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Directors Guild honors Ron Howard for ''Mind''

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Ron Howard, Russell Crowe, ...
Howard and Crowe: Tsuni/Image Direct

TROPHY TIME All the talk over ”A Beautiful Mind”’s liberties with the details of John Nash’s biography clearly failed to sway the , which handed out its annual awards at a ceremony Saturday night; Nash portrayer Russell Crowe alluded to the controversy during his introduction to a clip from ”Mind,” saying, ”It is a heartfelt privilege for me to be here in a room full of historians — I’m sorry, revisionist historians. I’m here to unravel a mystery: who is the real Ron Howard? What do we know of his past? Absolutely nothing.” Howard, whose childhood is seen every day in syndicated reruns, won his second DGA award for the film. (He won his first DGA award six years ago for ”Apollo 13,” only to lose in the Oscar race to Mel Gibson for ”Braveheart.”)

Also recognized at the awards dinner, at Los Angeles’ Century Plaza Hotel, were TV directors. For drama, ”Six Feet Under” creator Alan Ball won for directing the series pilot. Todd Holland won for comedy, for the bowling episode of ”Malcolm in the Middle.” Frank Pierson, who directed HBO’s ”Conspiracy,” won for best TV movie/miniseries. The variety show award went to Joel Gallen and Beth McCarthy-Miller for ”America: A Tribute to Heroes, the first big post-9/11 telethon.

For the first time in its 66-year history, the Directors Guild has a woman president. It’s Martha Coolidge, known for ’80s teen comedy classics ”Valley Girl” and ”Real Genius” and for such TV work as Halle Berry‘s ”Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.” She takes over from Jack Shea, a TV sitcom director (”Growing Pains,” ”Designing Women”), who held the post beyond the traditional two terms in order to oversee the negotiation of the directors’ latest contract with producers. At Saturday’s awards dinner, Shea congratulated Coolidge with an embrace, upon which she said, ”I think these hugs and kisses between presidents of the guild are maybe a first — at least that we know of.”

The Screen Actors Guild, which also gave out its awards this weekend, also has a new woman at the helm, sort of. It’s Melissa Gilbert, who beat fellow ’70s TV icon Valerie Harper in a rerun of the union’s election. Gilbert, who appeared at last night’s SAG Awards ceremony wearing a gown that looked like a hide Pa Ingalls might have skinned on the prairie, had also beaten Harper in the November election, but the results were thrown out due to irregularities in the ballots sent to voters in the guild’s New York branch. Other November winners whose victories were reconfirmed were treasurer Kent McCord and recording secretary Elliott Gould.

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