BY BAZ BAMIGBOYE and ELLIE GENOWER
Big prize: Anthony Andrews, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth scoop top honours at the Screen Actors Guild awards
- Colin Firth one step closer to an Oscar as he scoops Outstanding Actor award
- Natalie Portman adds to her haul as she wins Outstanding Actress for Black Swan
- Glee comes away empty handed despite three nominations
The King's Speech beat out stiff competition to win top film honours at tonight's Screen Actor's Guild award, with Colin Firth scooping the Outstanding Actor honour.
The film won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, beating favourites The Social Network and The Fighter.
Its win leaves the race wide open for this year's Oscar ceremony, with many tipping the Best Picture category to be the closest in years.
Top honour: Colin Firth accepts the Best Actor gong from Nicole Kidman, for his role as stammering King George VI in The King's Speech
In his speech, Firth paid tribute to his 'dream cast,' who included Geoffrey Rush as speech therapist Lionel Logue, Anthony Andrews as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen Mother.
'This is really something,' he said.
Geoffrey Rush spoke for the rest of the cast as they all walked up on stage to accept their award.
'It shouldn't be called the SAG Award, it should be called the uplifting award,' he said.
All smiles: Firth holds his two awards aloft following the ceremony at The Shrine Auditorium
The win caps a sensational week that has seen The King's Speech win trophies from the Producers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.
Both are seen as powerful nods as to which stars and what film will collect the top awards on Oscar night.
For several weeks the Oscar front-runner was the Facebook film The Social Network which had been winning prizes on what seemed like a daily basis,including the best film from the Golden Globes.
But over the past couple of weekends, The King's Speech halted The Social Network's advance when its producers took the PGA award.
Oscar favourite: The Social Network's stars Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg introduce the film on stage , but they ultimately lost out to The King's Speech
Fighting funny: The Fighter stars Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg share a laugh on stage
And on Saturday The King's Speech director Tom Hooper surprised Hollywood by winning the DGA main award for best director.
The awards are voted for by members the American film actors union.
It is a highly significant indicator as to who will at the Oscars next month as the acting branch represents the largest voting block in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars.
Success: Natalie Portman adds to her awards haul as she accepts the Best Actress gong from Jeff Bridges
In the Outstanding Actress category, favourite Natalie Portman cemented her position as Oscar favourite when she took the big prize for her role as a tortured ballerina in Black Swan, accepting the award from Jeff Bridges, who lost out to Colin Firth.
She thanked her parents 'who taught me to work my hardest, and to my fiance Benjamin Millepied. I love you very much,' she said.
The actress is expecting her first child by Millepied, who also appeared in Black Swan.
Stunning: Eva Longoria poses in a backless gown prior to presenting an award at tonight's show
Nominees: Both Hilary Swank and Nicole Kidman presented awards but lost out in the Best Acting category
Elegant: Susan Sarandon joined the ranks of celebrity presenters at the ceremony
Meanwhile, Christian Bale added the SAG Award for Supporting Actor to his Golden Globe and Critics Choice gongs for his role as drug addicted boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter.
He was joined on stage by the real life Eklund who he thanked for 'Living the life and letting me play you.'
Favourite Melissa Leo took the prize for Female Actor in a Supporting Role, also for The Fighter, paying tribute to the seven actresses who played her daughters in the film.
Victorious: Outstanding Supporting Actor Christian Bale is joined on stage by former boxer Dicky Eklund, who he plays in The Fighter
Triumphant: Melissa Leo holds her award aloft after emerging victorious in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category
'This has been an extraordinary season for me. I'm here with six out of the seven actresses who played my daughters. Thank you for helping me get a man I can take home with me,' she said, referring to the statuette.
Alec Baldwin surprised the audience by winning for the fifth consecutive time, beating Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer for the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy series.
'I don't know what to say. This is ridiculous,' he said.
Bemused: Betty White and Alec Baldwin were both surprised by their wins in the TV comedy category in Los Angeles on Sunday
Funny family: The cast of hit TV comedy series Modern Family look delighted at their win for Outstanding Comedy Ensemble
Betty White was visibly stunned to receive the Outstanding Comedy actress gong for her role in Hot In Cleveland, beating the likes of Glee's Jane Lynch and Tina Fey from 30 Rock.
'I must say, this is the biggest surprise I've ever had in the business,' she told the audience.
The cast of hit TV series Modern Family were also triumphant, beating favourites Glee for Best Ensemble Cast in a Comedy series.
Other winners included Boardwalk Empire's Steve Buscemi for Outstanding Actor in a TV series for his portrayal of the fictitious gangster Nicky Thompson, while Julianna Margulies for legal drama The Good Wife.
TV winners: Julianna Magulies accepts the award for Outstanding Female Actor in a drama series for The Good Wife, while Steve Buscemi collects the ale equivalent for Boardwalk Empire
Best ensemble: The cast of HBO's prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire pose with their SAG award for Outstanding Cast
Boardwalk Empire also won for Best Ensemble Cast in a Drama.
Al Pacino took the accolade for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Mini Series for You Don't Know Jack, although he was not at the ceremony.
And Claire Danes took the Miniseries gong for her role as Temple Grandin, thanking her husband Hugh Dancy in her speech.
'Thank you to my husband, my favourite man,' he said. 'My Hugh.'
Tribute: A delighted Claire Danes thanked her husband, actor Hugh Dancy, as she accepted the gong for Outstanding Female Actor in a TV movie or miniseries for her role as Temple Grandin
Glitzy: The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, where this year's SAG awards took place
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