Sigourney Weaver urged young girls to believe in themselves as she was honoured at the Glamour Women of the Year awards.
The Hollywood star said her transformation from "six foot tall curly haired troll doll" to Oscar-nominated actress with a glittering career that has spanned decades was attainable by anyone.
As she was named icon of the year at the star-studded ceremony, Weaver said: "This is a message in a bottle to all 12-year-old girls reading this online - if I can make it to be icon of the year, you can."
The actress, who shot to fame as Ellen Ripley in the 1979 blockbuster Alien, joined a host of leading women at the event hosted by Claudia Winkleman in Mayfair, London, on Tuesday evening.
More than 700,000 votes were cast for the awards which are in their 13th year and have categories including sportswoman, UK TV actress, fashion designer, and TV personality.
Jennifer Saunders received the outstanding contribution award which she dedicated to the late comedian Victoria Wood.
Saunders said she was a "great friend", adding: "She really helped us - it is a great loss."
The award was presented by her comedy partner in crime, Dawn French, who joked: "Why exactly she has been rewarded for her continued bad behaviour and relentless showing off is beyond me."
Susan Sarandon scooped the gong for Glamour inspiration and said her award will be going into the "famous bathroom" at her house to stand alongside her Oscar.
"I am inspired by women - no one multi-tasks like women," she said.
"We have to stop worrying about being perfect and have as much fun as we can."
Donatella Versace received the award for fashion designer and Little Mix picked up the prize for music act of the year, presented by radio DJ Greg James.
Tinie Tempah handed Jess Glynne the award for next breakthrough - she joked: "I sing, I don't really do speeches".
Bond girl Naomie Harris, who played Miss Moneypenny, took home the gong for film actress of the year and dedicated her award to her family saying "could not have done it without them".
Holly Willoughby claimed TV personality of the year while actor Stanley Tucci handed Elizabeth Banks the award for filmmaker of the year.
The Hollywood director told the room that she was missing her son's preschool graduation to accept the award.