UPDATED: Australian actor Hugh Jackman has beaten some tough competition to take out the Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical - award at the Golden Globes.
Jackman won the award for his role in Les Miserables. The film took out the award for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical.
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The win is a major boost to Jackman's Oscar hopes, confirming him as the second favourite for the Academy Award behind frontrunner Daniel Day-Lewis.
"Wow. Thank you," a jubilant Jackman said on stage in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The Golden Globes splits best actor into two categories, with Jackman competing in the musical/comedy race and Day-Lewis, star of the biopic Lincoln, in drama.
Jackman's only real threat at the Globes was Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper, with Jack Black (Bernie), Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing In The Yemen) and Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson) the other musical/comedy actor nominees.
The Globes do not always predict the winners of the Oscars, but a win boosts a campaign, while a loss can torpedo an actor's chances.
Ben Affleck's Iran hostage crisis thriller Argo won the Golden Globe for Best Drama film, at the climax of Hollywood's biggest pre-Oscars awards show.
Affleck had already won the Best Director Globe for the movie, about a CIA mission to free six US diplomats who took refuge in the Canadian ambassador's residence in Tehran during the 1979 crisis.
Australia had mixed success at the Golden Globes with Jackman winning, but Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban coming up empty-handed.
The Australian was nominated for supporting actress in a movie for her performance in The Paperboy, but the Globe went to Anne Hathaway for her singing and acting portrayal of the prostitute Fantine in Les Miserables.
The other supporting actress nominees were: Amy Adams, (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln) and Helen Hunt (The Sessions).
Hathaway is now the red-hot favourite for the supporting actress Oscar at the February 24 Academy Awards.
Kidman didn't score a supporting Oscar nomination last week, but fellow Aussie Jacki Weaver, for Silver Linings Playbook, did receive a nod for the Academy Awards.
Earlier at the Golden Globes, Kidman was also bypassed for her performance in the TV movie Hemingway & Gellhorn. The winner was Julianne Moore for her portrayal of former US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Game Change.
The other nominees in the actress in a mini-series or movie made for TV were Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Asylum), Sienna Miller (The Girl) and Sigourney Weaver (Political Animals).
Kidman's husband, Keith Urban, also failed to win a Golden Globe for a song he wrote for the war film Act of Valor.
The Globe went to British songstress Adele for her song Skyfall, from the new James Bond movie of the same name.
The other nominees were Jon Bon Jovi (Not Running Anymore for the movie Stand Up Guys), Taylor Swift (Safe & Sound for The Hunger Games) and Claude-Michel Schonberg (Suddenly for Les Miserables).
Naomi Watts' Oscar chances for lead actress took a dive after she was left out in the cold at the Globes.
The Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama went to Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain.
Watts, for tsunami survivor movie The Impossible, needed a Globe win to elevate her Oscar campaign, with most pundits giving the Australian little chance of beating Chastain or Silver Lining Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence for the Academy Award next month.
The other Globe dramatic actress nominees were: Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone), Helen Mirren (Hitchcock) and Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea).
Kidman and Urban are not strangers at award shows, but it is rare that they were nominees at the same show.
"When we were driving here we said 'Wow, this will probably never happen again'," Kidman said on the red carpet before the ceremony began.
Christoph Waltz has won the supporting-actor Golden Globe for his role in Django Unchained.
Waltz's violent but paternal and polite Django character as a genteel bounty hunter who takes on an ex-slave as apprentice is a sharp contrast to the wickedly bloodthirsty Nazi he played in his Globe and Oscar-winning role in Tarantino's 2009 tale Inglourious Basterds.
"Let me gasp," Waltz said. "Quentin, you know that my indebtedness to you and my gratitude knows no words."
British actress Maggie Smith won Supporting Actress, TV Series, Miniseries or Movie for her performance in Downton Abbey.
Game Change won for Miniseries or Movie, and its star Julianne Moore beat Kidman in the Actress, Miniseries or Movie category.
