'Rings,' 'Translation' Rule the Globes

'Rings,' 'Translation' Rule the Globes
Bill Murray and Charlize Theron were beaming as big winners at Sunday's 61st Golden Globes.
K. Winter/Getty/Newscom; J. Vespa/WireImage.com

01/25/2004 AT 01:00 PM EST

It took three years, but the Hobbits finally had their day at the 61st annual Golden Globe Awards. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," the final chapter in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy, topped the competition Sunday night with four wins, including best dramatic picture and best director.

Following with three trophies was Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," which was named best musical or comedy, along with best screenplay and best actor for Bill Murray -- who solidified his Oscar front-runner status for his role as an aging actor who strikes up a platonic relationship with a young woman in Tokyo.

Murray thanked Coppola "for writing a film that was so good that every actor in this room says, 'That lucky son of a bitch.' "

Murray's biggest competition come Oscar time? That'll be Sean Penn, who was named best actor in a drama for Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River." (The movie also nabbed Tim Robbins a win for best supporting actor.)

Charlize Theron was named best actress in a drama for her chilling transformation into real-life hooker-turned-serial-killer Aileen Wuornos for "Monster," costarring Christina Ricci.

"Ohhhh, my god. This is so crazy. I'm from a farm in South Africa," Theron said, before thanking the film's writer-director, Patty Jenkins.

"Cold Mountain," which came into Sunday night with a leading eight nominations, picked up just one win Sunday night, for best supporting actress, Renee Zellweger. On the musical/comedy side, Diane Keaton was named best actress for "Something's Gotta Give."

For "Rings," its Globe wins (including trophies for best original score and best original song, for "Into the West") leave the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy poised for Oscar glory when the Academy Awards are handed out Feb. 29.

"Really I just want to accept this award and pay tribute to professor Tolkien," said Jackson, who was joined by the cast and crew onstage.

Among the big TV winners, HBO's "Angels in America" ? the six-hour miniseries directed by Mike Nichols and based on Tony Kushner's play about AIDS in the Reagan era ? pulled a clean sweep, picking up five wins: best miniseries or TV movie, best actor for Al Pacino, best actress for Meryl Streep, best supporting actor for Jeffrey Wright and best supporting actress for Mary-Louise Parker.

A voluptuous Parker, who was named best supporting actress for "Angels," jokingly reserved special thanks for her newborn son, for "my boobs looking so good in this dress." (Parker recently split from the father, "Big Fish" star Bill Crudup.)

In one of the night's big surprises, best TV comedy honors went to BBC America's biting British import "The Office," and best actor went to the show's creator and star, Ricky Gervais.

Sarah Jessica Parker rounded out the TV comedy category with her fourth win in five years for HBO's "Sex and the City," which will wrap its run this season. "This is for the cast and the crew ... over 300 people who have enriched my life," Parker said, also giving thanks "to the city of New York, for being so good to us for so many years."

Best TV drama honors went to FOX's thriller "24," while Anthony LaPaglia was named best actor for CBS's "Without a Trace" and Frances Conroy was named best actress for HBO's "Six Feet Under."

The night's Cecil B. De Mille award for career achievement went to Michael Douglas for his decades of work both in front of and behind the camera. Douglas thanked his parents, wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and many of his early mentors, including Saul Zaentz (with whom he produced "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest") and actor Karl Malden, his former costar on TV's "The Streets of San Francisco."

"I'm so grateful to Karl Malden for showing me what a work ethic was about," Douglas said. "Karl you were a surrogate father to me."

Finally, best foreign-language film honors went to "Osama," from Afghanistan.

Next stop in the awards race: Oscar nominations, which will be announced Tuesday morning.

Go to the winner's tally

PEOPLE.com's complete Globes coverage

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