Robert Preston received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Carole "Toddy" Todd in Victor Victoria.
When it comes to portraying a gay character many actors use certain mannerisms sometimes very effectively William Hurt, sometimes not so much Ed Harris, one who is only aware of Preston's performance here might think Preston puts on mannerisms, but from what I have seen from Preston acts just as he always does here, and really does not technically play his character as visibly gay. He instead plays him as Preston seems to play just about all his roles as a fairly flamboyant witty energetic shyster of some sort.
I really do not see any sort of play in his performance as the gay friend of Andrews' character who helps her with his charade as a man pretending being woman. He is fairly flamboyant in his Robert Preston sort of fashion with his distinct voice, and way of speaking. He is Preston all the way which is fitting of his character, and also is charming as it just about always is but I can't really say this is any sort of great performance either. It really is just standard Robert Preston, and not even standard Preston at his best.
Robert Preston also never made me really convinced of his character at all times particularly in his scenes where he is in bed with men, to be honest it never looks like Preston had much of an association with them in any way. He honestly did not seem honestly gay to me, since to me he really just was doing Preston. Preston does indeed says all his lines about his character's sexuality with the utmost conviction, yet I was never convinced, because Preston was just being Preston the entire time.
Although Robert Preston is indeed the male lead of the film he undergoes no changes throughout the film just acting as someone to make insert a clever line from time to time in usual Robert Preston fashion. Preston's performance is enjoyable to a degree since Preston is an enjoyable to watch, but I don't think this is best I frankly thought he was more entertaining and effective in the Last Starfighter actually. Still this is most certainly not a bad performance, but one that frankly left me underwhelmed.