The cast of “Brokeback Mountain” earned the most Screen Actors Guild Award nominations of any film Thursday, with Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams all receiving individual nods, as well as an ensemble nomination honoring the film’s entire cast. Competing against “Brokeback” for best ensemble, and in some individual categories, are the casts of “Capote,” “Crash,” “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Hustle & Flow.” Ledger’s nomination for lead actor was his first while Gyllenhaal was nominated in the supporting actor category. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Ledger will compete in a tough field against “Cinderella Man” star Russell Crowe, a seven-time nominee and former winner; Philip Seymour Hoffman, who played the title role in “Capote” and earned his sixth SAG nod; “Walk the Line” star Joaquin Phoenix, whose third nomination came for playing country music legend Johnny Cash; and David Strathairn, nominated for his portrayal of Edward R. Murrow in “Good Night, and Good Luck.” Meanwhile, Felicity Huffman was anything but desperate, as the star of “Desperate Housewives” earned three SAG nods – the most of any actor – for her part in the hit ABC show and for her big-screen turn in “Transamerica.” Huffman was the only star of “Housewives” to earn an individual nomination, although the entire cast was nominated in the best comedy ensemble category. Competing against Huffman in the motion picture category will be nine-time SAG nominee and two-time winner Judi Dench (“Mrs. Henderson Presents”), 2004 winner in this category; Charlize Theron (“North Country”); and first-time nominees Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”) and Ziyi Zhang (“Memoirs of a Geisha”). Performances from independent films dominated the nominations, which included a supporting actress nod for first-time nominee Amy Adams in the little-seen “Junebug.” “More than any other award, this feels really personal to your work because it is other actors and people who really pay attention to performance who are less swayed by studios or budgets,” Adams said. “I’m just extremely flattered.” Get all the latest award nominations coverage. More » In the television categories, “Boston Legal” and the miniseries “Empire Falls” received the most nominations, with four each. The cast of “Legal” was nominated in the comedy series ensemble category while James Spader, William Shatner and Candace Bergen earned individual nominations. Acting legends Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward received nods for outstanding male and female actor in a television movie or miniseries for their roles in “Empire” as did their co-stars Ed Harris and Robin Wright Penn. Among those competing against Woodward and Penn will be S. Epatha Merkerson, nominated for her Emmy-winning role in “Lackawanna Blues.” “At 53, this is a great thing to happen,” a joyful Merkerson said. “I’m loving it. I’ve been kicking the boards a long time and for this to happen now is very sweet.” Merkerson added that should she win, she will hold her speech in her hand. At the Emmys last fall, she had placed the speech down the front of her dress, but as she made her way to the stage, it slipped down so far that she could not retrieve it, in one of the evening’s comic highlights. “I learned my lesson,” she said, laughing. Alan Alda, nominated for Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards in 2005, added a SAG nod to his list of recent accomplishments for his role as a presidential candidate on “The West Wing.” “When the actors started giving out awards, I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea, but now I think it’s a great idea,” Alda said. “I’m always surprised and delighted to be nominated. I had the chance this year to have the amazing experience of doing the live debate, and that was an extraordinary event.” Kyra Sedgwick, star of TNT’s “The Closer,” had two reasons to celebrate Thursday. Not only did she nab her first SAG nomination for outstanding female actor in a drama series, she also received a second nod for outstanding acting ensemble along with the rest of the cast of one of cable television’s biggest hits. “It’s just amazing, just an amazing thing,” said a breathless Sedgwick, who wasn’t aware SAG nominations were to be announced. “I was not looking to do a TV show, but it’s just been like this gigantic gift that keeps giving. It has inspired me so much.” Sedgwick is competing in a tough category that also includes current Emmy winner Patricia Arquette (“Medium”), Geena Davis (“Commander in Chief”), Sandra Oh (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”). Arquette was ecstatic at the news of her nomination. “I’m a fourth-generation actor and my whole life has been surrounded by actors,” Arquette said. “This is like really my people, the people who understand how it works, when it’s difficult, and the process of television. I love actors and I love acting.” The ABC Sunday night hit “Grey’s Anatomy” earned three nods overall, including best ensemble cast and individual nominations for Patrick Dempsey and Oh. “We’re very proud and very excited. I think Patrick and Sandra are really pulling it home for us,” said “Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo, who was on hand early Thursday morning along with Benjamin Bratt and SAG President Alan Rosenberg to announce the nominations. The 12th Screen Actors Guild Awards will be held Jan. 29 at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center and will be broadcast live on TNT and TBS. -Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758, [email protected] SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS What: Presentation of the 12th annual awards, live from the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. Where: TNT and TBS. When: 8 p.m. Jan. 29.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!