While many big French actors never make it big stateside, Gérard Depardieu has. Even those who haven't seen his films know his name, and he's zoomed ahead in international recognizability over fellow actors like 36 co-star Daniel Auteuil -- whose name isn't well-known, although his films are getting a lot of English-language remakesrecently. Now Depardieu is being honored by the Film Society of the Lincoln Center, in recognition of "distinguished film artists. Kent Jones, of the society, says: "Depardieu's to European cinema in the '70's what Brando was to American cinema in the '50s. he was able to connect to and represent the whole gamut of European males: tough guy, stud, intellectual, bourgeois, anarchic rebel, hedonist."

Around twenty of the actor's films will be shown between August 3-19 in celebration of Depardieu's cinematic achievements. This will, of course, include his Oscar-nominated stint as Cyrano de Bergerac, although there is no word on the other films that are making the cut. The man has come a long way over the years, overcoming an alcoholic father, a short prison stay, drunk driving and even some shoddy translation by Time, which labeled him as a possible statutory rapist. These days, he's got lots of businesses that include restaurants and a vineyard, and yes, there is the acting. A few years ago, he said he was going to retire from the big screen, but since then, he has had almost twenty new gigs. (Retirement claims are just all the fashion these days.) Most of these films have yet to be released, so we've got a lot of Depardieu to look forward to, beyond his retrospective honor.