Elba, who was not nominated for any Oscars, won both of the gongs he was up for, collecting the best supporting actor award in a motion picture prize for his role as a warlord in Beasts Of No Nation and best actor in a TV movie or mini-series for his portrayal of Detective Chief Inspector John Luther in the BBC police drama.
Later presenting an award to Viola Davis, Elba said: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV.”
Elba drew huge cheers as his name was called for his first award, which is decided by members of the acting union SAG-AFTRA.
He said: “The Ghanaian cast and crew (of Beasts Of No Nation) were amazing and worked so hard. We made a film about real people and real lives and to be awarded for it is very special because a lot of people were damaged, so thank you for giving this film some light.”
He returned to the stage after his second win for Luther and said: “I don’t know what to say, thank you so much everyone in this room for giving me that.”
Leonardo DiCaprio trumped Eddie Redmayne for the outstanding performance by a male actor in leading role award for his performance in revenge epic The Revenant.
Brie Larson was presented with the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for Room.
Addressing the members of the guild, she said: “When I was born I was worried I was unlovable and your movies made me feel less alone and made me feel it was a safe place to explore my creativity.”