'Gladiator' Is Golden

06/04/1998 12:00AM

"Gladiator" marched triumphantly out of the 58th annual Golden Globes awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Sunday night. The ancient Roman epic starring Russell Crowe was named best dramatic picture (its only other Globe was for original score), though presenter Elizabeth Taylor nearly announced the movie as the winner without naming the other nominees. As she said on the stage, she's better used to accepting than giving awards. The biggest opposition to "Gladiator" was perceived to be "Traffic" (both had five nominations going into the evening), but that Steven Soderbergh-directed ensemble piece also nabbed only two Globes, for screenplay and for supporting actor Benicio Del Toro. Best comedy picture was "Almost Famous," which picked up another Globe for its supporting actress, Kate Hudson. Tom Hanks ("Cast Away") and George Clooney ("O Brother, Where Art Thou") were named best actors for dramatic and comedy roles, respectively, with Renée Zellweger ("Nurse Betty") and Julia Roberts ("Erin Brockovich") winning in the actress categories. Zellweger, continuing a Globe tradition started by Christine Lahti in 1999, was apparently in the ladies room when presenter Hugh Grant called her name. In TV categories, "The West Wing" tied with "Sex and the City" and won two Globes: best dramatic series and best actor, Martin Sheen. "Sex" was named best comedy series and its star (and executive producer) Sarah Jessica Parker, best actress. Robert Downey Jr.., who faces a court date stemming from a November felony drug bust, was named best supporting actor in a comedy series for "Ally McBeal" -- and said on air that he anticipates winning future Globes.

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