Freeman Wins Academy Award

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Mississippi native Morgan Freeman won an Oscar for best supporting actor in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby.”

It was Freeman's fourth nomination for his role as Eddie Dupris.

"I want to thank anybody and everybody who worked on this picture. I especially want to thank Clint Eastwood for giving me the opportunity to work with him again and to work with Hilary Swank. This was a labor of love," said Freeman, who lives and operates businesses in Clarksdale.

Will Freeman become more of a powerful force in gaining support for the planned Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center in Meridian?

"It made it an exciting evening for the whole state of Mississippi to see one of our own win an award," said Charlotte Tabereaux, executive director of the MAEC. "And to know he's one of our stars who is supporting this project and we hope he will spend some time with us just as faith did.”

Efforts to fund the center are being spearheaded by singer Faith Hill and other celebrities with ties to the state.