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Director Danny Boyle captured a directing Golden Globe Award for Slumdog Millionaire, which also won best picture, screenplay and soundtrack. ((Jason Merritt/Getty Images))

It was a trophy bonanza for British underdog movie Slumdog Millionaire and actress Kate Winslet at the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Director Danny Boyle was ecstatic Sunday night upon winning the directing prize for Slumdog Millionaire, which also grabbed the top movie award, triumphing over The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader  and Revolutionary Road.

"Your mad, pulsating affection for our film is very much appreciated," said Boyle, whose movie has been gaining many accolades recently, leading to suggestions it's in the lead for a best-picture Oscar.

The film — about a Mumbai slum dweller who wins big on an Indian game show — also won for best screenplay (Simon Beaufoy) and soundtrack. 

Kate Winslet was a double winner at the Beverly Hills, Calif., awards bonanza — capturing best supporting actress for The Reader and then best actress (drama) for Revolutionary Road

"I'm so sorry. Meryl, Kristin. Oh God, who's the other one? Oh, Angelina. OK, gather," a weeping and breathless Winslet said near the end of the night.

"I've had two extraordinary years in which I played two remarkable women, and I'd like to thank my agents who've been with me for so many years," continued the 33-year-old British thespian, who beat out Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Kristin Scott Thomas (I've Loved You So Long) and Meryl Streep (Doubt) for the best actress prize.

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Kate Winslet poses with her supporting actress award for The Reader backstage at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. ((Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press))

Winslet also paid homage to the abilities of her Revolutionary Road co-star Leonardo DiCaprio — the two reunited more than a decade after their Titanic pairing — and her husband, Sam Mendes, who directed the film.

One of the biggest ovations of the night was for the best actor in a movie drama — an award handed to Mickey Rourke, whose own down-and-out life parallelled that of his character in The Wrestler.

"It's been a long road," a gruff Rourke said to hoots and hollers from the crowd. "I want to thank my director for fighting for me because he couldn't get money because of my name. Darren Aronofsky.... As they say in sports, great players come out every 30 years, and Darren is one of those players."

Spielberg waxes economic

Irish actor Colin Farrell also hit the stage after garnering the prize for best actor in a movie (comedy) for In Bruges. "They must have done the counting in Florida," he quipped.

Director Steven Spielberg was finally able to collect the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his achievements in film, an award he won last year. Fellow director and friend Martin Scorsese hailed him for "constantly inventing and re-inventing film" during his nearly four decades in movie-making.

"I'm feeling my history tonight ... and there's a feeling floating around in these hard economic times is to make movies for a broader audience," Spielberg said. "And I would like to say we are also an audience of individuals, and the movies being honoured tonight are the kind of movies that should continue to be made."

Laura Dern took the trophy for best supporting actress in a series or TV movie for Recount. Dern portrayed real-life Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who presided over the state's recount during the contested 2000 U.S. presidential election.

John Adams nabs four trophies

A major winner in the TV division was the miniseries John Adams, which won for best miniseries and attracted trophies to its main stars, Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, as well as a supporting-acting Golden Globe to British actor Tom Wilkinson.

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Tina Fey poses backstage Sunday with the award for best TV actress (comedy) for 30 Rock, which also nabbed best TV comedy. ((Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press))

The retro TV drama series Mad Men, set in the advertising rooms of the 1960s, was triumphant in its class.

The comedy 30 Rock grabbed a top comedy prize for TV, as well as acting awards for Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey.

"Tina Fey and I had bet: If Barack Obama won the presidency, I would speak for the show from now on," claimed co-star Tracy Morgan as Fey — who created the show — and the series' writers stood behind the comedian.

"I'm the face of post-racial America!" Morgan  declared.

Later on, Fey was back onstage without Morgan to accept her acting accolade.

"I really know how very lucky I am to have the year I've had this year. If you start to feel too good about yourself, there's this thing called the internet — there's a lot of people out there who don't like you," Fey said as the audience roared in agreement.

"I'd like to answer those people right now.… To CougarLady, you can suck it!"

Winnipeg-born Paquin surprises

Gabriel Byrne captured best actor in a TV drama (In Treatment), while Winnipeg-born Anna Paquin grabbed the best-actress prize for a TV drama, True Blood; she beat out high-profile contenders such as Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) and Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU ). 

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British actress Sally Hawkins got a best actress award for her role in the film Happy-Go-Lucky. ((Chris Pizzello/Associated Press))

A particularly light moment came when British comedian Ricky Gervais, bearing a half-full glass of beer, stood onstage and shushed the crowd: "Look at you all, shush, just because you're stars, just shush."

Gervais joked that in an attempt to get nominated for his black comedy Ghost Town, he had "sex with 200 middle-aged journalists."

Soon after, Sally Hawkins was handed the best actress trophy (musical or comedy) for her portrayal of an eternal optimist in the British film Happy-Go-Lucky, directed by Mike Leigh.

A tearful Hawkins, who set her Golden Globe down onstage, told co-nominee Emma Thompson (Last Chance Harvey): "I'm OK. Hanging on, but maybe [pause] later."

She thanked Leigh for being a "fearless, passionate and compassionate person."

Director accepts award for Ledger

The honour for best supporting actor in a movie went to the late Heath Ledger for his portrayal of The Joker in the Batman sequel The Dark Knight.

The crowd stood up as director Christopher Nolan was sent to the stage to accept it on behalf of Ledger, who died in January from an accidental overdose of prescription medications.

"After Heath passed on, you saw a hole ripped in the future of cinema," said Nolan who said the Australian actor's skills and films are his legacy. "He will be eternally missed, but he will never be forgotten."

Israeli director Ari Folman collected the award for best foreign film for his animated documentary, Waltz With Bashir.

Wall-E captured best animated feature film over Bolt and Kung-Fu Panda.

Relaxed dinner party full of stars

Essentially a televised dinner party full of stars, the Globes are a more laid-back version of the Oscars.

Winners, already soused on free drinks, have been known to cut loose while on stage — one notable appearance being Jack Nicholson, who once mooned the audience.

The Golden Globes, chosen by around 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, have failed to accurately pinpoint the best-picture winner at the Oscars in the past four years.

Overall, two-thirds of Academy Award winners in a given year have earlier received a Golden Globe.

Globe winners often get a boost for the Oscar race, the balloting for which closes on Monday. Oscar nominations come out Jan. 22, with the awards following on Feb. 22.