Bedi earns Italy's Pegasus nod

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NEW DELHI -- Veteran Indian actor Kabir Bedi received the Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday at Italy's Pegaso d'Oro (The Golden Pegasus), one of Italy's best-known cinema events.

Best known to international audiences for his role as the villainous sidekick in the 1983 James Bond film "Octopussy," Bedi is one of the few Indian actors to have enjoyed a dual career in both Indian cinema and overseas. He has been a household name in Italy since the 1970s thanks to his appearance in the long-running TV series "Sandokan."

Similarly, his three-decade career in Hindi cinema as a respected character actor still continues, with periodic appearances in many films.

Bedi, who speaks fluent Italian, told an Indian newspaper: "Italy may have adopted me but my heart belongs to India. But I feel immensely indebted to Italy for all the love and success they continue to give me. This award is for my entire body of work in Italy over the last 30 years."

The actor recently appeared on the top-rated Italian primetime series "Un medico In Famiglia."

Past Pegasus honorees include such figures as Harold Pinter, Billy Wilder, Peter Greenaway, Ken Loach and Susan Strasberg.
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