She has won awards and plaudits for star turns in top Hollywood movies.

But Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones seemed just as thrilled by her latest role yesterday as she returned to Swansea in Wales to be given the freedom of the city.

Miss Zeta-Jones, 49, who was accompanied by her husband Hollywood star Michael Douglas, 74, and their son Dylan, 18, is only the second woman to be given the accolade in 130 years.

Her parents Pat and Dai were at the civic ceremony along with her former dance teacher Hazel Johnson who set her on the path to stardom.

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Mother-of-two Miss Zeta-Jones, who now lives in New York, said receiving the freedom of the city was up there with winning the best supporting actress Oscar for 2002 musical Chicago.

She said: "I never really went away — I am very proud, it doesn't get better than this.

"My school motto was — Reach for the heights — and I think that's what I did. Coming home, I can be the normal Catherine, surrounded by my family and friends who have guided me along the way with unconditional love."

The actress insisted: "I am humbled and touched by this honour and will continue to be an ambassador for Swansea. It is very special."

The family played golf and tucked into fish and chips during their trip to Wales.