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'The Help' wins 3 Screen Actors Guild prizes

The Deep South drama "The Help" won three prizes yesterday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, including best actress in a film for Viola Davis and supporting actress for Octavia Spencer.

"The Help" also claimed the guild's ensemble award, the show's equivalent of a best-picture prize, The Associated Press reports.

Davis and Spencer won as black maids going public with uneasy truths about their white employers in 1960s Mississippi.

Jean Dujardin won the lead-actor honor for "The Artist" as a silent-film superstar whose career crumbles when the sound era arrives. Christopher Plummer won for supporting actor as an elderly dad who comes out as gay in "Beginners."

The wins boost the actors' prospects for the same honors at the Feb. 26 Academy Awards.

On the television side, comedy series awards went to "Modern Family" for best ensemble; Alec Baldwin as best actor for "30 Rock"; and Betty White as best actress for "Hot in Cleveland."

"You can't name me, without naming those other wonderful women on 'Hot in Cleveland,' " the 90-year-old White said. "This nomination belongs to four of us. Please, please know that I'm dealing them right in with this. I'm not going to let them keep this, but I'll let them see it."

The TV drama show winners were: Jessica Lange as best actress for "American Horror Story"; and Steve Buscemi as best actor for "Boardwalk Empire," which also won the ensemble prize.

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