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The cast of 'The Help' celebrate after winning the top award at the SAG awards.
The cast of 'The Help' celebrate after winning the top award at the SAG awards.
Image: Chris Pizzello/AP

GALLERY: ‘The Help’ wins big at Screen Actors’ Guild awards

A bomb scare at the Shrine Auditorium wasn’t enough to stop the party, as The Help took three major awards.
Jan 30th 2012, 9:48 AM 1,440 0

SIXTIES RACISM DRAMA ‘The Help’ has emerged as the big winner at the Screen Actors Guild awards in Los Angeles, taking three major awards.

The film – depicting the racial discrimination experienced by black housemaids in 1960s America – took gongs including the prized award for an outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.

Viola Davis pipped the hot favourite Meryl Streep to be named best actress in a leading role, while Octavia Spencer took the award for supporting actress.

The victory meant that ‘The Artist’, which is tipped for major success at the Academy Awards in a month’s time, had to make do with one solitary prize – with Jean Dujardin named the best male actor in a leading role as George Valentin.

Christopher Plummer was named best supporting actor for his role in Mike Mills’ comedy-drama ‘Beginners’.

If ‘The Help’ was to repeat its success at the Oscars in four weeks, it would pull off a rare feat: the last time that a film won the Best Picture award, without being nominated in the writing or directing categories, was ‘Grand Hotel’ (starring Greta Garbo and John Barrymore( in 1932.

In fact, ‘Grand Hotel’ is so far the only film to have won the Best Picture award without having been nominated for any other Oscars – and is one of only two (along with 1989′s Driving Miss Daisy) to have won without being nominated for a director’s award.

HBO had the pick of the awards in the TV categories, with ‘Boardwalk Empire’ taking two major prizes including the prize for best ensemble cast in a drama, and the best actor in a drama series award for Steve Buscemi.

‘Too Big To Fail’ won the best actor in a TV movie or miniseries for Paul Giamatti, playing Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, while Kate Winslet took the female equivalent for her role as Mildred Pierce.

Jessica Lange was named best actress in a drama series for her turn as Constance in ‘American Horror Story’.

Alec Baldwin was named the best actor in a comedy series for ’30 Rock’, while Betty White was also rewarded for her role in ‘Hot in Cleveland’.

HBO had victory elsewhere, too: the Irish-filmed ‘Game of Thrones’ was honoured as having the best stunt ensemble in a TV series, while the final Harry Potter movie won the same award in the film categories.

Mary Tyler Moore was honoured on the night with a lifetime achievement award.

The proceedings at the Shrine Auditorium were briefly interrupted a bomb scare forced the evacuation of the auditorium and the red carpet area, though the 15-minute interruption came hours before the red carpet was at its busiest.

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Gavan Reilly

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