Dame Judi sinks Winslet in Golden Globes

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Dame Judi Dench has upset the odds by beating fellow British actress Kate Winslet for the best actress prize at Hollywood's Golden Globe Awards, a clue to eventual Oscar winners. Winslet's co-star in Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio, was beaten by Peter Fonda. The film won four awards, including best picture.

The victories of Dame Judi and Peter Fonda struck a blow for age and experience. Dame Judi, Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, also saw off another British contender, Helena Bonham Carter, who has won praise for her role in Wings of the Dove.

Peter Fonda was chosen as best actor for his portrayal of a bee keeper in Ulee's Gold.

Winners of the Globes, awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, become almost automatic favourites for Oscars, partly because the awards ceremony is televised around the world. Titanic takes that position this year, having earned James Cameron a Golden Globe for best director and bringing in awards for best original score and best original song.

As Good as it Gets, about a romance between a waitress and a reclusive writer, played by Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson, was best comedy. They won awards for best performances in a comedy.

Best actor in a dramatic television series was Anthony Edwards of ER, and best actress in that category went to Christine Lahti of the rival hospital drama Chicago Hope.

Ving Rhames, best actor in a made-for-TV movie for his portrayal of America's wild-haired boxing promoter Don King, tried to give his Globe to the veteran actor Jack Lemmon, a competitor in the same category. "Acting is about giving and I want to give this award to a man who has given us so much," he said after calling Lemmon on to the stage