11 FEBRUARY 2009

A fundraising benefit in Beverly Hills honouring Gwyneth Paltrow and Courteney Cox gave the two ladies the perfect opportunity to slip into some fabulous dresses for the evening.

Both actresses were being recognised for their dedication to cancer causes by fellow stars, including Jay-Z and Beyonce, master of ceremonies Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, Sheryl Crow and Steven Spielberg.

The A-list audience was entertained by a three-song set from Sheryl as they tucked into filet mignon and chocolate-covered strawberries at the 'Unforgettable Evening', held in New York on Tuesday to raise money for the Women's Cancer Research Fund.

And although she attended the event without her husband Chris Martin, Gwyneth - described by pal Beyonce as "one of my favourite people in the world" - was in high spirits joking: "my husband's in Japan, but I've got Jay-Z, so that's even better".

Photo: Rex
Gwyneth and Courteney, pictured with Tom's actress wife Rita, were honoured at the benefit for their charitable endeavours
Photo: Rex
Master of ceremonies Tom introduces Beyonce, who performed a set including Etta James' At Last, the song she sang at the inauguration ball for Barack Obama