Entertainment & Arts

Sir Michael Caine collects top French honour

Oscar-winning actor Sir Michael Caine has received France's highest cultural honour in Paris.

The Alfie and Italian Job star was made a Commander of the Arts and Letters by Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand.

Mr Mitterrand praised the 77-year-old, calling him "a giant" of the acting profession.

Sir Michael told The Associated Press he fell in love with France in his youth and getting the award was like being recognised by his "fiancee".

"It's fantastic for me because it's something I've never thought of," he said.

"If you are an actor you think one day I will maybe win an Academy Award or something, but I've never in my life thought I would be given the Legion d'honneur.

"It was such a surprise and I am so happy and grateful I cannot tell you," added Sir Michael.

The actor has starred in more than 100 films during the course of his career, which has so far spanned some five decades.

He won best supporting actor Oscars in 2000 for The Cider House Rules and in 1987 for Hannah and Her Sisters.

The Order of Arts and Letters was established in the 1950s to recognise those who have contributed significantly to the arts in France and throughout the world.

Previous recipients of the honour include singer Stevie Wonder, actors Sir Roger Moore and Dennis Hopper, and punk singer Patti Smith.

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