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QUICK TAKES : France fetes Eastwood

November 14, 2009|Reuters

President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded U.S. actor and director Clint Eastwood one of France's top honors on Friday, hailing him as a cinema legend and a symbol of the type of America that the French adored.

It is unusual for a foreigner to be elevated to the rank of commander of the French Legion of Honor but Eastwood, who went from playing tough-guy roles like Dirty Harry to directing highly praised films, said he saw France as his second home.

"My wife chastised me, saying if that was true why don't I speak French," he told friends and officials gathered at the Elysee Palace for the ceremony, promising to take lessons.

"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," said Eastwood, 79, who recently finished making the thriller "Hereafter" in France.

-- Reuters

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