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Golden Globe Awards 2012: Parties, Red Carpets & Award Shows Lead Up To Sunday (PHOTOS)

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If you see your favorite stars sneaking a yawn or looking a bit fatigued during Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards, have some sympathy; it's been a long week of partying for Hollywood.

The Globes show has a long legacy of being a boozy, laid back affair catering to the biggest names in show business, going back to the Rat Pack's takeover of the ceremony half a century ago. And as gold trophies, and the stars they lure to dinner engagements, have become big business, it's resulted in two big developments: lavish parties being thrown to celebrate winners and influence voters; and a proliferation of a whole lot more award shows.

This year, Hollywood's finest has spent the week leading up to the Globes at no fewer than four awards shows (the People's Choice, the Critics' Choice, the AFI Awards and LA Film Critics' Awards); major studio-thrown galas (including ones thrown by "The Artist" distributor The Weinstein Company, "Descendants" studio Fox Searchlight and "J. Edgar" backer Warner Bros.); and other fun get togethers that offer camaraderie, not statuettes (the BAFTA Tea Party, Independent Spirit Awards' nominees brunch).

The events offer the biggest names in show business the opportunity to catch up, hang out and pose for pictures that prove that they are just like their audience: owners of endless numbers of suits and gowns, and relentlessly beautiful.

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