Harper Lee 'honoured' by Obama Mockingbird introduction

Harper Lee, pictured in 2007, and President Obama Lee, pictured left in 2007, was recognised by President Obama last year

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Author Harper Lee is "deeply honoured" that President Obama has recorded an introduction to the 1962 film of her famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

The preface will be shown before a 50th anniversary screening of the film on the USA Network channel on Saturday.

Lee, who rarely appears or speaks in public, said she believed the Gregory Peck drama to be "the best translation of a book to film ever made".

Her 1960 novel tells of a white lawyer defending a black man accused of rape.

"I'm proud to know that Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch lives on in a world that needs him now more than ever," the author continued.

To Kill a Mockingbird is Lee's only published novel. The author was born and still lives in the Alabama town of Monroeville.

President Obama previously recognised the 85-year-old in 2011 by presenting her with the prestigious National Medal of Arts.

Her book, he said at the time, showed "the senseless cruelty of racism and the value of standing up for what is right".

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