Mel Wants Your Picture

06/11/1998 12:00AM

A new year, a new awards season: Julia Roberts, 33, and Mel Gibson, 44, topped the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards list for favorite motion picture actor and actress last night, in a ceremony broadcast from Southern California. "Wow," said a flustered Gibson as he clutched his crystal trophy. After women in the audience screamed, "We love you Mel!" he responded, "Just send Polaroids." When Roberts won her award, determined (as were all the winners) by a Gallup poll, she said at the podium, "Already I see a 'Please wrap up,' and there's no way in hell." She then thanked those associated with "Erin Brockovich." Bette Midler, 55, whose CBS sitcom "Bette" is struggling, and John Goodman, 48, whose Fox sitcom "Normal, Ohio," was canceled, were named favorite performers in a new series. Also on the movie front, Edward Yang's "Yi Yi," a nearly 3-hour family drama set in Taiwan, was named best picture of the year this weekend Saturday by the National Society of Film Critics. "You Can Count on Me" won two awards (for best actress Laura Linney and for Kenneth Lonergan's screenplay), and Javier Bardem was named best actor, for "Before Night Falls."

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