'The King's Speech' wins at SAG Awards

Awards show season continues with the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring television and film. Colin Firth and Christian Bale took home SAG prizes in a ceremony that is a prelude for acting honors at the Academy Awards.
By David Germain
Monday, January 31, 2011

LOS ANGELES - The British monarchy saga "The King's Speech" won the best-actor trophy Sunday for Colin Firth and a second honor for its overall cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The two prizes capped a week-long surge of Hollywood honors for the British monarchy saga. It is building momentum for the Feb. 27 Academy Awards, where the Facebook drama "The Social Network" previously had looked like the favorite.

Natalie Portman earned the best-actress award at the Screen Actors ceremony for "Black Swan," while "The Fighter" co-stars Christian Bale and Melissa Leo swept the supporting-acting honors, boosting their own prospects come Oscar night.

"The King's Speech" leads Oscar contenders with 12 nominations, among them best picture and actor for Firth, who has been the awards favorite virtually since the film premiered at festivals half a year ago.

Betty White, who is having her own career resurgence in her 80s, won for TV comedy actress for "Hot in Cleveland."

"I am so lucky to be . . . at 89, to be working," White said. She paused as the crowd interrupted her with applause, then added, "You didn't applaud when I turned 40."

Alec Baldwin won his fifth straight guild award for best actor in a comedy series for "30 Rock."

"Modern Family" won for overall cast performance in a TV comedy.

Steve Buscemi of "Boardwalk Empire" and Julianna Margulies of "The Good Wife" won as best actors in a TV drama. "Boardwalk Empire," a Prohibition-era gangster series, also won for overall TV drama cast performance.

Before the show began, the guild presented its award for film stunt ensemble to the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception" and the TV stunt prize to the vampire drama "True Blood."

"The Social Network," chronicling the rise of Facebook, had been the early Oscar favorite for Best Picture, named the year's top drama by key critics groups and the Golden Globes. It had two SAG nominations but came away empty-handed.

The 17th annual SAG Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, included a lifetime achievement honor for Ernest Borgnine.

- Associated Press

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