in her native Canada, in Britain and in the United States. Born Patricia Colleen Nelligan on March 16, 1951 in London, Ontario, Kate was the daughter of blue collar-worker Patrick Nelligan and his wife Josephine (née Deir), a ...

in Eye of the Needle (4th choice)

10. Susan Anspach

Actress | Five Easy Pieces

Susan Anspach was born on November 23, 1942 in New York City, New York, USA. She is an actress, known for Five Easy Pieces (1970), Play It Again, Sam (1972) and Montenegro (1981). She was previously married to Sherwood Ball and Mark Goddard.

in Montenegro (5th choice)

11. David Warner

Actor | Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

David Hattersley Warner was born July 29, 1941 in Manchester, England, to Ada Doreen (Hattersley) and Herbert Simon Warner. He was born out of wedlock and often accepted to be raised by each of his parents, eventually settling with his father and stepmother. His father changed jobs often and moved ...

in Time Bandits (best performance by an actor in a supporting role 1981)

12. Vittorio Mezzogiorno

Actor | Cerro Torre: Schrei aus Stein

Vittorio Mezzogiorno was born on December 16, 1941 in Cercola, Campania, Italy. He was an actor, known for Cerro Torre: Schrei aus Stein (1991), Il giocattolo (1979) and Three Brothers (1981). He was married to Cecilia Sacchi. He died on January 7, 1994 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy.

in Three Brothers (2nd choice)

13. Eric Roberts

Actor | Runaway Train

One of Hollywood's edgier, more intriguing characters running around and about for decades, Eric Anthony Roberts started life in Biloxi, Mississippi. He is the son of Betty Lou (Bredemus) and Walter Grady Roberts, one-time actors and playwrights. His siblings are actors Lisa Roberts Gillan and ...

in Raggedy Man (3rd choice)

14. Jorge Julião

Actor | Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco

Jorge Julião is an actor, known for Pixote (1981), Moinhos de Vento (1983) and Pixote, in memorian (2007).

in Pixote (4th choice)

15. Michele Placido

Actor | Romanzo criminale

Michele Placido was born on May 19, 1946 in Ascoli Satriano, Puglia, Italy. He is an actor and writer, known for Romanzo criminale (2005), Un eroe borghese (1995) and Angel of Evil (2010). He has been married to Federica Vincenti since August 14, 2012. They have one child. He was previously married...

in Three Brothers (5th choice)

16. Judy Davis

Actress | The Dressmaker

Judy Davis was born April 23, 1955 in Perth, Western Australia. She was educated at Loreto Convent and the Western Institute of Technology, and graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1977. She came to prominence as Sybylla Melvyn in the film adaptation of Miles Franklin's ...

in Hoodwink (best performance by an actress in a supporting role 1981)

17. Joan Hackett

Actress | The Last of Sheila

Joan Hackett was never one of your conventional leading ladies. Directors sometimes found her difficult to work with. Yet this strong-minded perfectionist had an unquenchable individuality that came through in her performances, and she never hesitated to appear unglamorous whenever the role ...

in Only When I Laugh (2nd choice)

18. Kristy McNichol

Actress | The Pirate Movie

Actor Kristy McNichol is best known for her role as "Buddy" in the Spelling/Goldberg hit TV series "Family", where she won 2 Emmy awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe. McNichol began her career with guest appearances on such popular TV series as Starsky and Hutch, The Bionic Woman, Love ...

in Only When I Laugh (3rd choice)

19. Mink Stole

Actress | Serial Mom

Part of the original motley crew of cast players in underground shock master John Waters' bare-bones 8mm, 16mm and 35mm cult perversions during the late 60s and early 70s, Mink Stole was born Nancy Stoll in the late 1940s in Baltimore, Maryland. Waters took her under his wing in 1966 wherein she ...

in Polyester (4th choice)

20. Maureen Stapleton

Actress | Reds

Academy Award-winner Maureen Stapleton was born June 21, 1925 in Troy, New York, to Irene (née Walsh) and John P. Stapleton. Her family was of Irish descent. Maureen moved to New York City at the age of eighteen and did modeling to pay the bills. Already a Tony Award-winner, she made her Academy ...

in Reds (5th choice)