Nov 272013

Italian act­ress Valentina Cortese was awar­ded France’s highest hon­our in recog­ni­tion of her con­tri­bu­tion to the arts, the Com­mandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, dur­ing a cere­mony on Monday.

The award cere­mony took place in Milan’s French Insti­tute, and was pre­ceded by the pro­jec­tion of pho­to­graphs and film clips by by Ant­o­nio Zan­o­letti, illus­trat­ing her long and impress­ive career. From her extens­ive stage work, espe­cially with the ’s , through import­ant film col­lab­or­a­tions in Hol­ly­wood, Italy (espe­cially ’s Juliet of the Spir­its) and France, with her stel­lar per­form­ance in François Truffaut’s Day for Night, which earned her a Best Sup­port­ing Act­ress nom­in­a­tion in 1975.

The Cul­tural Advisor to the French Embassy, and dir­ector of the French Insti­tute, Eric Tal­lon, spoke in French and Italian about the motiv­a­tion for the award, after which the 90-year-old act­ress replied in French, break­ing into tears as she thanked the French people for the honour.

Valentina Cortese with Giulia Lazzarini

Valentina Cortese with Giulia Lazzarini

Ant­o­nio Zan­o­letti, together with Elisa­betta Inver­nici, have pro­duced a mag­ni­fi­cent volume to mark Valentina Cortese’s 90th birth­day, Valentina Cortese — 100 Rit­ratti (100 Por­traits) which is in Eng­lish and Italian.

Valentina Cortese Commandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Valentina Cortese Com­mandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres

  2 Responses to “Valentina Cortese becomes a Commandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres”

  1. What a fab­ulous lady, a true liv­ing legend.

  2. Valentina is one of a kind… the kind of act­ress unseen today. She is the epi­tome of an endur­ing style, grace and eleg­ance from a bygone era. Such style and grace is lack­ing in con­tem­por­ary entertainment.

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