Pretty Woman star Richard Gere has been given the prestigious Marian Anderson Award in honour of his philanthropy. The U.S. city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bestowed the humanitarian award on the actor in recognition of his efforts to promote Tibetan independence and his work with AIDS charities. Gere - who is a Buddhist - picked up the honour at a ceremonial gala at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Monday (12Nov07) and was praised for lending his fame and finances to help tackle global issues. He says, "I'm not worthy of this award in any way whatsoever. I can't tell you how this makes me feel. My heart is so wide open." The 58-year-old has advocated Tibetan independence from Chinese rule since 1978, taking on the role of board chairman for the International Campaign for Tibet. He also established Healing The Divide, a charity which works to improve care for HIV/AIDS patients.