French honour for movie star Tony Leung Chiu Wai

Carina Lau kisses Tony Leung after he was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by France's consul general Arnaud Barthelemy. -- PHOTO: APPLEDAILY 
Carina Lau kisses Tony Leung after he was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by France's consul general Arnaud Barthelemy. -- PHOTO: APPLEDAILY 

HONG KONG - Tony Leung Chiu Wai capped his 33 years in film with a French honour on Monday.

Watched by wife Carina Lau, family and friends, he was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by France's consul general Arnaud Barthelemy, at a ceremony in the diplomat's official residence in Hong Kong.

He becomes the first Chinese actor to win the recognition, said Apple Daily.

The actor was cited for bringing together the cultures of France and Hong Kong, reported The Standard.

Speaking in English as he accepted the honour, he thanked his wife and family and said it must be shared with them.

Talking to reporters later, he said he viewed his latest accolade as a recognition of the Hong Kong films he had worked on in the past.

"Films can't be made by one person, so I should share this with those who have worked with me," said the actor, who turns 53 on June 27.

He posed for pictures with friends including director Wong Kar Wai, Eric Tsang, Kenny Bee and wife Fan Chiang, Alex To and Chingmy Yau.

Lau said she felt proud of her husband, and quipped: "Tony is Hong Kong's most important asset and must be well protected."