New Delhi: French Embassy here paid tribute to legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who passed away on Sunday, saying he was the first Indian film personality who was conferred with Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest award for artists.

Chatterjee was also honoured with France's highest civilian award-Chevalier of Legion of Honor.

"Legendary actor #SoumitraChatterjee passes away. #DYK In 1999 he was the first Indian film personality, conferred with Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest award for artists and in 2017, he was honoured with France's highest civilian award-Chevalier of Legion of Honor," French Embassy tweeted on Sunday.

Chatterjee, 85, passed away on Sunday afternoon. He was admitted in Belle Vue Hospital, Kolkata on and was put in ICU after being tested positive for COVID-19.

A winner of India's highest award for cinema -- Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2012, Chatterjee during his acting career had worked with Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray in more than 14 movies.

Chatterjee is also the first Indian film personality conferred with France's highest award for artists -- the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2018, thirty years after Ray was honoured with France's highest civilian award, the coveted Legion of Honor, thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, also received the prestigious award as the first-ever Indian actor.