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Monday, 13 March, 2000, 11:41 GMT
Beauty bandwagon rolls on
Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening
Oscar favourites: Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening
Oscar favourite American Beauty has picked up three more prizes - this time at the sixth Screen Actors' Guild Awards in Los Angeles.

Stars Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening won best actor and actress for their parts in the satire on suburban life in the US.

Sam Mendes
The film is Sam Mendes' cinema debut
British director Sam Mendes' film-making debut also won the guild's ensemble acting award.

The Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) victory came the day after Mendes was named best director by the Directors' Guild of America at its award ceremony on Saturday.

Only four guild winners have failed to go on to win Oscars for best director and best picture since the directors' group began giving its prize in 1949, while in the past five ceremonies the SAG has chosen nine out of the 10 winners in the lead acting Oscar categories.

The two shows are the final award ceremonies before the Academy Awards on 26 March, for which American Beauty has eight nominations.

Kevin Spacey
Best actor: Kevin Spacey arrives at the awards
Despite the hype, Spacey and Bening's wins came as a surprise to many pundits. Denzel Washington was tipped to win for The Hurricane as well as Hilary Swank for Boys Don't Cry.

Spacey, 40, told reporters backstage: "I said to Ms Bening earlier, it wouldn't have been right if one of us won and one of us didn't. While we are no longer married, we are still devoted."

But Bening had more pressing matters on her mind - the 41-year-old actress is eight months pregnant with her and husband Warren Beatty's fourth child.

"One thing to all the actresses out there," she said. "Don't wait to have a baby. Do it now."

Jolie time

Other winners included Angelina Jolie, who won best supporting actress for Girl, Interrupted. She has already won a Golden Globe for the role and she is also nominated for an Academy Award.

Angelina Jolie at the Screen Actors Guild Awards
Angelina Jolie picks up her prize from The Sixth Sense's Hayley Joel Osment
"I'm very aware of how an Oscar can help your career," the 24-year-old said.

"It sounds corny, but the nomination, it's my first time, may be my only time, and I'm going to enjoy it."

Best supporting actor went to British movie icon Michael Caine for his role as an unorthodox abortion doctor in The Cider House Rules. He is also nominated for an Oscar.

TV awards

Television awards were dominated by mob drama The Sopranos.

Shown in the UK on Channel 4, the series saw Edie Falco and James Gandolfini win best actress and actor prizes. It also won the television ensemble acting award.

James Gandolfini arrives with his wife, Marcy Wudarski
James Gandolfini arrives with his wife, Marcy Wudarski
Gandolfini said: "I don't think any of us thought anyone would watch the show in the beginning. We figured people would think it was just a bunch of lunatics from New Jersey."

Michael J Fox received the prize for best actor in a comedy series for the second year running for Spin City, the show which he is leaving after announcing he has Parkinson's disease.

Meanwhile, Lisa Kudrow won best actress in a comedy series for her part as Phoebe in Friends. Frasier took the ensemble acting prize.

A lifetime achievement prize was given to 73-year-old Sidney Poitier, Halle Berry won the best actress in a TV movie or mini-series prize for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, and 75-year-old Jack Lemmon won the male equivalent for Tuesdays With Morrie.

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See also:

12 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Mendes has beautiful night
03 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Beauty outshines the Bard
15 Feb 00 | Entertainment
American Beauty leads Oscars field
24 Jan 00 | Entertainment
The Mendes touch
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