Actor and director George Clooney, seen in this undated photograph, won a best supporting Oscar in 2006 for Syriana. George Clooney has been given one of France's highest honours for his achievements in cinema.

The Oscar-winning star of Syriana was presented with the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres medal over the weekend by French Culture Minister Christine Albanel.

Albanel praised Clooney for his "limitless talent" and "irresistible charm."

The star thanked France for its efforts in the Darfur crisis in western Sudan as he accepted the prestigious award. Clooney has spent the past few years raising awareness about the violence in Darfur.

Along with fellow actors Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle, Clooney is alsobehind Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities.

The 46-year-old director and producer received his award at the Deauville American Film Festival in France where he was showcasing his latest film, Michael Clayton.

Born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Ky., Clooney rose to fame in 1994 in the role of Dr. Doug Ross in the television series ER.

His movie roles include O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Three Kings, Out of Sight, Good Night and Good Luck and the Ocean's Eleven series.

Clooney captured the 2006 best supporting actor Oscar for Syriana.

He also received the American Cinematheque Award the same year, whichpays tribute to those committed to making a significant contribution to the art of motion pictures.