(LOS ANGELES) — She’s an Oscar nominee, producer, humanitarian and now a French knight.
That’s right. Salma Hayek, 45, was made a chevalier or knight of the Legion of Honor by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on New Year’s Day.
Within the next two months, the Puss in Boots actress will receive a formal induction, which involves a presidential medal pinning, according to People magazine.
Hayek’s father-in-law, French businessman François Pinault, was also honored with France’s highest civilian distinction of grand officer.
The National Order of the Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 as merit award to honor military and civilian service in France and is separated into five ranks, beginning with knight, and going up to officer, commander, grander officer and grand cross.
Hayek’s inclusion on the list raised some eyebrows in France, where some accused Sarkozy of advancing his political ambitions with his choice in honorees. Hayek’s billionaire husband, François-Henri Pinault, and father-in-law are close friends of Sarkozy’s, according to the Telegraph.
The Telegraph reported that many vented online, commenting on the website of L’Express that Bonaparte would be “turning in his grave” to see Hayek knighted.
Hayek isn’t the first actor to receive the honor. Past honorees include Clint Eastwood, Marlene Dietrich, Robert Redford, and Jerry Lewis.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Frank Pallotta, CNN Newswire
Jim Bennett, Deseret News