By BETH HARRIS
LOS ANGELES — From her 1953 Broadway debut to voicing the queen in "Shrek 2," Julie Andrews watched as her career of more than 50 years was highlighted Sunday night when she received the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement award. ...
Andrews remains a working actor at 71. She will reprise her role in "Shrek 3" this summer, already having gained a younger audience of fans from her role as a queen in "The Princess Diaries" and its sequel.
Dick Van Dyke, Andrews' co-star in "Mary Poppins," presented the award. They shared a big hug onstage.
"I never quite got over being a little bit tongue-tied in Julie's presence," he said. "That beauty ... that voice could tune a piano."
Andrews received a standing ovation from an audience that included her husband of nearly 37 years, Blake Edwards, whom Andrews called "my main squeeze."
"I have one very tiny complaint," she said. "When he directs me in a love scene, he says, `That was fine, but I know you can do better.'"
Andrews came to fame on stage and radio in her native England. She won an Oscar for "Mary Poppins," and was nominated for "The Sound of Music" and "Victor/Victoria," directed by Edwards.
"My career has just been blessed by good fortune," she said. "What about all those delicious leading men? You have given me an evening I shall just treasure my entire life."
The cast of "Grey's Anatomy" accepted a Screen Actors Guild award for drama series ensemble on Sunday night — minus Isaiah Washington.
The actor is in therapy for his use of an anti-gay slur.
"It's about those 10 cast members sitting over there, and the other one in rehab," said Chandra Wilson, drawing laughter while accepting her SAG award for female actor in a dramatic series.
Backstage at the Golden Globes two weeks ago, Washington denied that he called castmate T.R. Knight by the slur during an on-set quarrel last October with co-star Patrick Dempsey, when Knight was not present.
Although Washington apologized publicly at the time, the issue boiled up again at the Jan. 15 Globes, when the cast won drama series honors. He apologized last week for the remark at the Globes when he announced he was entering therapy.
The cast did not speak to reporters backstage Sunday night at the SAG Awards.
"Babel" co-stars Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi lent an international flair to the red carpet, alternately answering questions in English and their native languages of Spanish and Japanese.
Both women received supporting Oscar nominations, the same category they shared at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Barraza belongs to the Mexican equivalent of the U.S. actors' union, and she recalled her first acting job as a nurse in a soap opera.
"I said, `You are OK, you can go,'" she said. "But I put all my heart in those lines."
Barraza and Kikuchi have already selected their attire for the Feb. 25 Academy Awards.
"It's a huge, huge thing," Barraza said.
"It's the first time I make a film," Kikuchi said. "I'm very honored."
James Brown has yet to reach a final resting place, and that bothers Eddie Murphy.
Murphy based his flamboyant "Dreamgirls" character James "Thunder" Early on Brown, who died Dec. 25. Murphy won a Screen Actors Guild award for supporting actor on Sunday night, to go with his earlier Golden Globes victory.
Brown's body was moved a week ago from a temporary resting place in his South Carolina home to an undisclosed location without explanation.
"I'm weirded out that James hasn't been buried yet," Murphy said backstage. "It's the strangest thing in the history of show business."
With victories at the Screen Actors Guild awards and Golden Globes, Forest Whitaker's lean times are behind him.
"When I was young, I didn't really care about survival," he said backstage Sunday night. "I had a low threshold, so I could live on somebody's couch, eat Ramen, and go to the local Thai restaurant and steal somebody's sauce."
Next up for Whitaker are the Oscars on Feb. 25. He is a first-time nominee as best actor for "The Last King of Scotland."
The old gang from WJM-TV reunited at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, led by Mary Tyler Moore.
Moore, along with Ed Asner, Georgia Engel, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod and Betty White, received a standing ovation when they presented the award for ensemble in a comedy series to NBC's "The Office."
"It's a pleasure and a joy and I celebrate that we're all still walking," Harper joked on the red carpet.
The entire cast has continued working since their blockbuster CBS comedy about life at a Minneapolis television newsroom went off the air in 1977.
"We wish we were still together doing it," Moore said.
Whenever they see each other, White said the old friends always pick up where they left off.
"We finish the sentence that was interrupted four years ago," she said before the show.
Shirley Jones did not toil in a commercial or tiny part to earn her Screen Actors Guild card.
She became a union member with her first role starring in the 1953 musical "Oklahoma!" Jones later earned an Oscar for "Elmer Gantry" and starred in "The Music Man" with a young Ron Howard.
But it took her 53 years to earn her first SAG award nomination for the Hallmark Channel movie "Hidden Places." She lost to Helen Mirren for "Elizabeth I."
"I'm really excited," she said. "You are in a business that you love and then you find out that there are lots of people in the business that love you. What more could you ask for?"