Michael J. Fox receives honorary Oscar for Parkinson's advocacy

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By James Kay

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Michael J. Fox received an honorary Oscar for his advocacy of Parkinson's Research at Saturday's awards ceremony.

The 61-year-old shot to fame when he starred in the 1985 film Back to the Future, alongside Christopher Lloyd, where he played Marty McFly, a high school student who goes back in time and has to make his parents fall in love.

The actor was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991 at the age of 29. He disclosed his condition in 1998 and has since committed himself to campaign for increased research about the disease, per The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

In January 2000, Michael announced his retirement from the sitcom Spin City and later that year established the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which states that it is "now the world's largest non-profit funder of Parkinson's drug development."

Watch Michael's acceptance speech below:

Michael had never received an Academy Award nomination before, but on Saturday he received the prestigious award for his work in creating the foundation.

The star was honored during the 13th annual Governors' Awards in Los Angeles, alongside other celebrities such as Cher, Viola Davis, and Jeff Bridges.

Actor Woody Harrelson, 61, presented the actor with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and gave him a warm embrace as he did so, per the Daily Mail.

The award is given to an "individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry," as stated on the Academy Awards site.

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Michael and his wife Tracy at the award ceremony. Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Alamy

As cited by People, Fox said during his speech that his Parkinson's "truly has been a gift". The actor went on: "I refer to Parkinson's as the gift that keeps on taking.

"Once I became engaged in learning about the disease, every interaction, every new piece of information I gathered, every researcher or NIH official I talked to, all confirmed, the science was ahead of the money. The answers could be unlocked with the right investments.

"I was told I only had 10 years left to work. That was s***. That's what happened. The hardest part of my diagnosis was grappling with the certainty of the diagnosis and the uncertainty of the situation."

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Credit: Trevor Collens / Alamy

When recounting how the foundation was named after him, Michael laughed and said: "[I] didn't want to call it that, I wanted to call it PD cure. I told [my wife] Tracy and she said, 'Pedicure?'."

The actor acknowledged the foundation has raised over $1.5 billion for research into finding a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Featured image credit: Erik Pendzich / Alamy

Michael J. Fox receives honorary Oscar for Parkinson's advocacy

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Michael J. Fox received an honorary Oscar for his advocacy of Parkinson's Research at Saturday's awards ceremony.

The 61-year-old shot to fame when he starred in the 1985 film Back to the Future, alongside Christopher Lloyd, where he played Marty McFly, a high school student who goes back in time and has to make his parents fall in love.

The actor was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991 at the age of 29. He disclosed his condition in 1998 and has since committed himself to campaign for increased research about the disease, per The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

In January 2000, Michael announced his retirement from the sitcom Spin City and later that year established the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which states that it is "now the world's largest non-profit funder of Parkinson's drug development."

Watch Michael's acceptance speech below:

Michael had never received an Academy Award nomination before, but on Saturday he received the prestigious award for his work in creating the foundation.

The star was honored during the 13th annual Governors' Awards in Los Angeles, alongside other celebrities such as Cher, Viola Davis, and Jeff Bridges.

Actor Woody Harrelson, 61, presented the actor with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and gave him a warm embrace as he did so, per the Daily Mail.

The award is given to an "individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry," as stated on the Academy Awards site.

size-full wp-image-1263179163
Michael and his wife Tracy at the award ceremony. Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Alamy

As cited by People, Fox said during his speech that his Parkinson's "truly has been a gift". The actor went on: "I refer to Parkinson's as the gift that keeps on taking.

"Once I became engaged in learning about the disease, every interaction, every new piece of information I gathered, every researcher or NIH official I talked to, all confirmed, the science was ahead of the money. The answers could be unlocked with the right investments.

"I was told I only had 10 years left to work. That was s***. That's what happened. The hardest part of my diagnosis was grappling with the certainty of the diagnosis and the uncertainty of the situation."

size-full wp-image-1263179162
Credit: Trevor Collens / Alamy

When recounting how the foundation was named after him, Michael laughed and said: "[I] didn't want to call it that, I wanted to call it PD cure. I told [my wife] Tracy and she said, 'Pedicure?'."

The actor acknowledged the foundation has raised over $1.5 billion for research into finding a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Featured image credit: Erik Pendzich / Alamy