Although the Golden Globes are given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a body of only 100 people who have been widely criticised as unrepresentative of the movie business or the press, the annual awards are generally promoted as a bellweather for the forthcoming Academy Awards.
"It's tragic how much I am enjoying getting this," Grant said as he brandished the best comedy actor's trophy before an audience of 2,000 in Los Angeles's Beverly Hilton. "You are supposed to think awards are invidious, but this is heaven."
His success will heighten British hopes that Four Weddings and a Funeral will land him the best actor's Oscar - or at least a nomination - as Academy members may be reluctant to give the award to Tom Hanks, star of the runaway hit Forrest Gump.
The American actor won last year for his harrowing performance as an Aids sufferer in Philadelphia.
The Golden Globes provided further evidence that Forrest Gump is fast emerging as the year's favourite to be chosen as the best film, in spite of the critical acclaim lavished on Quentin Tarrantino's Pulp Fiction.
Gump, the story of an innocent clodhopper's odyssey through modern American history, collected three globes - best actor in a dramatic film (Hanks), best director (Robert Zemeckis) and best dramatic picture.
American actress Jessica Lange was a surprise winner of the best dramatic actress award as the angry army wife in Blue Sky, a limited release film which even she described as "strange and peculiar".
The animated box-office hit The Lion King won for best comedy or musical picture.
There was another triumph for Britain when Miranda Richardson walked off with a Golden Globe for her performance in the made-for-television film Fatherland, adapted from Robert Harris' best-selling novel.Reuse content