Daniel Craig has been named best actor at the Empire film awards for his role in Casino Royale.

The 39-year-old's win goes one better than the nomination he received at the same awards in 2005 for his performance in Layer Cake and follows his Bafta nomination for his portrayal of James Bond.

The latest instalment in the iconic British series proved a popular hit with more than 50,000 readers of the magazine who voted.

Alongside Craig's actor award, Casino Royale picked up best film and also best female newcomer for the role played by French actress Eva Green.

Empire's assistant editor, Ian Freer, commented: "I'm delighted that Empire readers have decided that Casino Royale is the best film of the year.

"We're proud that real cinema-goers have the good taste to do something neither the critics' awards or industry prizes managed to do - really get behind the reinvention of James Bond as a great British triumph."

Craig pipped competition from Leonardo Dicaprio for his role in The Departed, but Martin Scorsese's film did pick up the gong for best thriller.

Penelope Cruz won best actress for her role in Pedro Almodovar's Volver, while Little Miss Sunshine rounded off a successful awards season by winning best comedy.

Christopher Nolan was named best director for The Prestige, while United 93, which depicts the events of one of the downed planes on September 11th 2001, was named best British film.

28/03/2007 09:20:41