Go, Ladies! 'The Help' Wins Big at the SAG Awards

Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jean Dujardin and Christopher Plummer give their Oscar chances a boost with Screen Actors Guild victories

The cast of The Help had much reason to celebrate at the 2012 SAG Awards. The Civil Rights drama swept in all of its categories, winning outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role, outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role and the night's highest honor, outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.

In somewhat of a surprise victory, Viola Davis edged out Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams in the outstanding performance by a female actor category. In her acceptance speech, the star paid tribute to the two actresses who changed her life.

"I was 8 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 Cecily Tyson," Davis said. "And when I woke up and realized how difficult it was to be an actor and how the rejection was so high -- another person graced the screen when I was in college, and that was Meryl."

In the race for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, The Artist star Jean Dujardin beat George Clooney, who many expected to win for his acclaimed performance in The Descendants. The French actor looked stunned when he took the stage.

"I was a very bad student. I didn't listen in class, I was always dreaming. My teachers called me Jean De La Lune -- Jean of the Moon -- and I realize now that I never stopped dreaming," an emotional Dujardin recalled. "Thank you very much for this dream."

Dujardin wasn't the only Golden Globe winner to repeat at the SAG Awards. Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer officially solidified their Oscar front-runner status with wins in the supporting-actor categories for their respective turns in The Help and Beginners.

"I just can't tell you what fun I've had being a member of the world's second-oldest profession," Plummer joked in his acceptance speech. "Actors are gregarious and wacky, are they not? I love them dearly, but when they honor you it's like being lit by the Holy Grail. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

In another of the night's highlights, the three stars of Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph, introduced their film with a hilarious drinking game they claimed to have played on set: Just drink every time someone says "Scorsese" (as in legendary director Martin Scorsese). As they illustrated, his name pops up in everyday conversation a lot more than you'd think!

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to 75-year-old Mary Tyler Moore, who scored her first major role at 23, when she starred on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Her on-camera husband, Dick Van Dyke, presented her with the honor, praising the woman who "turned the world on with her smile."

"She was Katherine Hepburn, she was Lucille Ball. She was Judy Garland; she was Ginger Rogers," Van Dyke gushed.

Moore accepted her award with a brief speech, saying she is "happy after all," a reference to her iconic show's theme song.

Of course, there were plenty of other winners at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Here's the full list:

FILM

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Viola Davis, The Help

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: The Help

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Modern Family

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series: Game of Thrones

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