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French Arts honour for Bruce Willis



Story by: Jack Foley

HOLLYWOOD superstar Bruce Willis has been presented with one of France's highest cultural honours, while visiting the country to promote his latest film, Hostage.

The former Die Hard star was made an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters on Wednesday, April 13, 2005.

The actor, 50, received his decoration from French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres at a special ceremony in Paris.

And he immediately commented that the award proved 'cinema has no boundaries and that we all belong to the same artistic community'.

According to Mr de Vabres, Willis was chosen for the accolade because he symbolised 'the power of US cinema' as well as the 'mythical proportions' of its characters.

Upon hearing such words, the star told onlookers in French that he was 'very touched'.

Also present at the ceremony were French actor, Jean Reno, and Willis's Pulp Fiction co-star, Maria de Medeiros.

In his citation, Mr de Vabres praised Willis's 'quiet strength and empathy', adding: "Your roles cannot be reduced down to the fight against good and bad which is so popular in the US film industry, even if you have killed lots of villains."

Past recipients of the prestigious award have included Sir Alan Parker and, more recently, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, who collected it when in France promoting their latest collaboration, The Aviator.

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