The 36 year old was crowned Best Supporting Actress for her role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and Best Actress in a Drama Series for her turn in hit U.S. TV series Scandal, which also won Best Drama Series. In addition, she received the President's Award for her public service work on behalf of President Barack Obama.
She was also praised for breaking the colour barrier and becoming the first African-American woman to lead the cast of a primetime drama since Diahann Carroll in Julia over three decades ago.
Carroll praised the Scandal star, saying, “I think she’s enjoying one of the great moments of her life right now in our industry."
Joking as she stepped on stage to collect her final prize, she said, "Wow, OK, this is the last time that I even have a shot to be up here, just in case you're getting sick of me."
Meanwhile, George Lucas' film about the Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails, was named Best Motion Picture, and Flight's Denzel Washington and Won't Back Down's Viola Davis beat out the competition for Best Actor and Best Actress. Samuel L. Jackson nabbed the trophy for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Leonardo DiCaprio's sidekick in Django Unchained, and Beasts of the Southern Wild picked up the Best Independent Motion Picture trophy.
TV award winners included Don Cheadle (Actor in a Comedy Series for House of Lies), L.L. Cool J (Actor in a Drama Series for NCIS: Los Angeles), Omar Epps (Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for House M.D.), Vanessa Williams (Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Desperate Housewives), and Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for Hallmark Hall of Fame's Firelight).
In the music categories, Usher and Alicia Keys were named the Best Male and Female Artist, and tragic Whitney Houston was honoured for Best Album (I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston) and Best Song (I Look To You).
The list of major winners is:
Motion Picture - Red Tails
Actor in a Motion Picture - Denzel Washington (Flight)
Actress in a Motion Picture - Viola Davis (Won't Back Down)
Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained)
Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture - Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
Independent Motion Picture - Beasts of the Southern Wild
International Motion Picture - The Intouchables
Documentary - On the Shoulders of Giants - The Story of the Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of
TV Comedy Series - The Game
Actor in a Comedy Series - Don Cheadle (House Of Lies)
Actress in a Comedy Series - Cassi Davis (Tyler Perry's House of Payne)
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Lance Gross (Tyler Perry's House of Payne)
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives)
Drama Series - Scandal
Actor in a Drama Series - LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles)
Actress in a Drama Series - Kerry Washington (Scandal)
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Omar Epps (House M.D.)
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Loretta Devine (Grey's Anatomy)
Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special - Steel Magnolias
Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special - Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Hallmark Hall of Fame's Firelight)
Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special - Alfre Woodard (Steel Magnolias)
Actor in a Daytime Drama Series - Kristoff St. John (The Young and the Restless)
Actress in a Daytime Drama Series - Tatyana Ali (The Young and the Restless)
News/ Information - (Series or Special) - Unsung
Talk Series - The View
Reality Series - Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Variety Series or Special - Black Girls Rock
Children’s Program - Kasha and the Zulu King
Performance in a Youth/ Children’s Program - Loretta Devine (Doc McStuffins)
New Artist - Elle Varner
Male Artist - Usher
Female Artist - Alicia Keys
Duo, Group or Collaboration - Mary Mary
Jazz Album - The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Gospel Album - Go Get It by Mary Mary
Music Video - Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys
Song - I Look To You by Whitney Houston and R. Kelly
Album - I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston by Whitney Houston
Spingarn Medal - Harry Belafonte
The actress/singer was due to make an appearance at the 2013 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards, where she was nominated for the Actress in a Comedy Series prize.
However, she fell down a flight of stairs on Wednesday (30Jan13) and didn't recover in time to attend the show.
She wrote in post on Twitter.com, "I am so clumsy, took an unexpected trip down my stairs smh (shaking my head) very sore little banged up but I'm okay..." before later adding, "My little fall was a little worse than I thought, was sad to miss the NAACP Awards... but I am so honoured to have been nominated!"
Riley went on to congratulate the eventual winner, Cassi Davis, who took the trophy for her role in Tyler Perry's House of Payne. She added, "Congrats (sic) Cassi Davis!... She's amazing."
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
When all-American girl Susan Murphy is inadvertently hit by a falling meteor on her wedding day she grows to be nearly 50 feet tall. The U.S. military gets wind of this renames her Ginormica and locks her away with a slacker group of other “monsters” in a top-secret compound. But when a mysterious alien robot lands on Earth and begins wreaking havoc these good-hearted but inept creatures are called into action by the President and must band together as a team to save the world from certain catastrophe.
