The Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema said that Clooney was their chosen recipient of this year's Honorary Cesar Award as they wanted to fete his "dazzling talent as an actor, director, scriptwriter and producer --- and above all, his artistic and spiritual generosity."
"The most charismatic actor of his generation, George Clooney embodies Hollywood glamour... His charm, humour, personality and engagement stand at the heart of our perpetual and eternal admiration."
The academy said Clooney's name "will forever be inscribed in the pantheon of legendary actors."
Previous honorary Cesar winners include Kate Winslet and Quentin Tarantino.
The 55-year-old Clooney, who made his breakthrough two decades ago in the TV medical drama ER, has won a slew of top awards including an Oscar for best supporting actor in Syriana in 2006 and a 2013 best picture award as producer for Argo.
He also garnered Golden Globes as best actor in the Coen Brothers' O' Brother Where Art Thou in 2001 and Alexander Payne's The Descendants in 2012.
Last year's honorary Cesar went to Michael Douglas, who thereby followed in the footsteps of fellow Americans Kevin Costner (2013), Scarlett Johansson (2014) and Sean Penn (2015).