Posted 1/19/2003 9:10 PM     Updated 1/19/2003 9:28 PM
Gere, Zellweger win Golden Globes for 'Chicago'

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Chicago co-stars Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere won Golden Globes for best comedy/musical acting on Sunday while Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper received supporting performer honors for Adaptation.

"I'm literally totally shocked. I don't win anything," said Gere, who won for playing a slick lawyer in the musical. "And I didn't even want to do this movie. That's what I know."

Zellweger, who played a star-struck prisoner trying to beat a murder charge, thanked co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones, whom she beat in the category. "You're a goddess and I'm so glad the world now knows what you can do," Zellweger told her while onstage.

Adaptation co-stars Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper received supporting performer Golden Globes for the fictionalized story of a screenwriter's attempt to adapt the nonfiction book The Orchid Thief into a movie.

"Oh my God, I've just been nominated 789 times and I was getting so settled over there for a long winter's nap," said Streep, a frequent awards recipient who was also nominated in the dramatic actress category for her work in The Hours.

In Adaptation, which blends reality and fiction about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's efforts to adapt Orlean's book The Orchid Thief for the screen, jokingly fantasizes in its climax that Orlean was a drug-crazed, would-be killer.

"Susan Orlean, I apologize for the second half," Streep said in her acceptance speech, one she wasn't ready to give.

"I didn't have anything prepared because it's been like (since) the Pleistocene era that I won anything," said the actress, who last won a Golden Globe in 1983, for Sophie's Choice. (She's won two others, for The French Lieutenant's Woman in 1982 and Kramer vs. Kramer in 1980.)

Cooper, who won for playing a stringy-haired and toothless orchid poacher in Adaptation, offered his thanks, saying: "You've given millions and millions of stringy-haired and toothless people a lot of hope."

He also thanked co-star Nicolas Cage as well as "Nic Cage," a reference to Cage's portrayal of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and his fictitious twin brother, Donald.

The jazz-dancing murderesses of Chicago entered the 60th annual awards event with a leading eight nominations, while the film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours had seven and the screenwriting comedy Adaptation had five other nominations in addition to Streep's win.

Jennifer Aniston won best TV comedy actress for NBC's Friends, while Tony Shalhoub received the TV comedy actor's prize for the USA detective show Monk.

HBO's acerbic sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm won best TV comedy series.

"This is a sad day for the Golden Globes, It is however, quite a good day for Larry David," joked David, the star and executive producer of the show. "I suspect the wife will be a little forthcoming tonight."

Michael Chiklis won named best actor in a drama for The Shield. His Golden Globe follows his surprise Emmy victory last year for playing a rogue cop on the violent, profanity-laced series on the little-watched FX cable channel.

"This has been a miraculous magic carpet ride," he said as he accepted the award.

The ceremony, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is considered by some to be a barometer for the upcoming Academy Award nominations in February.

The Golden Globes, broadcast live on NBC, is renowned as one of Hollywood's biggest parties, where participants are encouraged to be spontaneous and irreverent.

Gene Hackman was chosen to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which honors the star of The Conversation and Crimson Tide for his career spanning nearly 80 films.

The best dramatic film category included The Hours,About Schmidt,Gangs of New York,The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Pianist.

Nominees in the musical/comedy class were Chicago,Adaptation,Nicholas Nickleby,About a Boy and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Many of the nominated films have been unavailable in most parts of the country as studios waited to do wide-releases closer to the awards ceremony and next month's Oscar nominations.

Streep and her The Hours co-star Nicole Kidman were nominated in the dramatic actress class with Salma Hayek for Frida, Diane Lane for Unfaithful and Julianne Moore for Far From Heaven and

Jack Nicholson's turn in the retirement drama About Schmidt earned him a dramatic actor mention, along with Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York, Michael Caine in The Quiet American and Adrien Brody in The Pianist.

Nominees for actress in a musical or comedy were Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago, Nia Vardalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Goldie Hawn in The Banger Sisters and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary.

Golden Globe honors are chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's roughly 90 members, who cover Hollywood for overseas publications.

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