SAG Awards 2012: Tears of shock and joy as The Help sweeps the boards

And the winners are…Tears of shock and joy as The Help sweeps the boards at the SAG Awards

It was ladies’ night at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards when the film The Help swept the boards.

The female ensemble cast walked away with three major awards – for leading actress, best supporting actress and ensemble cast.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Viola Davis picked up her award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her performance in The Help.

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Tearful: Octavia Spencer wept tears of joy when she won the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for The Help in Los Angeles on Sunday night

Tearful: Octavia Spencer wept tears of joy when she won the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for The Help in Los Angeles on Sunday night

Overcome: Viola Davis was overcome with emotion when she accepted her award

Overcome: Viola Davis was overcome with emotion when she accepted her award

Overcome: Viola Davis was overcome with emotion when she accepted her award

The Help: Octavia Spencer, middle, with her co-stars Emma Stone and Viola Davis in the hit movie

The Help: Octavia Spencer, middle, with her co-stars Emma Stone and Viola Davis in the hit movie

The 46-year-old received a standing
ovation and her co-stars Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer were in
tears. Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep were also misty-eyed.

Davis accepted her award by paying tribute to veteran actress Cicely Tyson.

The
78-year-old wept as The Help star said: ‘I was eight-years-old when I
decided to be an actor and I am just so privileged to be gazing on the
beautiful face of the woman who inspired me that beautiful day and
that’s Cecilia Tyson.’

Emotions running high: Viola was visibly moved when her name was called out and right, celebrating with Octavia backstage

Emotions running high: Viola was visibly moved when her name was called out and right, celebrating with Octavia backstage

Emotions running high: Viola was visibly moved when her name was called out and right, celebrating with Octavia backstage

Davis also paid tribute to The Iron Lady
actress Meryl Streep, whom she pipped to the post to win the award.The
two shared a screen a few years before in Doubt.

Earlier in the evening Octavia
Spencer was overcome with emotion as she won the SAG for Outstanding
Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of
sassy maid Minny Jackson.

Struggling to lift the statute, she accepted the award, saying: ‘Oh wow I need to work out a little more. That guy’s heavy.’

Spencer’s
win comes just weeks after she won the Golden Globe for the same role
in the film, which is based on the novel about African-American maids
who take a stand during the Civil Rights era.

Silent star: French actor Jean Dujardin beat Brad Pitt and George Clooney to scoop the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in Leading Role

Silent star: French actor Jean Dujardin beat Brad Pitt and George Clooney to scoop the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in Leading Role

Silent star: French actor Jean Dujardin beat Brad Pitt and George Clooney to scoop the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in Leading Role

Speechless: Jean Dujardin with his The Artist co-star Brnice Bejo

Speechless: Jean Dujardin with his The Artist co-star Brnice Bejo

She
said: ‘I have to say that it was really a privilege to give a voice to
so many women who made it possible for me to be standing here tonight…’

Spencer
and Davis were back on the stage at the end of the night to accept an
award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for
bringing the characters from the book to the big screen.

Actors
Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain watched as Davis told their peers: ‘We
arrived on the set in July 2010 with such [a] heavy load on our shoulder;
such great expectations were already there for this book that was so
loved.’

She added: ‘The stain of racism and
sexism is not just for people of colour or for women. It’s all of our
burden. It’s on all of us.’

Old friends: The Help cast mates Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer introduced their film while Dallas co-stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman took on presenting duties

Old friends: The Help cast mates Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer introduced their film while Dallas co-stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman took on presenting duties

Old friends: The Help cast mates Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer introduced their film while Dallas co-stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman took on presenting duties

Lifetime Achievement: Veteran comedy actress Mary Tyler Moore was recognised for her work in film and TV

Lifetime Achievement: Veteran comedy actress Mary Tyler Moore was recognised for her work in film and TV

French actor swiped the leading actor award from under the noses of Hollywood’s biggest hunks – Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

And, true to his role as a silent star in The Artist, at first Dujardin didn’t know what to say when he took to the podium.

He eventually found the right words and said: ‘I was a very bad student. I didn’t listen in class.

‘I was always dreaming…My teachers called me Jean of the Moon. I realise now that I never stopped dreaming.

'Thank you very much. Thank you for this dream.’

Beloved
actress Betty White seemed perplexed when she was announced as the winner
for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.

It’s
not the first time the Golden Girl has won a SAG Award for her work in
the TV series Hot in Cleveland. She topped the same category last year.

White said: ‘I think they made a terrible mistake.’

She then added that the award also belonged to her co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick.

But, ever the funny woman, she quickly quipped: ‘I’m not going to let them keep this but I’ll let them see it.’

Alec Baldwin was another previous winner who was crowned king of his category yet again.

The
53-year-old was given the statute for Outstanding Performance by a Male
Actor in a Comedy series for the sixth year in a row for his work in 30
Rock.

The usually articulate star screamed ‘Oh my God’ several times like an overexcited teen.

Baldwin, who plays Jack Donaghy in the hit sitcom, thanked the show’s writers, including co-star Tina Fey.

