"Dark Knight" soars at People's Choice Awards

Wed Jan 7, 2009 11:41pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Batman movie "The Dark Knight" soared away with five People's Choice Awards on Wednesday including favorite movie and on-screen pairing for stars Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger to kick off Hollywood's annual awards season.

Country singer Carrie Underwood, who rose to fame on television talent show "American Idol," was another big winner, hauling in three People's Choice Awards for favorite female singer, country song "Last Name," and star under 35 years-old.

"Fans and people voting for me are what gave me a career in the first place," Underwood said, acknowledging the voting by music lovers. "This is an amazing night."

The People's Choice Awards, in its 35th edition this year, are a widely watched measure of popular appeal for Hollywood stars and they mark a starting point for the industry's annual awards season which runs through the Oscars, the world's top film awards, that take place in February.

Adam Sandler was named funniest male star, Reese Witherspoon favorite female movie star, and Kate Hudson top leading lady among winners in more than 40 categories covering film, television, music and even online entertainment.

Sandler, Witherspoon and Hudson all echoed a familiar theme of the night by saying People's Choice honors were special because they were voted on by fans, as opposed to critics or members of industry groups.

The ceremony also has a more casual atmosphere compared to TV's Emmy's or the film industry's Oscars, where black ties and ball gowns are mandatory.


<p>Country music singer Carrie Underwood accepts the award for Favorite Female Singer at the 35th annual People's Choice awards in Los Angeles January 7, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>