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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
Bollywood star gets French honour
Amitabh Bachchan
Bachchan shows no sign of slowing down despite surgery last year
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is to be awarded France's highest civilian honour, the Legion d'honneur.

The star, 64, was being honoured for his "contribution to Indian and international culture", said a French embassy spokesman in New Delhi.

Bachchan's career spans almost 40 years and more than 140 movies. He topped a 1999 BBC News website poll to find the greatest star of stage or screen.

Ambassador Dominique Girard is to present the award at a later date.

The son of a Hindi poet, Bachchan moved to Mumbai (Bombay) in pursuit of a film career after quitting his job as a freight broker in Calcutta.

The actor made his name in the 1970s and 1980s as a film action hero.

In 2000, he became the first Bollywood star to have a waxwork at Madame Tussaud's museum in London.

He is also India's biggest television star, presenting a popular hour-long show modelled on the UK game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.

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