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Trump honors legendary actor (and rare Hollywood supporter) Voight
US President Donald Trump awards the National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight (L) in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 21, 2019. Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP.

WASHINGTON (AFP).- President Donald Trump on Thursday honored Oscar winner -- and one of his rare public supporters in Hollywood -- Jon Voight, recounting fighting tears while watching one of the actor's films.

Voight, 80, was among eight people given the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal in a White House ceremony, the highest state honor for artists.

Later in the day, Voight accompanied Trump to Dover, Delaware where the president receive the bodies of two servicemen who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Voight said he was invited by Trump during the medal ceremony, and added that he did not meet the service members' families.

The actor won a 1979 best actor Academy Award for "Coming Home," in which he played a paraplegic Vietnam War veteran alongside Jane Fonda.

He made a star turn in "Midnight Cowboy" with Dustin Hoffman and also played in "Deliverance" and the "Odessa File," among other hits.

Trump said another Voight film, "The Champ," was the "greatest boxing movie of all time."

"Everyone was crying at that movie. I tried not to, Jon, but it wasn't easy," Trump said.

Voight stands out as a highly public supporter for the Republican Trump in Hollywood, breaking ranks with the bulk of his acting colleagues who have long leaned to the Democrats.

His daughter, the actress Angelina Jolie, is a fierce Trump critic. She was not seen at the medal ceremony in the White House's East Room.

© Agence France-Presse

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