Sean Penn will be honoured with an honorary Cesar award at the upcoming prizegiving on 20 February (15).

Members of the Cesar organisation, France's equivalent to the Oscars, will salute the veteran actor during the 40th annual ceremony in Paris.

In a statement announcing Penn's forthcoming accolade, the Cesar Academie praises his work throughout the years both on and off the screen, calling him a "mythical actor", an "exceptional director", and a "unique icon of American cinema".

Previous Hollywood recipients of the honorary Cesar award include Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman and Kate Winslet.