Dustin Hoffman honoured by French

February 28th, 2009 - 10:18 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Dustin HoffmanOn Thursday Dustin Hoffman broke down in tears when he was awarded a top French state honour in tribute to his half-century acting career.

‘It’s a great honour,’ said the Hollywood veteran, star of ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Tootsie’ and ‘Kramer vs Kramer,’ as he was sworn into the Order of Arts and Literature at the French culture ministry, with his wife Lisa at his side.

‘French cinema has a great place in my heart,’ said the 71-year-old, who later apologised for his emotional outbreak, which he blamed on his age.

‘This medal will remain with me for the rest of my life - unfortunately it doesn’t give the magical power to speak French,’ he added.

Hoffman paid a special tribute to two seminal pre-New Wave works, the 1945 tale of ill-fated love, ‘Les Enfants du Paradis’ and Rene Clement’s 1952 drama about a child fleeing the Nazi conquest of Paris, ‘Les Jeux Interdits.’

The US actor was set to receive a lifetime achievement award at France’s Cesars film ceremony on Friday night, from the hands of British actress Emma Thompson, his co-star in the Joel Hopkins romance ‘Last Chance Harvey.’ A seven-time Oscar nominee, Hoffman won best actor for his roles in ‘Rain Man’ and in ‘Kramer vs Kramer.’

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