Actor Michael J. Fox receives an honorary Oscar for Parkinson’s disease

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dated: 2022-11-20 08:28:24 .

Author: Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Michael J. Fox, who dazzled audiences in the 1980s television comedy Family Ties and the Back to the Future films, received an honorary Oscar on Saturday for his legal work, which raised $1.5 billion for Parkinson’s disease research.

At the age of 29, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a nervous disorder that causes tremors and other symptoms. He later stopped acting and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000 to fund the search for a cure.

“It’s deeply humbling to stand here and accept your kindness,” the Canadian actor said on stage at the annual Governors Awards, where he was given a standing ovation by A-list stars including Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lawrence.

Fox said the hardest part of his diagnosis was “dealing with the uncertainty” and that he kept his diagnosis a secret for years because “I didn’t know if the audience could laugh knowing I was struggling.”

The Canadian actor, now 61, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Board of Directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that awards the Academy Awards, and was presented by friend Woody Harrelson.

“He turned a terrifying diagnosis into a brave mission,” the actor told Živjeli.

Other Governors Award winners included prolific songwriter Diane Warren, whose songs have been featured in more than 100 films.

Warren, 66, has been nominated 13 times for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, but has never won it.

“I’ve waited 34 years to say this: I want to thank the Academy,” Warren said Saturday to applause.

Also honored were Australian director Peter Weir, known for films such as The Witness and Dead Poets Society, and Euzhan Palcy, who became the first black woman to direct a film for a major Hollywood studio with A Dry White Season.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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Actor Michael J. Fox receives an honorary Oscar for Parkinson’s disease

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