- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2009


Heath Ledger’s sociopathic reinvention of Batman bad guy the Joker in “The Dark Knight” has earned him the supporting-actor honor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

His co-star Gary Oldman has accepted the prize on behalf of the late actor.

The win puts the late actor a step closer to becoming just the second performer to win a posthumous Academy Award.

Oscar buzz has been flying over Ledger’s performance since before his death just over a year ago from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. With the SAG win and the Golden Globe, Ledger now looks like a virtual lock to receive the supporting-actor Oscar on Feb. 22.

Kate Winslet won the supporting-actress prize Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her role as a former concentration camp guard in “The Reader.”

Winslet offered a tribute to the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, both producers on “The Reader,” and said 2008 was a fabulous year for films.

“It’s really an honor to be included in what I think is such a remarkable year,” Winslet said. “I really feel like everybody should be given a medal.”

The role already earned Winslet the same prize at the Golden Globes, where she also won lead dramatic actress for “Revolutionary Road.” But at the Oscars, Winslet has just one nomination, as lead actress for “The Reader.”

As it did at the Golden Globes, “30 Rock” swept the TV comedy honors, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin taking the individual acting prizes and the show winning the ensemble cast award.

Fey, creator and star of the series set behind the scenes at a sketch-comedy show, lobbed a wisecrack at Hollywood producers, who have battled Hollywood trade guilds over actors, writers and others’ share of potential profits from Web programming.

Joking that one day, her young daughter would be old enough to watch reruns of “30 Rock” on the Internet, Fey said, “She’ll look up at me and say, `What do you mean, you don’t get residuals for this?”’

Before the show, “The Dark Knight” won SAG’s honor for best movie stunt ensemble on Sunday, while “Heroes” took the same prize for television.

Airing live on TNT and TBS, the 15th annual SAG Awards planned a lifetime-achievement honor for James Earl Jones.

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