HOLLYWOOD - 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 teen-age 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 co-star 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 a Los Angeles family that runs a funeral home, took home honors for the best drama 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 in Los Angeles. 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:
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:
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 & Grace
Female actor in a comedy series:
Megan Mullally, Will &Grace;
Ensemble of a drama series:
Six Feet Under
Ensemble of a comedy series:
Everybody Loves Raymond
Susan King is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, a Tribune publishing newspaper.