Faye Dunaway honored at Cannes Film Festival

Sun May 15, 2011 9:04pm EDT
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By Rebecca Leffer

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - Cannes poster girl and Oscar-winning actress Faye Dunaway added some old school Hollywood glamor to the Croisette on Sunday when Cultural Minister Frederic Mitterand named her an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters at a ceremony in Cannes.

While her famous face can be seen all over the Croisette on this year's official festival poster in a photograph taken by Jerry Schatzberg in 1970, the actress made a live appearance at the Cafe des Palmes in the Palais to accept her prize.

"She has one of the most wonderful filmographies of any actress. Look at her movies from the 70s for example -- she only made good choices. She's had an incredible career," festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux said of the star of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Network," as well as her first big hit, "Bonnie and Clyde."

Dunaway kept everyone waiting, then made a late-yet-dramatic entrance, telling Mitterand in perfect French: "It's a great honor. I'm sorry for being late -- I blame the weather."

Dunaway first came to Cannes to present the Palme d'Or to Wim Wenders for "Paris, Texas."

"You're an actress in auteur films but also films for a large audience, which makes you an eternal star," Mitterand told Dunaway before presenting her with the decoration.

"This I will treasure," Dunaway said of her prize before getting teary-eyed. "I have a new dream, and I am working on my new film as a director and as an actress," Dunaway said of the future. "For me, acting is a kind of comfort and satisfaction, but it's never the wind in my hair, as Meryl Streep said. It's anguish, because it's a war to make a film -- you have to take the fire and prevail, as Faulkner said, so you have to be very strong."

<p>Actress Faye Dunaway poses after receiving The Legion of Honour from French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterand at a ceremony held during the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, May 15, 2011. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier</p>