WHO’S IN IT?
As usual Dreamworks has assembled a stellar A-list voice cast led by Reese Witherspoon as Susan/Ginormica. Playing one of the rare female animated heroes Witherspoon’s sweet/confused demeanor — in light of her highly unusual status as a fearsome freakazoid — hits just the right tone generously letting her zanier colleagues steal scenes from right under her (a long way down by the way). Chief among these are a not-so-bright gelatinous blue mass named B.O.B. hilariously voiced by Seth Rogen; the genius Dr. Cockroach Ph.D in the capable hands of House doc Hugh Laurie; and Will Arnett’s half-ape half-fish The Missing Link. In the human roles there’s Stephen Colbert as the idiotic U.S. President Kiefer Sutherland as the monster’s prison guardian Paul Rudd as the ego-driven weatherman fiancé of Susan; and a deliciously villainous Rainn Wilson as Galaxhar the alien determined to take over Earth.
Superb 3-D effects aren’t overdone and add immeasurably to the ginormous fun of the film but even seeing it in theaters that only show it in regular 2-D doesn’t spoil the pure joy of this cartoonish War of the Worlds. Throw in parodies of every cheap '50s sci-fi movie you can think of and you have the ingredients for a silly monster mash sure to appeal to just about anyone who wants to laugh. Despite the impressive production elements it’s the smart and clever script that really sets it apart from its competitors — and that even includes the similar Monsters Inc. from Pixar.
Like any kid-oriented comic ‘toon today the action can be a bit too frenetic and Monsters vs. Aliens piles a lot of it on in its trim 95 minutes. Still the lovable characters carry the day and somehow make it all palatable.
When Susan now Ginormica brings her new friends home to meet her parents chaos ensues and so do the laughs. Also impressive are the large action scenes that make fine use of CGI animation breakthroughs.
BEST SUPPORTING BLOB:
It's easily the one-eyed lame-brained blue lug of a people hugger named B.O.B. perfectly matched to the talents of Rogen. He rolls away with the movie and inevitably the merchandise tie-ins.
Last we heard in last year’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman Madea (Tyler Perry) was solving social cultural and familial problems. What a busy lady! Well she’s done gone and done it again after a whole new crop of problems pop up that need fixing. This time the conflicts revolve primarily around two sisters Vanessa (Lisa Arrindell Anderson) and Lisa (Rochelle Aytes) both of whom are wary of their financial-minded mother Victoria (Lynn Whitfield). Vanessa is deathly afraid to love again after her husband left her and two kids and fears she might’ve met Mr. Right in the form of a bus driver (Boris Kodjoe). Meanwhile Lisa is in a physically abusive relationship with Carlos (Blair Underwood) “Atlanta’s most eligible bachelor ” but is afraid to leave him. Madea the antithesis of gold-digging Victoria solves these and many more problems as the family reunion nears. After Mad Black Woman’s surprise box office take last year bigger names were less reluctant to sign on. Accordingly the new actors in Reunion are very solid—borderline stellar collectively. The lone exception is Perry as Madea (as well as a few other characters) whose over-the-topness although expected reduces the air of professionalism from the rest. Underwood is so damn good at being so damn bad as the abusive fiancée Carlos while Whitfield matches him chill for chill in a very icy performance. The relative unknowns/newcomers are the most pleasant surprises however. Aytes has breathtaking beauty that would normally overshadow acting but not here. Anderson whose last film was ‘95’s Clockers is equally beautiful and evocative as a single mother torn. And for the female eyes there’s Kodjoe whom girls will likely fall for even more when they learn he can actually act. Perry wears many hats in Family Reunion: writer director producer star--and oh yeah he also wrote the popular stage production from which the film is adapted. Perhaps Perry’s workaholic attitude contributes to the film’s thematic overkill. There are a number of kinks in the film’s completely uneven story and the way it is told but perhaps the biggest problem stems from the fact that it still feels like a stage play. Sometimes that’s a plus for a film but it’s hard to think it was intended. This feeling is elicited by the sum of the story’s parts. Perry will be in one scene telling the tale of a beleaguered battered woman amid a linear and conventional storyline and in the next scene become Madea in her cartoonish and campy getup dishing out her tough love techniques. No doubt Reunion is an enjoyable play--only if you agree with Perry’s comedic remedies for serious issues.