Show hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who co-starred in the 2008 big-screen comedy Baby Mama, had a friendly rivalry at the Globes. Both were nominated for best actress in a TV comedy series, Fey for 30 Rock and Poehler for Parks and Recreation.
"Tina, I just want to say that I very much hope that I win," Poehler told Fey at the start of the show.
"Thank you. You're my nemesis. Thank you," Fey replied.
Poehler also had a quip about television vs film at the Globes, where the small-screen category typically takes a backseat to the big-screen nominees.
"Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television," Poehler said.
Looking glamorous but feeling frigid, stars from film and television including Naomi Watts and Kidman arrived for the Golden Globes ceremony, battling crisp temperatures on the red carpet.
Debra Messing from Smash came in a strapless black gown and goosebumps. Asked how she was coping with the cold, she replied, "Not well".
Melissa Rauch of The Big Bang Theory also shivered in her strapless red gown. "I'm absolutely freezing." she said.
Claire Danes of Homeland in Versace and Zooey Deschanel of New Girl in a strapless Oscar de la Renta gown walked near heat lamps. "I'm so cold. My legs aren't cold but my arms are," said Deschanel.
Australians Watts, Kidman, her husband Keith Urban and Hugh Jackman were all up for awards.
Jackman has been nominated for his turn in Les Miserables in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical category.
Watts, who walked the red carpet in an elegant high-necked, backless burgundy gown, got the nod for her performance in the Asian tsunami drama The Impossible.
Early arrivals also included Hayden Panettiere of Nashville, Ariel Winter of Modern Family and TV personalities Nicole Ritchie and Kelly Osbourne.
Not everyone was grousing. "I'm totally comfortable," Glenn Close, whose Zac Posen dress was paired with a matching jacket, told US network. "Usually, it's really hot, so I'm having a nice time so far."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a nominee for best actress in a comedy for Veep, wore a strapless Vera Wang gown and agreed. "I'd rather be nippy than boiling hot," she said.
The Globes are in a rare place this season, coming after the Academy Award nominations, which were announced earlier than usual and threw out some shockers that have left the Globes show a little less relevant.
Key Globe contenders lined up largely as expected, with Steven Spielberg's Civil War saga Lincoln leading with seven nominations and two CIA thrillers - Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty and Ben Affleck's Argo - also doing well.
All three films earned Globe nominations for best drama and director. Yet while Lincoln, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty grabbed best-picture slots at Thursday's Oscar nominations, Bigelow and Affleck were snubbed for directing honours after a season that had seen them in the running for almost every other major award.
Jodie Foster will receive the Globes' Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
There will be a friendly rivalry between the hosts of the Globe ceremony, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The co-stars of the 2008 big-screen comedy Baby Mama both are nominated for best actress in a TV comedy or musical series, Fey for 30 Rock and Poehler for Parks and Recreation.
AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Best Motion Picture - Drama - Argo
Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama - Daniel Day Lewis - Lincoln
Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama - Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical - Les Miserables
Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical - Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables
Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical - Girls
Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient: Jodie Foster
Best Director - Ben Affleck - Argo
Best TV Series Actress - Comedy or Musical - Lena Dunham - Girls
Best Animated Feature Film - Brave
Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama - Claire Danes - Homeland
Best Foreign Film - Amour (Austria)
Best Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical - Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Best Screenplay - Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture - Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables
Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series - Ed Harris - Game Change
Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical - Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries - Kevin Costner - Hatfields & McCoys
Best Original Song - Skyfall - Adele & Paul Epworth - Skyfall
Best Original Score - Mychael Danna - Life of Pi
Best Television Series - Drama - Homeland
Best Television Series Actor - Drama - Damian Lewis - Homeland
Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries - Julianne Moore - Game Change
Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Game Change
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie, Series, or Miniseries - Maggie Smith - Downtown Abbey: Season 2
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained