Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Saturday, 14 November 2009

Eastwood receives French honour

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood has promised he will learn French

Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood has been made a commander in France's prestigious Legion of Honour.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy presented the 79-year-old actor and director with the decoration for his contribution to cinema.

Eastwood said receiving the accolade was a "wonderful honour" and a "great pleasure" for him.

"I love France. I love movies, and I love the appreciation that the French people have for movies," he said.

The star promised he would be fluent in French the next time he returned to the country.

He jokingly referred to Mr Sarkozy as "my president" after receiving the red-ribboned medal, and said he planned to go out and show off his award.

"As a commander of the arts and letters, I think I will go out on the streets of France today and throw my weight around," he said.

'Admiration'

President Sarkozy called Eastwood, "a myth, a giant, an example of the admiration we have for American culture".

Eastwood, came to prominence as an actor in films such as Dirty Harry.

But in later years he has turned to directing, making films such as Million Dollar Baby, for which he won the best director Oscar.

He starred in and directed the 2008 film Gran Torino, in which he played an old Korean war veteran who takes on a street gang.

His latest movie, Invictus which is scheduled for release next month, is about Nelson Mandela and stars Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

The Legion of Honour award was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognise outstanding merit.

It recognises military, cultural, scientific or social contributions to France, including those made by people who are not French citizens.

The former French President Jacques Chirac honoured Eastwood as a knight of the Legion of Honour in 2007.



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