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The winners at the SAG ceremony typically go on to earn Oscars. All four acting recipients at SAG last year later took home Oscars — Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech,” Natalie Portman for “Black Swan” and Christian Bale and Melissa Leo for “The Fighter.”

The same generally holds true for the weekend’s other big Hollywood honors, the Directors Guild of America Awards, where Michel Hazanavicius won the feature-film prize Saturday for “The Artist.” The Directors Guild winner has gone on to earn the best-director Oscar 57 times in the 63-year history of the union’s awards show.

The guild’s ensemble prize, considered the ceremony’s equivalent of a best-picture honor, has a spotty record at predicting what will win the top award at the Oscars.

While “The King’s Speech” won both honors a year ago, the SAG cast recipient has gone on to claim the top Oscar only eight times in the 16 years since the guild added the category.

Though “The Help” won the ensemble prize this time, “The Artist” and George Clooney’s family drama “The Descendants” are considered stronger contenders for the best-picture Oscar.

Mary Tyler Moore received the guild’s lifetime-achievement award, an honor presented to her by Dick Van Dyke, her co-star on the 1960s sit-com “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

SAG President Ken Howard put in a plug during the show for the guild’s planned merger with another Hollywood union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The boards of both groups have approved the merger, and ballots will be sent to members of each union.

“As one union, SAG-AFTRA will support a future of great entertainment for all of us,” Howard said.

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Associated Press Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.

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Online:

http://www.sagawards.com