While Tom Cruise was busy readying his and Paula Wagner’s announcement of a new partner, namely MGM, Cruise’s wife Katie Holmes was making a personal appearance Wednesday night at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse.

It was for friend Helen Mirren who was a double Women’s Image Network (WIN) Award winner. All this Cruise-Holmes coverage precedes the Nov. 18 press on their wedding in Italy.

Mirren, currently in Italy, was unable to attend. She’s costarring in New Line’s family film "Inkheart" with Brian Fraser and Jim Broadbent for director Iain Softley.

She asked Katie to accept for her. They worked together in Miramax’s 1999 horror-comedy "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" in which Katie’s character wanted to murder her teacher as played by Mirren. Kevin Williamson ("Scream" and "Scream2") directed.

Helen Mirren phoned her acceptance remarks to Katie. She was happy to make them for Mirren’s two wins — TV, "Elizabeth II," and feature, "The Queen."

Holmes, thin, statuesque (5’11"), was stunning in black, long-sleeved blouse, slacks and pumps. Her appearance was kept secret by WIN founder Phyllis Stuart. She shunned the red carpet but mingled warmly in the green room with winners and presenters who included Cheryl Hines, Ralph Fiennes, Mary McDonnell Senator Barbara Boxer ("Woman of the Year") and host Harry Shearer.

Holmes said, "I spoke to Helen Mirren this afternoon. She’s a dear friend of mine. We worked together and I was so moved by what an amazing woman she really is and–an incredible actress."

"I’m so happy to receive these awards from my fellow sisters," Mirren wrote. "Women are good at receiving and giving and I have received inspiration from my mother who taught me never to be afraid of age." She said she was also inspired "by fellow actresses who inspire me with their variety."

Phyllis Stuart, Senator Barbara Boxer (D), Calif., Katie Holmes

Phyllis Stuart, CEO of the Women’s Image Network (WIN); Senator Barbara Boxer (D), Calif., who was honored as "Woman of the Year"; Katie Holmes who accepted two awards on behalf of pal Helen Mirren who was unable to attend.

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