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Julia Roberts, Ang Lee, 'Gladiator' winners at Golden Globes

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Actresses, from left, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, and Cynthia Nixon won best comedy television series for "Sex and the City"  

BEVERLY HILLS, California (CNN) -- It was a good night for togas, hidden dragons and rock 'n' roll Sunday at the Hollywood Foreign Press' 58th Golden Globes.

The Roman epic "Gladiator" and Cameron Crowe's rock comedy, "Almost Famous," took top honors as the best films in their categories, while top celebrities Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks took home the gold for best actress and actor in a drama -- Roberts for "Erin Brockovich" and Hanks for "Cast Away."

In her acceptance speech, Roberts thanked her "Erin Brockovich" director Steven Soderbergh, saying "I would read the phone book to him, if he asked me to." She ended her speech by saying, "I am shamelessly filled with joy."

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It was also a big night for new faces. Newlywed Kate Hudson was named best supporting actress for "Almost Famous," winning over her film co-star and fellow nominee Frances McDormand.

In a case of being at the wrong place at the right time, Renee Zellweger was named best actress in a comedy for "Nurse Betty." She wasn't in the room to hear her name called.

"I was in the bathroom," Zellweger said backstage after accepting her award. "I thought I had something in my teeth and I wanted to fix it."

Other new faces taking home awards included Benicio Del Toro for best supporting actor for his role in "Traffic." The drug drama also snagged a best screenplay honor for screenwriter Stephen Gaghan. In his acceptance speech, Gaghan noted the effect drug use had played early in his life, and said the experience helped inspire him to write the film.

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Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson backstage with his award for best drama actor for "Castaway"  

In a surprise win, Taiwanese director Ang Lee won best director for his martial-arts/romantic drama "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," beating out Soderbergh, who was nominated twice, for "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich." Lee's film also took home honors for best non-English language film.

Veteran actors were also winners Sunday night: George Clooney won best actor in a comedy for his role as an ex-con in the Coen brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," while Robert Downey Jr. won best supporting actor in a TV comedy for his guest stint on "Ally McBeal."

Other TV winners included Sarah Jessica Parker, who took home as best actress in a TV comedy for "Sex and the City"; the show itself took home the honor for best TV comedy. Kelsey Grammer won best actor in a TV comedy; Sela Ward won best actress in a TV drama for "Once and Again"; and Martin Sheen won best actor in a TV drama for "The West Wing," which also won for best TV drama.

The Golden Globes ceremony is one of the film industry's most-watched events and is considered the precursor to the Oscars, the film industry's highest awards given out each March. Last year, four of the six Golden Globe winners later won Oscars.



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