Oscar winner Huston

Director's Daughter Honored for Performance in 'Prizzi's Honor' as Award Ceremony Begins

Anjelica Huston, the daughter of veteran film director John Huston, won the Oscar for best supporting actress Monday night as the Mafia princess of "Prizzi's Honor, " a rollicking black-humor Mafia comedy that her father directed.

Her award was the first of the evening at the 58th annual Academy Awards ceremonies. Beaming, the actress told the black-tie audience that the award meant a lot to her because her father directed her, "and I know it means a lot to him."

The elder Huston, 79, a two-time Oscar winner, was considered a strong contender for best director honors later in the evening. If he wins, it would make the second time in Oscar history that a director and a relative won for the same movie. He first did it in 1948 with his acting father, Walter, for "Treasure of Sierra Madre." Huston won for screen writing and direction, and the elder Huston for supporting actor.

Anjelica Huston triumphed over two co-stars of Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple, " Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey, Meg Tilly of "Agnes of God" and Amy Madigan of "Twice in a Lifetime."

As Hollywood's nationally televised night began at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, speculation abounded whether "The Color Purple" or "Out of Africa"-each nominated for 11 Oscars-would dominate, or whether the top awards would be split.

Spielberg was not nominated in the best director category.

Don Ameche, 77, whose film career began 50 years ago, was considered a sentimental favorite in the supporting-actor category for his work in "Cocoon." But he had strong competition from Austria's Klaus Maria Brandauer of "Out of Africa" and William Hickey of "Prizzi's Honor." Robert Loggia of "Jagged Edge" and Eric Roberts of "Runway Train" also were contenders.

Prestigious Category

"Purple, " "Out of Africa" and "Prizzi's Honor" were the leading contenders for an Oscar in the prestigious Best Picture category, with "Witness" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman" the other nominees.

Huston's competitors in the directing category this year were Hector Babenco for "Kiss of the Spider Woman, " Sydney Pollack for "Out of Africa, " Akiro Kurosawa for "Ran" and Peter Weir for "Witness."

The failure of Academy voters to nominate Spielberg for his direction of "The Color Purple' stirred controversy when the nominations were announced Feb. 5. Many Spielberg fans considered the snub an indication of sour grapes, perhaps because of envy over such big hits of his as "Jaws, " "E.T.-The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Spielberg has refused to express bitterness and on March 8 won a Directors Guild award for "The Color Purple."

But it remained to be seen if this would translate into Oscar ballots for his movie, adapted from Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the hardships and emotional growth of an oppressed black woman-played in the film by Whoopi Goldberg-in the rural Depression-era South.

Best-Actress Award

Goldberg, a comedienne-actress making her film debut in "Purple, " was competing for best-actress honors with Geraldine Page, a Broadway and film veteran who has been nominated eight times for an Oscar but never has won, and Meryl Streep, a two-time winner.

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