updated 01/07/2009 AT 4:20 PM ET
•originally published 01/07/2009 AT 11:10 PM ET
The two were among the big winners at the 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards Wednesday night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Pitt was named favorite leading man at the ceremony, while Jolie was voted favorite female action star.
While neither accepted their honors in the flesh, plenty of stars – including Carrie Underwood, Katherine Heigl and the hosts of Dancing with the Stars (winners of the favorite competition/reality show) – collected their trophies in person during the two-hour ceremony which was hosted by Queen Latifah.
Ellen DeGeneres was a good sport as she presented the first award of the night, filling in for Kate Hudson whom, she said, was stuck in traffic and “40 minutes away.” Said DeGeneres with a laugh: “That’s no way to sell a movie.” The talk show host then gave Adam Sandler the favorite funny male star award, and later picked up favorite talk show host herself.
Hudson did arrive in time to collect her award for favorite leading lady – and she took the stage with a triumphant whoop. Hudson also dedicated her award to son Ryder, who was celebrating his fifth birthday that night.
Additionally, Will Smith was a double winner, nabbing favorite male movie star and favorite male action star, while Reese Witherspoon was named favorite female movie star. “This year I won an award for having a baby throw up on me,” the Four Christmases star said on stage.
The Dark Knight’s Big Night
The night’s definitive winner, though, was The Dark Knight: The latest in the Batman franchise won a total of five awards, including favorite movie and favorite action movie. The movie’s star, Christian Bale, was named favorite superhero and was also recognized, along with the late Heath Ledger, in the favorite on-screen match up category.
Among the other big movie winners: Katherine Heigl’s 27 Dresses won favorite movie comedy and WALL-E took home the award for favorite family movie.
The Best of Music and Television
Carrie Underwood was clearly a choice star – and the country crooner cleaned up at the ceremony, winning three trophies. The singer was selected as the favorite star under 35 – a new award to mark both PEOPLE Magazine and the People’s Choice Awards’ 35th birthdays. Underwood, 25, also collected awards for her music, including favorite country song (“Last Name”) and favorite country singer. She also performed her emotional ballad “I Know You Won’t” at the top of the show.
In other music news, Chris Brown was named favorite male singer. He also nabbed favorite combined forces with Jordin Sparks for their song “No Air.” Sparks collected the award in person, announcing, “[This is] a lot heavier than I thought… . I feel like I’m on Idol again.”
On a poignant note, favorite female TV star Christina Applegate, who was treated for breast cancer last year, thanked her fans. “The incredible amount of love and support you’ve given me over the last few months hasn’t gone unnoticed – and it’s really needed,” she said.