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By United Press International   |   Jan. 30, 2012 at 3:48 AM

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SAG AWARDS: The cast of the civil rights-era drama "The Help" won the Best Ensemble title at Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards show in Los Angeles.

Two of its stars -- Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis -- also were singled out for individual prizes for their excellent performances in the movie.

"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 Cicely Tyson," Davis said as she collected her SAG Award for Best Actress. "When I woke up and realized how difficult it was to be an actor and the rejection was so high, another beautiful face graced the screen when I was in college and that was Meryl [Streep] and she always inspires me. ... I am so proud to be an actor."

Spencer picked up her Best Supporting Actress trophy earlier in the evening, while French comedian Jean Dujardian went home with the Best Actor statuette for his work in the black-and-white ode to Hollywood's silent film era "The Artist."


DIMITRA ARLISS: Dimitra Arliss, who played assassin Loretta Salino in the classic, "The Sting," has died in Woodland Hills, Calif., a hospital spokesman said.

Jaime Larkin, spokesman for the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital, said Arliss was 79 when she died Thursday of complications from a stroke.

Arliss was born Oct. 23, 1932, in Lorain, Ohio and began her acting career in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre. She racked up many television credits including roles on "Dallas," Rich Man, Poor Man," and "Quincy," but her "breakout" role was as assassin Loretta Salino in the 1973 Paul Newman, Robert Redford classic, "The Sting."

She also provided the Armor Computer voice in the two-part 1994 Iron Man episode "The Origin Of Iron Man," BigCartoonNews.com reported.

She is survived by a sister.


MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS: Michel Hazanavicius picked up the Directors Guild of America's Feature Film Award this weekend for his silent, black-and-white movie "The Artist."

The prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Miniseries went to Jon Cassar for "The Kennedys."

Patty Jenkins picked up the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Dramatic Series for helming the TV pilot of "The Killing."

The Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series honor was presented to Robert B. Weide for "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Glenn Weiss won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Musical Variety accolade for his work on the 65th annual Tony Awards show.

The award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Documentary went to James Marsh for "Project Nim."

The award winners were announced Saturday night during a dinner at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles.

Director/producer/actor Kelsey Grammer served as host of the ceremony.


SUNDANCE: The Sundance Film Festival in Utah wrapped with "The House I Live In" winning as top documentary and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" as best drama.

"The House I Live In," directed by Eugene Jarecki, was focused on the failed U.S. war on drugs and the domino effect it's had on the American penal system and society, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Beasts," talked about throughout the festival which wrapped Saturday, is an expressionistic fable about a girl and her father trying to make it through the poverty and flooding of the Southern Delta.

The movie was directed by Benh Zeitlin.

"I hope this film is just like a flag that goes up in inspiration to other filmmakers," he said.

Ra'anan Alexandrowicz took home the jury prize for World Cinema Documentary "The Law in These Parts," focusing on the legal system in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

"Violeta Went to Heaven," directed by Andres Wood, a film about singer Violeta Parra, won the World Cinematic Dramatic Jury prize, the Times said.

Audience prizes the U.S. dramatic category went to Ben Lewin's "The Surrogate" and "The Invisible War," Kirby Dick's work about on rape in the military.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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