Penelope Cruz was honored Wednesday by France's culture minister who called her a "great European actress" and proclaimed her a knight in the Order of Arts and Letters. Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres praised in particular her international movie career which includes roles in French, English, Italian and her native Spanish. "It's France's role to be the ardent defender of cultural diversity and to recognize those who extend, with their talent, the culture of their country," said the minister. "I'm happy to have honored this great European actress." AP reports.