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Jessica Simpson, Amy Poehler pick up Gracie Awards in Beverly Hills

May 26, 2010 | 12:49 pm

Jessica and her mom So have you heard who Jessica Simpson's date was Tuesday night?

OK, it was her mom, Tina. It was that kind of evening at the Alliance for Women in Media's 35th annual Gracie Awards Gala, honoring programming "for women, by women and about women." And after all, mom culture helped Simpson land her honor. Remember those mom jeans that caused such a media frenzy? Simpson's answer was her VH-1 series, "The Price of Beauty," which scored her the 2010 Dove Real Beauty Award.

Gracies-gallery Actually, the roots of her series about the personal costs beauty standards exact from women in different cultures go back even further, as she told the crowd at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

"I grew up as a preacher's daughter and ... when I was 13, I remember being at church camp, and I remember the pastor saying, 'Someone in this room is chosen to make an impact on this world. Someone is being called into the ministry.' And I remember walking down the aisle and being like, 'Pick me, pick me!'

"I called my parents and I was like, 'Dad, mom, guess what? I'm being called into the ministry.' And they were like, 'Whoa! Did you sign anything?' "

And so the pop and country singer/fashion entrepreneur/actress/reality show producer could thank

the Lord for having such business-savvy parents, who were a godsend when it came to carving out a career as a global celebrity.

Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless Not so lucky? Tyne Daly, who presented a Gracie to Sharon Gless, her old -- "between the two of us, we're 130 years old" -- "Cagney and Lacey" costar for her mom-from-hell role on USA's "Burn Notice."

"I asked not to have a crawl, and now I'm regretting it," she said as she winged it at the microphone. "I was a Methodist minister's daughter, and we were told the rules don't apply to us."

Not that anyone was missing their spiritual leaders, but there was one notable void, as Amy Poehler observed, accepting a Gracie (named after the late comic actress Gracie Allen) for executive producing Nickelodeon's animated series "The Mighty B!"

"I had the opportunity to join you in New York last time," she said, referring to last year's Gracies, "and although the weather is better, there are less housewives at this one. So get some housewives, and it'll be a real party."

Also picking up awards were Candy Spelling, who accepted on behalf of her family, Suze Orman, Peri Gilpin and Jane Krakowski, who took home the Gracie for the cast of "30 Rock."

-- Irene Lacher

Top photo: Tina Simpson, left, accompanied daughter Jessica to the Alliance for Women in Media's 35th annual Gracie Awards Gala. Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images.

Bottom photo: Former "Cagney & Lacey" costars Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless. Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images.