Robert Redford knighted by Nicolas Sarkozy

London: Hollywood icon Robert Redford was knighted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, joining France`s elite Legion of Honour.

The Academy Award winning star, most famous for his role in the cult classic `Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid`, received the medal from the President in a ceremony in Paris.

The 74-year-old actor was lauded for his four-decade-long career by Sarkozy, reported a website.

"I know 65 million French people who would like to be in my shoes right now. You are the incarnation of the United States and all that that country represents," Sarkozy told Redford.

He said Redford`s roles in films like `Out of Africa` and `The Great Gatsby`, continue to delight viewers.

"Those who love cinema long remember your films, which we watch and re-watch with the same emotion each time," he continued.

Redford then made a speech in which he thanked the French people and reminisced about the time he spent in their country after finishing college.

"I didn`t know anything about my own country, I was naïve and narrow-minded and it was the French students who opened my eyes and gave me a real education," the actor said.

Redford was joined at the ceremony by his wife of 15-months, Sibylle Szaggars, a German painter who has been his companion since 1996.

Redford recently finished work on `The Conspirator`, a film he directed about a woman charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

The film has an all star cast including Alexis Bledel, James McAvoy, Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Robin Wright Penn, Kevin Klein and Tom Wilkinson.