In the last of the major ceremonial awards in Hollywood's run-up to the Oscars, Daniel Day-Lewis was chosen best male actor for his wicked turn as Bill the Butcher in "Gangs of New York," and Renee Zellweger was named best female actor as the merry murderess in the musical "Chicago" on Sunday night at the ninth annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"Chicago" also took the award for best movie ensemble, and Catherine Zeta-Jones was named best supporting female actor.
The remaining movie honor went to Christopher Walken, who received the supporting male actor prize for his emotional turn as the down-on-his-luck father of a teenage con artist in the caper film "Catch Me If You Can."
Although competition this year is strong, with its additional awards "Chicago" would appear to be the film to beat at the Academy Awards. The film began its Hollywood awards streak with a Golden Globe for best musical or comedy picture, as well as prizes for Zellweger and costar Richard Gere at that ceremony, and continued with a Directors Guild nod for its director, Rob Marshall. The other best picture Oscar nominees are "The Hours," "Gangs of New York," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "The Pianist."
Of the previous 16 SAG winners in the lead actor categories, 12 have won Oscars for actor or actress, including Halle Berry last year for "Monster's Ball." Actors are the largest single constituency of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
TV drama series categories went bicoastal. HBO swept the lead acting awards, with James Gandolfini and Edie Falco receiving best male and female actor honors for the New Jersey mob family saga "The Sopranos." HBO's "Six Feet Under," which revolves around an L.A. family that runs a funeral home, took home honors for the best drama series ensemble.
Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes took honors as best female and male actors in a comedy series for NBC's "Will and Grace"; the cast of CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond" was voted best comedy series ensemble.
The award for male actor in a TV movie or miniseries went to William H. Macy for his role as a salesman with cerebral palsy in the fact-based "Door to Door" on the TNT cable network. Stockard Channing took the corresponding female nod for her role as the title character's mother in "The Matthew Shepard Story" on NBC.
The SAG Awards were presented during a two-hour ceremony telecast on TNT from the Shrine Exposition Hall. Two randomly selected panels representing 4,200 SAG members chose this year's nominees. The entire active membership of the guild, about 98,000 members, voted for the winners.
The Academy Awards will be presented March 23 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
A complete list of winners follows:
Theatrical Motion Picture
Male actor in a leading role: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Gangs of New York"
Female actor in a leading role: Renee Zellweger, "Chicago"
Male actor in a supporting role: Christopher Walken, "Catch Me If You Can"
Female actor in a supporting role: Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Chicago"
Ensemble of a theatrical motion picture: "Chicago"
Lifetime Achievement: Clint Eastwood
Male actor in a TV movie or miniseries: William H. Macy, "Door to Door"
Female actor in a TV movie or miniseries: Stockard Channing, "The Matthew Shepard Story"
Male actor in a drama series: James Gandolfini, "The Sopranos"
Female actor in a drama series: Edie Falco, "The Sopranos"
Male actor in a comedy series: Sean Hayes, "Will and Grace"
Female actor in a comedy series: Megan Mullally, "Will and Grace"
Ensemble of a drama series: "Six Feet Under"
Ensemble of a comedy series: "Everybody Loves Raymond"