Another award for Firth's king role

Colin Firth has won the best-actor trophy for the The King's Speech, and monarchy saga took another honour for overall cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The two prizes capped a week-long surge of Hollywood gongs for the film, which is building momentum for the Academy Awards on February 27, where the Facebook drama The Social Network had previously looked like the favourite.

Natalie Portman earned the best-actress award at the ceremony for Black Swan, while The Fighter co-stars Christian Bale and Melissa Leo swept the supporting-acting honours, boosting their own prospects for Oscar night.

The King's Speech leads Oscar contenders with 12 nominations, among them best picture and actor for Firth, who has been the awards favourite virtually since the film premiered at festivals half a year ago.

Betty White, who is having her own career resurgence in her 80s, won for TV comedy actress for Hot in Cleveland.

Alec Baldwin won his fifth-straight guild award for best actor in a comedy series for 30 Rock. And Modern Family won for overall cast performance in a TV comedy.

Steve Buscemi of Boardwalk Empire and Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife won as best actors in a TV drama.

Boardwalk Empire, a Prohibition-era gangster series, also won for overall TV drama cast performance.

The 17th annual SAG Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, included a life-achievement honour for Ernest Borgnine.

© Press Association