‘Great Debaters’ tops Image Awards

Times Staff Writer

“The Great Debaters” was named best film of 2007 at the 39th annual NAACP Image Awards on Thursday evening. The inspiring film about an African American debate team in the 1930s also earned best actor and actress honors for director Denzel Washington and co-star Jurnee Smollett, respectively.

The awards, which honor projects and individuals that promote diversity in the arts, literature, motion pictures, recording and television, were telecast from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. D.L. Hughley was the host.

On the television side, Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” was named outstanding comedy series, “Grey’s Anatomy” was named outstanding drama series, and “Life Support” was named best television movie, mini-series or dramatic special.

Acting awards were given to America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Omar Epps (“House”) and Chandra Wilson (“Grey’s Anatomy”) among others. The full list is at


During the telecast, Stevie Wonder was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.