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Tuesday, 30 January, 2001, 16:02 GMT
Billy Elliot star up for Hollywood award
Jamie Bell
Acclaimed performance: Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot
Teenage star Jamie Bell is up against Russell Crowe and Tom Hanks for the best actor prize at the Screen Actors Guild awards in Hollywood.

The 14-year-old has won praise for his portrayal of an aspiring ballet dancer in the British production Billy Elliot, which is nominated for three awards in total.

Jamie Bell and Julie Walters
Bell with fellow nominee Julie Waters
His screen dance teacher Julie Walters is nominated in the best supporting actress category, and the whole cast are also up for a joint prize in the last major awards ceremony before the Oscars.

Click here to see the nominations in full.

Five films are up for three awards - Billy Elliot, Roman epic Gladiator, political drama The Contender, rock memoir Almost Famous and French fairytale Chocolat.

Russell Crowe and Tom Hanks are nominated for best actor for their parts in Gladiator and Cast Away, alongside Geoffrey Rush (Quills) and Benicio Del Toro (Traffic).

Hanks took the equivalent prize at the Golden Globes earlier this month.

Tom Hanks at the Golden Globes
Globe winner: Tom Hanks earlier this month
Fellow Globe winner Julia Roberts leads the best actress category for her role in Erin Brockovich.

She is up against Juliette Binoche for her part in Chocolat, Ellen Burstyn (Requiem For A Dream), Joan Allen (The Contender), and Laura Linney for You Can Count On Me.

British stars dominate the best supporting actress category, with Dame Judi Dench and Kate Winslet nominated for Chocolat and Quills.

Julia Roberts
Globe winner: Will Julia Roberts pick up another prize?
Almost Famous stars Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand make up the rest of the nominations, alongside Julie Walters.

Best supporting actor nominees include Gary Oldman and Jeff Bridges for The Contender.

Joaquin Phoenix is nominated for Gladiator, Willem Dafoe receives a nod for Shadow Of The Vampire and Albert Finney takes a further nomination for Erin Brockovich.

Russell Crowe
Fighting for Gladiator: Russell Crowe
Almost Famous, Chocolat, Traffic and Gladiator are nominated alongside Billy Elliot for their overall casts.

The awards take place in Los Angeles two weeks before the Oscars, on 11 March.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards are seen as a relatively accurate indicator of what will win at the Academy Awards.

Nominees are chosen by 4,200 randomly selected members of the union, with the winners being chosen by the full membership of 98,000.

Of the 12 past SAG winners in the leading film acting categories, 10 have picked up Oscars.

The Actor
The SAG's trophy: The Actor
Last year, Kevin Spacey took the best actor SAG prize for American Beauty, and followed it up with an Oscar.

But co-star Annette Bening, who took best actress at the SAG awards, lost out at the Oscars to Hilary Swank for Boys Don't Cry.

In supporting categories, seven out of 13 SAG winners have gone on to receive Oscars.

Nominees are chosen by 4,200 randomly selected members of the union, with the full membership of 98,000 eligible to choose the winners.

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee will be honoured on the night
Both the nominations and the award ceremonies happen two weeks before their Oscar equivalents, with the SAG awards taking place on 11 March.

Two winners have already been announced - husband and wife team Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee will win the guild's lifetime achievement honour.

Married since 1948, Davis and Dee made their film debuts in 1950 with Sidney Poitier No Way Out. More recently they have collaborated with Spike Lee in films such as Do The Right Thing.

Click here to see the nominations in full.

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See also:

30 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Screen Actors Guild Awards: The nominations
16 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Spacey's union clarion call
18 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Hurley fined for strike-breaking ad
22 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Globes honour Gladiator
06 Jan 01 | Entertainment
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