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Screen Actors Guild Awards 2009: Winslet and Slumdog win again

Kate Winslet at the SAG awards, 2009

Story by Jack Foley

BRITISH talent was once again the toast of Hollywood on Sunday, January 25 (2009) when a number of stars won awards at the 15th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards in Los Angeles.

Kate Winslet won best supporting actress for The Reader, the cast of Slumdog Millionaire took the ensemble award (the equivalent of best film) and TV star Hugh Laurie was named best dramatic actor for his performance in House.

Other awards went to Meryl Streep, who took best actress for Doubt, and Sean Penn, who was named best actor for Milk.

Winslet was once again overwhelmed to be on the podium, saying that it was “an honour to be included in such a remarkable year and be acknowledged by my peers in this way”.

“I really feel like everybody should be given a medal,” she continued, admitting that she felt “a little bit lost for words”.

The 33-year-old British actress had also been nominated in the best actress category for her performance in Revolutionary Road, but lost out to Streep, for Doubt.

Streep, meanwhile, was typically gracious in victory, joking that she hadn’t even bought a dress and then admitting that she was “really, really shocked”.

“Even though awards mean nothing to me any more, I’m really happy,” she joked.

Slumdog Millionaire‘s award was accepted by Indian actor Anil Kapoor, who dedicated the prize to the film’s child stars. He was joined on stage, however, by co-stars Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Irrfan Khan.

“They [the children] deserve this award. They set our performances,” he said. “It’s the children who’ve done it, not us.”

Another popular prize was the best supporting actor trophy, which went to the late Heath Ledger for his portrayal of the Joker in Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight.

Fellow cast member Gary Oldman accepted the prize on his behalf and described Ledger as “an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent”.

TV prizes

Elsewhere, Britain’s Hugh Laurie won the best actor in a drama series award for the second time for his performance in acclaimed medical drama House.

“This is just not my night,” he joked upon collecting his prize, revealing that he had put a bet on James Spader to win for Boston Legal.

Sitcom 30 Rock also picked up a clutch of awards, with stars Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey both recognised for their performances. The show also won the best comedy ensemble prize.

Sally Field was named best dramatic actress for Brothers and Sisters, Mad Men took the prize for best drama ensemble and Laura Linney was recognised for her performance in historical mini-series John Adams.

There was also a lifetime achievement award for James Earl Jones, the veteran actor known to millions as the voice of Darth Vader.

View photos from the event