SAG Winners Better Their Case For Hollywood’s Biggest Prize
One of the last major award shows before we see who will be winning an Academy Award went off last night with 2 Cable networks carrying all the festivities saluting the best in film and TV voted by other actors. The 18th Annual Screen Actor's Guild Awards brought one TV star a new record in award wins, another record set for defying age, a lifetime achievement for one woman who "Made It After All", a major announcement for the actor's union, and a potential clearer picture for certain stars toward Oscar gold.
TBS and TNT both carried last night's SAG Awards, something the sister stations have done the last few years with success. The show crowned Alec Baldwin for the 6th time the Best Actor in a TV Comedy, giving him now 7 SAG statues for his career which is a new individual record (all for his work in 30 Rock). Betty White broke her own record she established last year, winning the Best Female Actor in a TV Comedy for the TV Land show Hot In Cleveland. Quite a birthday gift for White who turned 90 just 2 weeks ago, and ups her record as the oldest winner of a SAG Award.
Mary Tyler Moore, who has battled back from brain surgery in the last year and continues to fight Type 1 diabetes, was given a very deserved Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to TV as an actor (The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mary Tyler Moore) and producer (MTM Entertainment has been responsible for some of the greatest TV shows in history like St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, The Bob Newhart Show, and Dr. Quinn to name a few).
Ken Howard was a product of Moore's company with The White Shadow in the late 70's and early 80's. Howard, who has a recurring role on 30 Rock, is the president of the Screen Actors Guild and announced the merger with AFTRA. To the average person this may not been a big deal watching, but the merger with the American Federations of Radio and Television Artists creates one of the biggest and strongest unions in America.
Other winner from last night from the small screen included Steve Buscemi (Best Actor TV Drama for Boardwalk Empire), Jessica Lange (Best Female Actor TV Drama for American Horror Story), Paul Giammatti (HBO movie Too Big To Fail), and Kate Winslet (HBO film Mildred Pierce).
Wild moment of the show was seeing veteran actors Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman present an award. Not a big shock when you consider that their classic series Dallas is coming back to TV on TNT with new episodes
The film awards was hopefully going to clear up some great battles coming for Oscar night in the next month. The SAG Awards did create a new front-runner for Best Actress as Viola Davis was a winner last night for her work in The Help. Meanwhile Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and Octavia Davis (The Help) have all but insured their chances for Oscar wins with their SAG wins in supporting roles.
The Best Actor battle just became more interesting with Jean Dujardin winning the Best Actor SAG Award for The Artist. George Clooney was the prohibitive favorite to win last night and Oscar night, but now it's a 2 horse race with Dujardin's performance in it's tribute to the silent film era gaining critical strength.
The SAG Award for Best Picture winner was The Help, giving this picture a slight advantage come Oscar night in a battle that has seen a split decision in previous award shows for The Descendents and The Artist along with last night's winner.
We are now less than a month from the Academy Awards, and the last major hurdle has been cleared. The BAFTA Awards (British Oscars) and the Independent Spirit Awards (saluting the best in independent films)are all that's left before Feb. 26th. Lots of drama to come, and you have to expect that in Hollywood!