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Actors Guild nominations announced

"Chicago" picked up SAG Award nominations for four performers, including Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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(CNN) -- The Screen Actors Guild mostly stuck to the script when announcing the nominations for its 9th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Tuesday morning, nominating several cast members from "Chicago" and "The Hours" -- the two films considered the front-runners for the Academy Awards.

Nicole Kidman was nominated for outstanding performance by female actor in a leading role for her performance as Virginia Woolf in "The Hours," while both Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere were nominated in lead acting categories for "Chicago."

In the supporting actor categories, Julianne Moore and Ed Harris were nominated for "The Hours," and both Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones were nominated for "Chicago."

Both films were also nominated for outstanding performance by a cast, the SAG Awards' equivalent of a best picture award. All told, "Chicago" received five nominations and "The Hours" earned four.

Other films nominated for best cast are "Adaptation," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," and audience favorite "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Oscar bellwether?

For lead actor, the nominees in addition to Gere are Adrien Brody ("The Pianist"), Nicolas Cage ("Adaptation"), Daniel Day-Lewis ("Gangs of New York"), and Jack Nicholson ("About Schmidt").

For lead actress, besides Kidman and Zellweger, the nominees are Salma Hayek ("Frida"), Diane Lane ("Unfaithful"), and Julianne Moore ("Far From Heaven").

In the supporting actor category, the nominees are Chris Cooper ("Adaptation"), Alfred Molina ("Frida"), Christopher Walken ("Catch Me If You Can") and Dennis Quaid ("Far From Heaven"), in addition to Harris.

Supporting actress nominees include Kathy Bates ("About Schmidt") and Michelle Pfeiffer ("White Oleander"), in addition to Moore, Latifah and Zeta-Jones.

Christopher Walken, earning raves for his performance in "Catch Me If You Can," earned a SAG nomination for supporting actor.

The SAG Awards, though only in their ninth year, are watched closely by Oscar observers because actors make up the largest Academy voting bloc. The SAG Award nominees were chosen by two randomly selected panels totaling 4,200 SAG members across the United States, according to the organization's Web site. The entire SAG membership of 98,000 will vote on the nominees to decide the winners.

SAG also announced nominees in several television categories.

The nominees for leading ensemble in a drama series were Fox's "24," CBS' "CSI," HBO's "Six Feet Under" and "The Sopranos," and NBC's "The West Wing." For leading ensemble in a comedy, nominees included CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond," NBC's "Frasier," "Friends" and "Will & Grace," and HBO's "Sex and the City."

Clint Eastwood will receive the life achievement award.

The awards will be telecast on cable network TNT from Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, March 9. TNT is a division of AOL Time Warner, as is

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