Michael J. Fox fights back tears as he receives a standing ovation at the BAFTAs amid Parkinson's battle

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By Asiya Ali

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Michael J. Fox was left emotional after receiving a standing ovation at the 2024 BAFTA Film Awards.

The 62-year-old actor - who is best known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future franchise - made a surprise appearance at the award ceremony on Sunday (February 18) to hand out the prize to Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. Watch the heartwarming moment below: 

After entering the stage in a wheelchair, Fox rose to his feet and walked to the podium - earning a standing ovation from several stars in attendance at the Royal Festival Hall, including Ryan Gosling, Robert Downey Jr., Margot Robbie, Bradley Cooper, and Barry Keoghan.

The iconic Canadian-American star - who has battled Parkinson's since 1991 - was visibly moved by the audience's reaction, as he supported himself on the podium to reveal the eventual winner.

When presenting the nominees for best film, Fox described cinema as "magic" that can "change your life," adding: "Five films were nominated in this category tonight and all five have something in common. They are the best of what we do."

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Credit: Kate Green/BAFTA / Getty

He then spoke about how movies bring people together "no matter who you are or where you're from".

"There's a reason why they say movies are magic because movies can change your day...It can change your outlook. Sometimes it can change your life," Fox said.

Many viewers who were watching from the comfort of their homes were left in tears, as one user on X (formerly Twitter) praised the star as an "icon and inspiration," and stated that he was "so deserving of that standing ovation".

Someone else penned: "It's gotta be said, at 11 years old he was my movie hero. I'm nearly 50 and after seeing him at the BAFTAs tonight. He's every bit the hero I remember him to be. What a legend!"

"Michael J Fox presenting at the BAFTA's. The world really needs more disabled people represented in prominent positions, and Fox does a fantastic job," a third user shared.

A fourth user added: "Michael J Fox at the BAFTA’s. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye or a lump to your throat. ABSOLUTE LEGEND," while one more said: "What an unbelievably moving ovation for #MichaelJFox. Not going to lie, a very tough watch."

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Michael J. Fox. Credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Getty

Parkinson's disease, a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years, affects around 500,000 people in the US, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The Teen Wolf actor first discovered he had the degenerative condition when he was just 29 years old in 1991 after he complained of a twitching little finger and a sore shoulder. He didn't go public with his diagnosis for another seven years, instead dealing with the progressive disorder by drinking excessively behind the scenes.

Fox's health took a significant hit in 2018 when he underwent spinal surgery to remove a tumor unrelated to Parkinson's. Since then, he has faced numerous challenges, including the need to relearn how to walk.

For the last 30 years, the Stuart Little star has been candid about his struggles in accepting the condition, especially during its early stages. However, last May, he revealed in the Australian talk show, The Project, that he learned to see it as a "gift".

"I always say Parkinson's is a gift and people say to me, 'How can you possibly describe it as a gift?' And I say, 'It is the gift that keeps on taking, but it is a gift,'" he told the show's host, Waleed Aly, via Daily Mail. "I'm really happy with the way my life has turned out and I love the chance I have to be of service."

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Credit: Terry Wyatt / Getty

The actor founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000 and it aims to find a cure for Parkinson's. It has been reported that since its start two decades ago, MJFF has funded a staggering $2 billion in high-impact research programs.

"I realized I had to turn it around and turn it into something and make it some positive thing that affected other people in a positive way," Fox said about his impactful charity work. "So I think that's why I started the foundation, but it took me a long time to get there."

Featured image credit: Kate Green/BAFTA / Getty

Michael J. Fox fights back tears as he receives a standing ovation at the BAFTAs amid Parkinson's battle

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

Michael J. Fox was left emotional after receiving a standing ovation at the 2024 BAFTA Film Awards.

The 62-year-old actor - who is best known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future franchise - made a surprise appearance at the award ceremony on Sunday (February 18) to hand out the prize to Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. Watch the heartwarming moment below: 

After entering the stage in a wheelchair, Fox rose to his feet and walked to the podium - earning a standing ovation from several stars in attendance at the Royal Festival Hall, including Ryan Gosling, Robert Downey Jr., Margot Robbie, Bradley Cooper, and Barry Keoghan.

The iconic Canadian-American star - who has battled Parkinson's since 1991 - was visibly moved by the audience's reaction, as he supported himself on the podium to reveal the eventual winner.

When presenting the nominees for best film, Fox described cinema as "magic" that can "change your life," adding: "Five films were nominated in this category tonight and all five have something in common. They are the best of what we do."

size-large wp-image-1263249644
Credit: Kate Green/BAFTA / Getty

He then spoke about how movies bring people together "no matter who you are or where you're from".

"There's a reason why they say movies are magic because movies can change your day...It can change your outlook. Sometimes it can change your life," Fox said.

Many viewers who were watching from the comfort of their homes were left in tears, as one user on X (formerly Twitter) praised the star as an "icon and inspiration," and stated that he was "so deserving of that standing ovation".

Someone else penned: "It's gotta be said, at 11 years old he was my movie hero. I'm nearly 50 and after seeing him at the BAFTAs tonight. He's every bit the hero I remember him to be. What a legend!"

"Michael J Fox presenting at the BAFTA's. The world really needs more disabled people represented in prominent positions, and Fox does a fantastic job," a third user shared.

A fourth user added: "Michael J Fox at the BAFTA’s. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye or a lump to your throat. ABSOLUTE LEGEND," while one more said: "What an unbelievably moving ovation for #MichaelJFox. Not going to lie, a very tough watch."

wp-image-1263249643 size-full
Michael J. Fox. Credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Getty

Parkinson's disease, a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years, affects around 500,000 people in the US, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The Teen Wolf actor first discovered he had the degenerative condition when he was just 29 years old in 1991 after he complained of a twitching little finger and a sore shoulder. He didn't go public with his diagnosis for another seven years, instead dealing with the progressive disorder by drinking excessively behind the scenes.

Fox's health took a significant hit in 2018 when he underwent spinal surgery to remove a tumor unrelated to Parkinson's. Since then, he has faced numerous challenges, including the need to relearn how to walk.

For the last 30 years, the Stuart Little star has been candid about his struggles in accepting the condition, especially during its early stages. However, last May, he revealed in the Australian talk show, The Project, that he learned to see it as a "gift".

"I always say Parkinson's is a gift and people say to me, 'How can you possibly describe it as a gift?' And I say, 'It is the gift that keeps on taking, but it is a gift,'" he told the show's host, Waleed Aly, via Daily Mail. "I'm really happy with the way my life has turned out and I love the chance I have to be of service."

size-large wp-image-1263214396
Credit: Terry Wyatt / Getty

The actor founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000 and it aims to find a cure for Parkinson's. It has been reported that since its start two decades ago, MJFF has funded a staggering $2 billion in high-impact research programs.

"I realized I had to turn it around and turn it into something and make it some positive thing that affected other people in a positive way," Fox said about his impactful charity work. "So I think that's why I started the foundation, but it took me a long time to get there."

Featured image credit: Kate Green/BAFTA / Getty