"American Beauty," a dark fable of life in suburbia, captured the Golden Globes for best drama, director and screenplay tonight, while "Toy Story 2" was judged the best comedy movie.

Denzel Washington's portrayal of a boxer wrongly convicted of murder and Jim Carrey's uncanny impersonation of the late comic Andy Kaufman won top movie actor honors as real-life stories ruled at the awards ceremony.

Picking up his Globe for best dramatic movie actor, Washington was accompanied to the stage by Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, whose story was told in the film "The Hurricane."

"Everything that has happened with this film and this moment is about the love that has come from him," Washington said.

Carrey was named best movie comedy actor for "Man on the Moon." A year ago he won best dramatic actor for "The Truman Show."

"Second year in a row--what's going on here, man?" said Carrey. "I'm the establishment I once rejected. . . . I'm the Tom Hanks of the Golden Globes!"

The Globe for best actress in a dramatic film also emerged from a true story. Hilary Swank won for her breakout role in "Boys Don't Cry," in which she played Teena Brandon, a young woman who was killed after her masquerade as a man was discovered.

British actress Janet McTeer won best actress in a musical or comedy film for her performance as a Southern mom in "Tumbleweeds."

Tom Cruise of "Magnolia" and Angelina Jolie of "Girl, Interrupted" won motion picture supporting actor honors.

"All About My Mother," from Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, won the foreign-language movie award.

A poignant moment in the television categories came when Michael J. Fox was named best actor for the comedy "Spin City," which he announced he is leaving because of his fight against Parkinson's disease. But he handled it lightly.

"Actor out of work--news at 11," Fox said.

In the television categories, cable channel HBO and its stars were big winners.

"The Sopranos," which won few major awards at the Emmys last year, was named best drama series, and dramatic acting trophies went to Edie Falco and James Gandolfini. The acclaimed mob drama also earned a supporting actress trophy for Nancy Marchand.

HBO's other winners were "Sex and the City" as best TV comedy, its star Sarah Jessica Parker as best actress, "RKO 281" as best miniseries or made-for-TV movie, and Halle Berry as best actress in a miniseries for "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge."

Among other TV winners, Jack Lemmon was named best miniseries or TV movie actor for Showtime's "Inherit the Wind."

"American Beauty" was the leading movie contender going into this year's Golden Globes, a ceremony that can serve as a bellwether for the upcoming Oscars. The film had six nominees, including actress Annette Bening and actor Kevin Spacey.

Barbra Streisand, winner of more Golden Globe trophies than any other entertainer, received the Cecil B. De Mille Award for "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field."

Some movies that received awards buzz were largely ignored. They included "The Green Mile" starring Hanks, "Anna and the King" with Jodie Foster and "Angela's Ashes" starring Emily Watson. Stanley Kubrick's final film, "Eyes Wide Shut," received just one nomination, for best score.

NBC broadcast this year's awards, selected by reporters from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.