Screen legend Brigitte Bardot backed French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in a handwritten note published Wednesday in regional daily Nice-Matin.
The actress made an appeal to local elected officials to endorse the National Front leader so that she could gather the 500 signatures she will need to run in the two-round 2012 election two months away.
"I am scandalised that French mayors are so cold they don't have the honesty to back Marine Le Pen, who is a top candidate, defends animals and has the courage to lead our country, France, to its rightful spot in the world," it read.
The appeal from Bardot, a longtime animal rights activist, came days after Le Pen spoke out about animal suffering over the weekend, claiming all meat in the Paris region is prepared using Islamic halal traditions.
Some animal welfare campaigners say the halal slaughter method is more cruel than standard European practices because it bans the stunning of animals before they are killed.
Le Pen, whose party plays on fears of growing Muslim influence, trails election rivals President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande in opinion polls, with 17 percent of intentions in the latest vote.
Still about 60 sponsorships short of the 500 required by March 16 to secure a spot on the presidential ballot, Le Pen had requested the sponsor list remain private, saying she felt hampered by their public nature.
The constitutional court decided Tuesday to keep the votes public, as France gears up for the first round of the election on April 22 and the second-round run-off on May 6.
She is married -- for the fourth time -- to a former aide of Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen's father and predecessor as leader of the National Front.
She has been fined for inciting hatred against Muslims by attacking the "Islamisation" of France and the ritual slaughter of animals in Islamic culture.
Source: AFP Global Edition