updated 02/23/2011 AT 12:50 PM ET
•originally published 02/23/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
The actress, 44, appeared upbeat when she accepted the Lacoste Spotlight Award at the Costume Designers Guild Awards on Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
Introduced by pal Samuel L. Jackson, Berry gave an energetic acceptance speech full of laughs and smiles, following a montage that showcased the actress’s versatility in a selection of various roles over the span of her career.
“Halle looked radiant and seemed giddy on stage,” an onlooker tells PEOPLE of Berry, clad in an Elie Saab gown. “She stuck completely on topic of the event and didn’t mention anything about her personal life, but she had a happy aura. She even skipped away from the podium when her speech was done, and gave Samuel L. Jackson a big hug.”
Although Berry seemed in good spirits, she kept a low profile throughout the night. Her beau Olivier Martinez did not attend and the actress stuck close to both her publicist and manager, who accompanied her.
When it came to press, Berry was the last celebrity to arrive on the red carpet. She was greeted by screaming photographers.
“Even as a veteran celebrity, she seemed overwhelmed by all of the madness surrounding her entrance,” the onlooker says. “She posed for photos for several minutes before dashing inside to the cocktail hour.”
Up next for Berry: She’s shooting a small role in the new film New Year’s Eve in New York, a source tells PEOPLE.
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