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'Brokeback' leads SAG Award nominations

Directors Guild also names picks

Brokeback
"Brokeback Mountain" earned nods for Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams (above) and Jake Gyllenhaal.

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(CNN) -- "Brokeback Mountain" continues rustling up honors, picking up nominations Thursday for best ensemble, best actor, best supporting actor and best supporting actress for the 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Heath Ledger was tapped by his peers for a best actor nomination, while his co-star in the story of two cowboys who fall in love, Jake Gyllenhaal, was nominated for best supporting actor.

Michelle Williams, who plays Ledger's wife in the movie, was nominated for best supporting actress.

The film also picked up a nomination for director Ang Lee from the Directors Guild of America, which announced its nominations a few hours after SAG.

Other SAG best film ensemble nominations -- an honor similar to the Academy Awards' best picture designation -- are "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Hustle & Flow." (Watch who topped the nominations -- 8:30)

In the best film actor category, Ledger was nominated along with Russell Crowe ("Cinderella Man"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote"), Joaquin Phoenix ("Walk the Line") and David Strathairn ("Good Night, and Good Luck").

The nominees for best actress in a film are Judi Dench ("Mrs. Henderson Presents"), Felicity Huffman ("Transamerica"), Charlize Theron ("North Country"), Reese Witherspoon ("Walk the Line") and Ziyi Zhang ("Memoirs of a Geisha").

Huffman nabbed two nominations Thursday morning: she's also up for best actress in a television comedy for "Desperate Housewives."

The nominees for best supporting actor in a film are Don Cheadle ("Crash"), George Clooney ("Syriana"), Matt Dillon ("Crash"), Paul Giamatti ("Cinderella Man") and Gyllenhaal.

The nominees for best supporting actress in a film are Amy Adams ("Junebug"), Catherine Keener ("Capote"), Frances McDormand ("North Country"), Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener") and Williams.

The SAG Awards, voted on by members of the Screen Actors Guild -- who form the largest contingent of Academy Award voters -- are considered one of several harbingers of the Oscars. Given the nominations, "Brokeback," "Capote," "Crash" and "Good Night, and Good Luck" are considered likely Oscar front-runners. All four films were also nominated by the Producers Guild of America for its top honor.

Somewhat surprisingly, though Terrence Howard's performance in "Hustle & Flow" earned the lion's share of the film's raves, he wasn't nominated for best actor -- though the film ensemble earned a SAG nod, beating out such films as "Walk the Line," "Syriana" and "Munich."

"Munich's" Steven Spielberg did get a nomination from the Directors Guild. Other DGA nominations went to Paul Haggis ("Crash"), George Clooney ("Good Night, and Good Luck") and Bennett Miller ("Capote").

Since the DGA Award's inception, 51 of 57 winners have gone on to win the Oscar, though two in the last six years -- Ang Lee in 2000, nominated for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"; and Rob Marshall in 2003 ("Chicago") -- did not.

Television nominations

SAG also gives awards for television acting. Among the leading nominees for the small screen were "Boston Legal," which earned picks for best comedy ensemble and three of its actors, and "Grey's Anatomy," nominated for best drama, best actor and best actress.

SAG nominations
Benjamin Bratt and Ellen Pompeo announce the nominations Thursday morning.

The nominees for best comedy ensemble are "Arrested Development," "Boston Legal," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Desperate Housewives," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "My Name Is Earl."

The nominees for best drama ensemble are "The Closer," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "Six Feet Under" and "The West Wing."

Best actor in a TV drama nominees are Alan Alda ("The West Wing"), Patrick Dempsey ("Grey's Anatomy"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), Ian McShane ("Deadwood") and Kiefer Sutherland ("24").

Best actress in a TV drama nominees are Patricia Arquette ("Medium"), Geena Davis ("Commander in Chief"), Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy") and Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer").

Best actor in a TV comedy nominees are Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace"), Jason Lee ("My Name Is Earl"), William Shatner ("Boston Legal") and James Spader ("Boston Legal").

Best actress in a TV comedy nominees are Candice Bergen ("Boston Legal"), Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives"), Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace") and Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds").

The HBO movie "Empire Falls" earned four acting nominations, including nods for husband and wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards will air at 8 p.m. ET January 29 on TNT and TBS. Both networks are units of Time Warner, as is CNN.

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