Hollywood A-lister George Clooney has been presented with a prestigious award by the French government for his contribution to cinema.

The 46-year-old accepted the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres at the American film festival in Deauville from the country's culture minister Christine Albanel.

Handing over the accolade, the minister praised Clooney's "limitless talent" and "irresistible charm".

She also said that he was the "quintessence of an American actor".

Clooney was in Normandy promoting his latest film, Michael Clayton, which received its premiere at the Venice film festival last month.

Also starring Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack, in the film the Ocean's Thirteen star plays a cynical legal worker who handles his law firm's unethical dilemmas.

Clooney, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for his turn in geopolitical thriller Syriana in 2003, has won acclaim for his campaign activities urging international governments to intervene in the Darfur humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

03/09/2007 17:43:10