Acting legend Sidney Poitier was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. leader Barack Obama on Wednesday (12Aug09).
Poitier, the first black man to win a Best Actor Oscar, was chosen for his contribution to acting and race relations.
During a ceremony at the White House in Washington DC, an audience was told how the 82 year old had "left an indelible mark on American culture" and "advanced the nation's dialogue on race and respect."
Other recipients of this year's Medal of Freedom - America's highest civilian honour - include entertainer Chita Rivera, science genius Stephen Hawking, late politician Harvey Milk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.