Mirren, Whitaker take acting awards at SAG
Published: Monday, January 29, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 29, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
LOS ANGELES — Helen Mirren of "The Queen" and Forest Whitaker of "The Last King of Scotland" won Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday as best lead players, their latest prizes on the road to the Academy Awards.
- Actor: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
- Actress: Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
- Supporting actor: Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
- Supporting actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
- Cast: "Little Miss Sunshine"
The road-trip romp "Little Miss Sunshine" won the prize for best film ensemble, the guild's equivalent of a best-picture award.
Solidifying their positions as Oscar favorites, Mirren won for playing British monarch Elizabeth II and Whitaker for starring as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
It seemed the soft-spoken Whitaker was struck speechless, rambling through some awkward words of gratitude.
"I want to thank you for allowing me to have a moment like this," Whitaker said.
Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson won supporting-acting honors as soulful singers in "Dreamgirls," reinforcing their status as Oscar front-runners as well.
Murphy, who built his career as a fast-talking comic player, began with a thank-you speech more appropriate for a serious thespian — but his sober demeanor proved a gag.
"What a tremendous honor to be recognized by one's peers. I've been acting for some 25 years now and this is a tremendous honor," said Murphy, talking in a British accent.
"No, I'm sorry," said Murphy, cracking up in laughter. "I feel goofy up here, 'cause I don't be winning stuff."
"Dreamgirls" gave Murphy a chance to show off his splashy and dramatic sides as a James Brown-like singer struggling to remain relevant in the 1960s and '70s music scene.
As a powerhouse vocalist in "Dreamgirls," Hudson continued her breakneck rise to movie stardom after becoming famous as an "American Idol" contender two years ago. Hudson thanked her co-stars, who included Murphy, Jamie Foxx and Beyonce Knowles.
"Because of you, I was able to work and learn from the best," said Hudson, who added thanks to the actors guild.
In the television category, Mirren won the guild's prize for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries as the current queen's namesake in "Elizabeth I." Mirren's "Elizabeth I" co-star Jeremy Irons won the guild's prize for best actor in a TV movie or miniseries.
Other TV winners were America Ferrera of "Ugly Betty" and Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock" as performers in comedy series, and Chandra Wilson of "Grey's Anatomy" and Hugh Laurie of "House" as performers in dramatic shows. TV ensemble prizes went to "Grey's Anatomy" for drama and "The Office" for comedy.
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