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Christopher Plummer enters Oscars fray with ACTRA prize for Barrymore

Christopher Plummer, nominated as best supporting male actor for the film Beginners at the Academy Awards, arrives in the show at the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday night.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

Christopher Plummer is heading into the Academy Awards with yet another accolade under his belt.

ACTRA Toronto has named Plummer best actor for his rakish turn in Barrymore, a film version of the celebrated stage production that earned the veteran thespian a Tony some 15 years ago.

The prize comes as Plummer is set to attend Hollywood's most prestigious awards bash on Sunday, the Oscars, nominated for his portrayal of a playful gay widower in Beginners.

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He's considered a front-runner in the race for best supporting actor, which pits him against Max von Sydow, Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hill and Nick Nolte.

ACTRA Toronto is the regional arm of Canada's performers' union, also known as the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.

A gala in Toronto on Saturday also awarded Amy Price-Francis of King best actress, Billy MacLellan of Afghanada best voice performance and saluted Rick Mercer with an award of excellence.

"If Christopher Plummer had the year he's been having 30 years ago, we would say he'd been having a good year. But to have the kind of year he's having at this stage of his career is an inspiration to his fellow actors," ACTRA Toronto president Heather Allin said in a release.

The 82-year-old Plummer has been on a particularly remarkable run with Beginners.

His performance has already earned him acting accolades from the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, the BAFTAs (Britain's version of the Oscars), the L.A. Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review and the Toronto Film Critics Association.

The Oscars take place Sunday.

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ACTRA Toronto represents more than 15,000 of Canada's 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada.

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