The 7th Annual Screen
Actors Guild Awards®

Photo-Report by Judy Sloane
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On March 11, a cold and cloudy evening in
Los Angeles, the Screen Actors Guild honored their own (from the year's best television and films) in an award ceremony that has become as important to performers as the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

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Just a few moments before the proceedings were to begin, Tom Hanks, nominated for Best Actor for Cast Away, arrived with his wife Rita. Racing past the photographers and journalists, the couple stopped abruptly when someone in the press threw a soccer ball onto the runway. Hanks, in reference to his 'significant other' in Cast Away, shouted 'Wilson,' and gave the ball a playful kick before disappearing into the Shrine.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

Continuing its run as the most acclaimed series on television, The West Wing swept the SAG Awards, winning individual Actors for its stars Martin Sheen and Allison Janney, as well as for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Sheen, who portrays President Josiah Bartlet on the show, put the accolade into perspective, saying, "It's the awards season, and it's a two-edged sword. We're told to remember that the higher the monkey climbs, the more he shows his ass. So you're really seeing the worst part of me!"

The West Wing's Allison Janney

Best Actor in a Comedy went to Robert Downey Jr. for his recurring role on Ally McBeal. Dedicating the award to his mother, who inspired him to become an actor, Downey said, "In addition to being a great mom, there was this magical thing she did, and that made me ecstatic."

Best Ensemble for a Comedy Series went to the cast of Will & Grace. Eric McCormack reveled in the award, commenting, "We're happy to receive this naked guy (the Actor). It's the most appropriate award possible."

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Images and text by Judy Sloane © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction.