"Debaters" scores four NAACP Image awards

Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:48am EST
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By Carly Mayberry

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "The Great Debaters" took center stage at the 39th annual NAACP Image Awards Thursday, winning four prizes including best motion picture.

Denzel Washington, who starred in and directed the film about a college debate team, was named best actor, while Jurnee Smollett won for best actress. Denzel Whitaker took home the statuette for supporting actor.

Actor/writer/filmmaker Tyler Perry also proved a big winner. His film "Why Did I Get Married?" garnered Janet Jackson the award for supporting actress, while his TBS series "House of Payne" won three awards including comedy series.

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" won for drama series, and HBO's "Life Support" for TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special.

Just off her two Grammy wins on Sunday, Alicia Keys swept the musical categories with four awards. Kasi Lemmons took the feature directing prize for "Talk to Me."

The ceremony, hosted by comedian D.L. Hughley at the Shrine Auditorium, included special awards for Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Oscar-nominated actress Ruby Dee.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Former NBA player Rick Fox (L) presents actor Denzel Washington with the Image Award for outstanding actor in a motion picture for his role in "The Great Debaters", during the 39th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles February 14, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>