Other winners included Christopher Plummer who was honoured for his best supporting role in the film Beginners.

The
82-year-old jokingly said: ‘I just can’t tell you what fun I’ve had
being a member of the world’s second oldest profession…’

Speaking of winning a SAG for the first time, The Sound of Music star said: ‘It’s like being lit by the Holy Grail.’

Another first time winner included Jessica Lange who was recognised for her role in the dark TV series American Horror Story.

The Oscar-winner said about the Ryan
Murphy show: 'Thank you to FX and to all the crazy, wild, imaginative
people who put this thing together.

'It was a real leap of faith to jump into it, but it's been a wild ride.'

Supporting men: Alec Baldwin won for his work on 30 Rock, while Christopher Plummer received his first SAG for The Beginners

Supporting men: Alec Baldwin won for his work on 30 Rock, while Christopher Plummer received his first SAG for The Beginners

Supporting men: Alec Baldwin won for his work on 30 Rock, while Christopher Plummer received his first SAG for The Beginners

Funny women: Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy got the glitzy crowd playing drinking games

Funny women: Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy got the glitzy crowd playing drinking games

TV winners: Jessica Lange won for her role in American Horror Story while Steve Buscemi won for Boardwalk Empire

TV winners: Jessica Lange won for her role in American Horror Story while Steve Buscemi won for Boardwalk Empire

TV winners: Jessica Lange won for her role in American Horror Story while Steve Buscemi won for Boardwalk Empire

Golden Girl: Betty White took home the award for her work in Hot in Cleveland for the second year in a row

Golden Girl: Betty White took home the award for her work in Hot in Cleveland for the second year in a row

Other winners included Steve Buscemi for his performance in the period drama Boardwalk Empire.

The HBO show also won for best ensemble cast in a drama series, while the Modern Family actors won for their hit comedy.

Glenn Close accepted Kate Winslet’s SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Mini Series.

The British star – who wasn’t at the ceremony – won for the remake of the classic film, Mildred Pierce.

Child's play: The young stars of Modern Family accepted the cast award for comedy series

Child's play: The young stars of Modern Family accepted the cast award for comedy series

Modern Family: Sofia Vegara and Rico Rodriguez beam with pride as they clutch their SAG Awards

Modern Family: Sofia Vegara and Rico Rodriguez beam with pride as they clutch their SAG Awards

Modern Family: Sofia Vegara and Rico Rodriguez beam with pride as they clutch their SAG Awards

Boardwalk Empire: The case of the HBO series won the SAG for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire: The case of the HBO series won the SAG for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Mary
Tyler Moore was recognised for her work in film and TV with a Lifetime
Achievement Award. Her former co-star Dick Van Dyke presented her with
the honour.

They
may not have been given a SAG but if there was a prize for the best gag
it would have gone to the stars of Bridesmaids who encouraged the
glitzy audience to join them in a drinking game.

Maya Rudolph encouraged everyone watching to have a drink every time the name Martin Scorsese was mentioned.

Thirsty work: Presenter Tina Fey knocks back a glass of wine she took from Steve Buscemi as he accepted his award for Boardwalk Empire

Thirsty work: Presenter Tina Fey knocks back a glass of wine she took from Steve Buscemi as he accepted his award for Boardwalk Empire

Thirsty work: Presenter Tina Fey knocks back a glass of wine she took from Steve Buscemi as he accepted his award for Boardwalk Empire

Before
swigging from a bottle of what appeared to be vodka, Melissa McCarthy
said: ‘You’d be surprised how much that comes up just in casual
conversation because people like to throw that thing around.’

Backstage
the jokes kept on coming as Alec Baldwin poked fun at being thrown off
an American Airlines flight in December for not taking off his mobile
phone when asked to.

The actor allegedly was engrossed in a game of Words With Friends at the time of the incident.

He told waiting reporters: 'I am still playing Words With Friends, but on Virgin Atlantic.'

And award for the most affectionate couple goes to: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt put on a show of their own in the auditorium

Enjoying the night: Tina Fey knocks back a glass of wine during the Martin Scorsese drinking game while Brad Pitt and Angelina steal a kiss

And the award for the most affectionate couple goes to: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt put on a show of their own in the auditorium

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SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS – COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS

MOVIES:
Actor: Jean Dujardin, 'The Artist'

Actress: Viola Davis, 'The Help'

Supporting actor: Christopher Plummer, 'Beginners.'

Supporting actress: Octavia Spencer, 'The Help.'

Cast: 'The Help'

Stunt ensemble: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.'

TELEVISION:
Actor in a movie or miniseries: Paul Giamatti, 'Too Big to Fail.'

Actress in a movie or miniseries: Kate Winslet, 'Mildred Pierce.'

Actor in a drama series: Steve Buscemi, 'Boardwalk Empire'

Actress in a drama series: Jessica Lange, 'American Horror Story'

Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin, '30 Rock.'

Actress in a comedy series: Betty White, 'Hot in Cleveland.'

Drama series cast: 'Boardwalk Empire'

Comedy series cast: 'Modern Family.'

Stunt ensemble: 'Game of Thrones.'