Cannes Film Festival is set to fete French movie legend Alain Delon with an Honorary Palme d'Or. Delon is known for his starring roles in Luchino Visconti's "The Leopard", which won the Palme d'Or in 1963, "Rocco And His Brothers", "Purple Noon" ("Plein Soleil"), "The Eclipse", "The Samurai", "The Swimming Pool" and "Le Cercle Rouge". Calling Delon a "giant, a living legend, a global icon… (and even) a box office champion," the festival said the honorary Palme d'Or will "pay tribute to (Delon's) wonderful presence in the history of film.”
"Pierre Lescure and I are delighted that Alain Delon has accepted to be honoured by the festival," said Thierry Fremaux, Cannes' artistic director. He added that Delon "hesitated for a long time, having long been reluctant to (accept) this Palme d'Or because he thought he should only come to Cannes to celebrate the directors he had been working with."
Delon, who is nicknamed Spring Samurai in Japan, has featured in more than 80 films and worked with some of the world cinema's most celebrated filmmakers, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Visconti, Jean-Pierre Melville and Jean-Luc Godard, and starred alongside some of the greatest movie stars, including Romy Schneider, Jean Gabin, Yves Montand and Lino Ventura.
Jeanne Moreau, Woody Allen, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Fonda, Clint Eastwood, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Manoel de Oliveira, Agnes Varda and Jean-Pierre Leaud have all previously been received an honorary Palme d'Or. The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival will run May 14-25.