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Actor Sidney Poitier will be presented with a lifetime achievement award during the sixth annual telecast of the Screen Actors Guild Awards on TNT on Sunday, March 12, at 8 p.m. The award also honors his humanitarian accomplishments. Previous recipients include Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Redford.

Awards will also be presented for outstanding performances in 1999 in five film categories and eight TV categories.

The SAG Awards ceremony is unique in that it also honors ensemble casts in film and in TV comedy and dramatic series. This year the casts of "American Beauty," "Being John Malkovich," "Magnolia," "The Cider House Rules" and "The Green Mile" are up for the film ensemble award.

Nominated for the ensemble award in TV drama are the casts of "ER," "Law & Order," "NYPD Blue," "The Practice" and "The Sopranos." Up for the TV comedy ensemble award are "Ally McBeal," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Frasier," "Friends" and "Sports Night."

In addition to presenting annual awards, SAG negotiates working conditions and salaries, provides pensions and health benefits, governs relations with talent agents and monitors payments for the use of their work for its actor-members.

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