KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, one of Asia’s biggest film stars, was conferred France’s ‘Officier des Arts et des Lettres’ award by the French government today.
She is the first Malaysian to receive the award which was presented by French Ambassador to Malaysia Christophe Penot, at the French embassy here.
According to Penot, Yeoh was selected by the French Ministry of Culture for the award, which is given to outstanding artists in their respective fields, to recognise her outstanding contribution to the film industry.
“Michelle has worked with a lot of french directors and actors besides promoting some of the best French brands.
“So for all these reasons, the French government wants to pay a tribute to what she have achieved as an actress,” he told Bernama after the award presentation ceremony.
Also present was Yeoh’s partner Datuk Seri Jean Todt, and her mother Datin Janet Yeoh.
In 2012, Yeoh, 53, received France’s highest civilian honour, the medal of a Knight of the Legion of Honour from the previous French Ambassador to Malaysia, Alain du Boispean.
Yeoh, who is best known for her roles as a Bond girl in the 1997 movie ‘Tomorrow Never Dies, and her amazing kung fu performance in the ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and ‘The Lady’, has carved her name in Hollywood.
Born in the northern Malaysian town of Ipoh in 1962, Yeoh studied dance and martial arts before winning a beauty pageant in 1983 before beginning her acting career. – BERNAMA