BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The third time was the charm for director Peter Jackson and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy at the Golden Globes.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," the final chapter of the saga, took home four awards Sunday, including best director, best drama and two musical awards for best original score and for best movie song.
After thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press, Peter Jackson also apologized to them for "dropping the standards on the red carpet."
"I never realized that seven years on this movie would end up turning me into a Hobbit," Jackson joked, referring to the short furry-footed characters in the J.R.R. Tolkien (search) stories.
"To all of the actors, our magical cast, you just gave so much to the movies and equally importantly you made it so much fun to work on."
Coppola thanked her father, "The Godfather" director and co-writer Francis Ford Coppola, calling him "a great screenwriting teacher."
When accepting his award, Murray poked fun at the fact that comedy performers are often overshadowed by dramatic stars at awards shows.
"Too often we forget our brothers on the other side of the aisle -- the dramatic actors," he said. "I'd just like to say, where would our war, our miseries and our psychological traumas come from? Let's not forget them tonight."
For her breakout performance as convicted killer Aileen Wuornos in "Monster," Charlize Theron (search) took home the Golden Globe for best actress in a drama.
Theron thanked writer-director Patty Jenkins for believing she could play the role while others doubted the former model's ability to take on the character.
"There's only so much you can do, but if somebody doesn't give you a chance there is nothing you can do," Theron said.
"Cold Mountain" and "Mystic River," both serious flicks expected to be among the big winners at the Globes, also took home awards -- though not as many as some in Hollywood had predicted.
Tim Robbins (search) earned the first trophy of the evening for his supporting role as a grown child-abuse survivor in "Mystic River." His co-star Sean Penn won for best actor for his role as a tough-as-nails father whose daughter is murdered. Penn is widely considered the front-runner for the best actor Oscar next month.
Diane Keaton won the Globe for best actress in a comedy for her celebrated comeback turn as a woman who unexpectedly finds love later in life in "Something's Gotta Give."
"Getting to play a woman to love at 57 is like reaching for the stars with a step ladder. I know I got lucky," said Keaton who also described the movie as "a romantic comedy starring Jack and Diane, two people whose combined age is 125."
Renee Zellweger (search) received the supporting movie actress honor for playing a strong yet lighthearted role opposite Nicole Kidman in "Cold Mountain." She previously won two lead comedy actress Golden Globes for "Nurse Betty" in 2001 and last year for "Chicago."
The Globes, run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is the only event that also rewards television programs and actors as well as films.
Early in the night, Anthony LaPaglia of CBS' "Without a Trace" and Frances Conroy of HBO's "Six Feet Under" won in the dramatic TV acting categories. "24" won its first Golden Globe for best drama.
Sarah Jessica Parker took home her fourth Golden Globe for best comedy actress, for her role as Carrie Bradshaw in "Sex and the City."
And the British comedy "The Office" was the surprise of the night when it won for best comedy and when the star of the show, Ricky Gervais, nabbed the best actor in a comedy award.
"Angels in America" swept the miniseries awards. Besides best miniseries, the show's co-stars Meryl Streep and Al Pacino each took home acting honors. Jeffrey Wright and Mary-Louise Parker (search), also of "Angels," won the supporting actor and actress awards for a miniseries.
Among the stars who presented awards at the ceremony were "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston, newly single Jennifer Lopez and Jim Carrey, who had a newly-shaved head.
When presenting the award for best comedy motion picture, Carrey announced: "The winner is 'Elf.' Oh, I’m sorry. That wasn’t nominated this year." The winner was actually "Lost in Translation."
Although the Globes are distributed by a relatively small group -- about 90 journalists who cover entertainment for foreign-based media outlets -- a winning spot on the nationally televised ceremony is highly coveted.
The Globes have a history of honoring future Oscar winners, including "Titanic," "American Beauty" and "Gladiator." A win can mean good things to come for performers, too, with previous Globe winners including Hilary Swank for "Boys Don't Cry," Julia Roberts for "Erin Brockovich" and Jack Nicholson for "As Good as It Gets."
The Globes event came just two days before Oscar nominations were to be announced Tuesday morning. The Oscar ceremony is set for Feb. 29, about three weeks earlier than in previous years.