Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet Win 2009 Screen Actors Guild Awards

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CHICAGO – The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) gave out its coveted awards on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009 and Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet, Sean Penn and Meryl Streep walked away with the major film acting prizes. “Slumdog Millionaire” was awarded the prize for best ensemble of the year. Predictably, “30 Rock” and “Mad Men” took home the television ensemble prizes.

The 15th Annual SAG Awards
The 15th Annual SAG Awards
Photo credit: Turner

“Slumdog Millionaire” beat “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Doubt,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “Milk” for the main prize, often a good indication of what will win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Last year’s winner, “No Country For Old Men,” went on to win the Oscar. “Crash” also won the award on its way to a surprising Oscar for Best Picture.

Sean Penn won best actor for “Milk,” beating Mickey Rourke for “The Wrestler” and making that race for the Oscar a dead heat. Other nominees included Richard Jenkins for “The Visitor,” Frank Langella for “Frost/Nixon,” and Brad Pitt for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

The win for Meryl Streep for “Doubt” throws that Oscar category into complete disarray. She beat Anne Hathaway for “Rachel Getting Married,” Angelina Jolie for “Changeling,” Melissa Leo for “Frozen River,” and Kate Winslet for “Revolutionary Road”.

Winslet was nominated for the Oscar as well but for “The Reader,” a performance which she won the SAG Award, Golden Globes, and other award for this year. And many people still think Hathaway has a shot. With Streep winning last night, this is a three-lady race like none we have seen in years.

Heath Ledger took the prize for his supporting work in “The Dark Knight” and an emotional Gary Oldman accepted on his behalf. Ledger beat Josh Brolin from “Milk,” Robert Downey Jr. for “Tropic Thunder,” Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Doubt,” and Dev Patel for “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Kate Winslet won for “The Reader,” beating Amy Adams for “Doubt,” Penelope Cruz for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Viola Davis for “Doubt,” and Taraji P. Henson for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

“30 Rock” and “Mad Men” won the ensemble awards for television. Predictably, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey took the individual acting honors for comedy series. The drama prizes were a little more surprising with Hugh Laurie winning for “House” and Sally Field taking the trophy for “Brothers & Sisters”. The male and female lead of HBO’s “John Adams” - Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney - took the awards for the television movie or miniseries categories.

StarCheck out our 44-image gallery for the 15th-annual SAG awards.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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