PARIS — French President Jacques Chirac inducted American actor-director Clint Eastwood into the Legion of Honor on Saturday, saying he represents ‘‘the best of Hollywood.’’ The Oscar-winning director was named a knight in France’s elite Legion of Honor. ‘‘France of course wants to pay homage to your immense talent as an actor, your genius as a director and to your place in the world of cinema,’’ Chirac said in a ceremony in the presidential Elysee Palace. ...
‘‘You show the complexity of America, in all its grandeur and fragility, with its enthusiastic dreams and its worried questioning,’’ he said.
Chirac called the 76-year-old director, who is nominated for an Academy Award for directing for his latest film, ‘‘Letters from Iwo Jima,’’ an ‘‘exceptional ambassador’’ for American culture around the world.
‘‘On this side of the Atlantic, dear Clint Eastwood, you incarnate the best of Hollywood,’’ Chirac said.
Eastwood said he was pleased to receive the ‘‘wonderful honor.’’
‘‘I’ve just finished being a Japanese director on a film and my great ambition one day is to do a French film, become a French director,’’ said Eastwood, whose ‘‘Letters from Iwo Jima’’ is almost entirely in Japanese.
Napoleon Bonaparte created the Legion d’Honneur in 1802. It recognizes military, cultural, scientific or social contributions to France, including by people who are not French citizens.