At 80, Jerry Lewis still 'France's favourite clown'

17th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 16, 2006 (AFP) - US comic actor Jerry Lewis celebrated his 80th birthday Thursday by being made a commander of the French Legion of Honour and blowing out candles on a cake at the culture ministry here.

PARIS, March 16, 2006 (AFP) - US comic actor Jerry Lewis celebrated his 80th birthday Thursday by being made a commander of the French Legion of Honour and blowing out candles on a cake at the culture ministry here.

Lewis was in fine form pulling faces for the photographers as French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres praised "France's favourite clown" as "a man with a big heart."

The minister also paid tribute to Lewis' long career which included such hits as 'The Stooge' in 1953, 'It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world' in 1959 and 'The Bellboy' in 1960, as well as the 1983 film 'The King of Comedy'.

Donnedieu also praised the actor's long fight to increase awareness about muscular dystrophy, having raised more than two billion dollars through his telethons in the United States.

"I love you all, I love France, I have always for 60 years and I always will," Lewis said at the ceremony.

He is also in France to launch his memoirs 'Dean and Me - A Love Story', telling the story of his long friendship with the late actor Dean Martin.

Lewis, the father of six boys by his first marriage, has a 14-year-old daughter with his second wife Sam.

He was also to be awarded a medal on Thursday by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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