Of all the gay icons snubbed by The Academy, Cher’s performace in Mask is perhaps the most famous. Playing Rusty Dennis, the mother of a charming and brilliant teen with startling physical deformities, Cher created a character who was unapologetically promiscuous, brazenly temperamental, at times somewhat selfish, but ultimately ferociously defensive of her beloved child. Although Rusty certainly had flaws, Cher turned those flaws into elements of the character’s humanity and delivered what will probably live as the finest performance of her career. Cher had already received an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress for Silkwood (1983), so she was no stranger to the Academy, so why they ignored her performance in Mask was a mystery. They seemed to recognize their mistake and apologize, by giving her the award for Best Actress for Moonstruck (1987), a character not nearly as exciting or remarkable as her role in Mask.