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'Secret Life of Bees' takes top awards; 'Slumdog' wins one too

February 12, 2009 |  7:04 pm

Henson1 "The Secret Life of Bees" won outstanding film of 2008 at the 40th annual NAACP Image Awards on Thursday evening. The female-driven drama also won outstanding director for Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Will Smith and Rosario Dawson were named outstanding actor and actress for "Seven Pounds."

Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson won supporting actress honors for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and Columbus Short earned supporting actor kudos for “Cadillac Records.” Jenny Lumet earned the award for writing in a motion picture.

The awards honor individuals, as well as projects that promote diversity in the arts, literature, cinema, recording and television. Tyler Perry and Halle Berry hosted the event, which also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the NAACP and was telecast on Fox from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

"Slumdog Millionaire" won for independent motion picture, and France’s "The Class" was named outstanding foreign motion picture.

"Grey’s Anatomy" won outstanding drama series, actress for Chandra Wilson and writing for Shonda Rhimes. Hill Harper of "CSI: New York" earned outstanding actor in a drama series. Taye Diggs was named top supporting actor in a drama series for “Private Practice,” and Angela Bassett won supporting actress honors for “E.R.”

“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” received four honors: outstanding comedy series, actor for LeVan Davis, supporting actor for Lance Gross and supporting actress for Keshia Knight Pulliam.

Tracee Ellis Ross won outstanding actress kudos for the sitcom “Girlfriends.”

“A Raisin in the Sun” took home three Image Awards for outstanding television movie, mini-series or d dramatic special; actress for Phylicia Rashad; and actor for Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Jamie Foxx  was named outstanding male artist, while Beyonce earned outstanding female artist.

Jennifer Hudson was the recipient of the best new artist award, outstanding duo, group or collaboration, for “I’m His Only Woman” with Fantasia, and album for “Jennifer Hudson.”

Muhammad Ali received the 2009 President’s Award, with Russell Simmons earning the Vanguard Award. Al Gore and Dr. Wangai Maathai were the recipients of the Chairman’s Award for their environmental work.

Other awards announced Thursday evening:

Actor in a daytime drama series: Bryton McClure, “The Young and the Restless.”

Actress in a daytime drama series: Debbie Morgan, “All My Children”

News/information--series or special: “In Conversation With Michelle Obama Interview”

Talk series: “The View”

Reality series: “American Idol”

Variety--series or special: “UNCF An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Smokey Robinson”

Children’s program: “Dora the Explorer”

Performance in a youth/children’s program, series or special: Keke Palmer, “True Jackson”

Documentary: “The Black List”

Directing in a drama series: Ernest Dickerson, “Lincoln Heights”

Directing in a comedy series: Kevin Sullivan, “30 Rock”

Writing in a comedy series: Erica D. Montolfo, “The Game”

Jazz artist: Natalie Cole, “Still Unforgettable”

Gospel artist, traditional or contemporary: Mary, Mary

World Music Album: Cheryl Keyes, “Let Me Take You There”

Music Video: “Yes We Can,” Will.i.am

Song: “Yes We Can,” Will i. am

Literary work--fiction: “In the Night of the Heat: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel,” Blair Underwood,

Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes

Literary work--nonfiction: “Letter to My Daughter,” Maya Angelou

Literary work--debut author: “Barack, Race and the Media: Drawing My Own Conclusion,” David Glenn Brown

Literary work--biography/autobiography: “The Legs Are the Last to Go,” Diahann Carroll

Literary work--instructional: “32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business,” Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Literary work--poetry: “Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry With a Beat,” Nikki Giovanni

Literary work--children: “Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope,” Nikki Grimes

Literary work--youth/teens: “Letters to a Young Sister: Define Your Destiny,” Hill Harper

--Susan King

Photo credit: Getty Images

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