'The Help,' Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer take NAACP Image honors
Viola Davis won lead actress and Octavia Spencer earned the supporting actress prize for the film, a look at domestic help and their employers in the South on the cusp of the civil rights movement. "The Help" is also nominated for the best film Oscar at next week's Academy Awards ceremony, and Davis and Spencer are also nominated.
The Image Awards were presented at the Shrine Auditorium and telecast on NBC. Actress Sanaa Lathan and actor Anthony Mackie hosted the event, which featured a tribute to the late Whitney Houston performed by gospel singer Yolanda Adams.
The romantic comedy-drama "Jumping the Broom" also scored well in the feature film categories with Laz Alonso earning the lead actor award, Mike Epps supporting actor and Salim Akil best director.
Other film awards handed out Friday evening included "Pariah" for outstanding independent motion picture, Angelina Jolie's "In the Land of Blood and Honey" won foreign film honors and Ann Peacock won for her screenplay of "The First Grader."
George Lucas received the NAACP Vanguard Award.
On the television front, "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" won best comedy series and Keshia Knight Pulliam won supporting actress for the sitcom. Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Tracee Ellis Ross won lead actor and actress in a comedy series for "Reed Between the Lines" and Nick Cannon earned supporting actor for "Up All NIght."
"Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit" took best drama series honors, while LL Cool J won best actor in a drama series for "NCIS: Los Angeles" and Regina King took home best actress for "Southland." James Pickens Jr. earned supporting actor for "Grey's Anatomy" and Archie Panjabi won supporting actress for "The Good Wife."
For a complete list of winners, which also include music and literature categories, go to http://www.naacpimageawards.net
Photo: Cicely Tyson, left, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, producers Michael Barnathan, Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Tate Taylor accept the award for best film for "The Help" at the NAACP Image Awards. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards.