Michael Caine given freedom of London borough

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Oscar-winner Michael Caine Saturday received the freedom of the London borough of Southwark, where the veteran British actor grew up.

The 79-year-old received the honour in a ceremony at St George's Cathedral, not far from the Elephant and Castle district where he spent his childhood.

The honorary freedom of Southwark is given to individuals or organisations in recognition of their contribution to life in the borough.

"I've received awards before, but this is so personal, because it's about where I grew up," said Caine, known for his distinctive London accent.

"I come from here. I did my first acting in a youth club here, an amateur dramatic society. I'm part of what this place is."

He was nominated for the award by Southwark Council leader Peter John.

"Sir Michael has been an exceptional ambassador for the place where he grew up and an example for all Southwark residents," the politician said.

Caine was knighted in 2000 for his services to drama.

He has won two best supporting actor Oscars: in 1986 for "Hannah and Her Sisters" and in 1999 for "The Cider House Rules".

He has also starred in films such as "Zulu" (1964), "Alfie" (1966), "The Italian Job" (1969), "Get Carter" (1971) and "The Quiet American" (2002).

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